HTML specification dropping version numbers

html specification dropping version numbers 325t html5 logo

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) just took the wraps of an HTML5 logo, intended to serve as an all-purpose branding for current versions of key Web technologies, including HTML and CSS as well as standards like SVG graphics and WOFF, the Web Open Font Format. Although browser developers have been touting their support for “HTML5” features for some time—including local storage, CSS 3.0 support, and support for media-friendly HTML elements like canvas and video), the actual HTML 5 specification has never been finalized, making the technology a moving target for developers and publishers.

However, the reality is that there hasn’t been a formal, complete specification for HTML since HTMl 4.01 over a decade ago, and now the head of the Web Hypertext Application Working Group (WHATWG), Ian Hickson, says that HTML development is going to drop version numbers to become a “living standard” that will evolve dynamically, adapting new technologies on the fly.

“HTML is the new HTML5,” Hickson writes. “In practice, the WHATWG has basically been operating like this for years, and indeed we were going to change the name last year but ended up deciding to wait a bit since people still used the term ‘HTML5’ a lot. However, the term is now basically being used to mean anything Web-standards-related, so it’s time to move on!”

Specifications for HTML will simply live under the banner term HTML, and will be treated as a “living standard.” In practice, that means that the WHATAG will no longer attempt to create snapshots of the standard that can be used as reference points, and will no longer seek to certify versions of HTML. Instead, the HTML standard will simply be a living document that defines Web technology as it evolves.

While HTML development has been a moving target for a number of years, some developers consider the WHATAG’s decision as little more than throwing in the towel, an admission that Web technology has become too complex to be managed effectively, and an increased opportunity for a limited number of interested parties (like big companies) to influence standards development. On the other hand, some developers welcome the move, since it means groups like the WHATAG will spend less time and fewer resources trying to wrangle together a definitive spec; that, in turn, could lead to new technologies being integrated with the “standard” more quickly, spurring new innovations.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

The design still says retro, but Fujifilm's X-T3 is all about the future

If the X-T2 brought Fujifilm into the modern era, the X-T3 is focused on the future. With a new sensor and processor, completely revamped autofocus, and vastly upgraded video, it's the new APS-C camera to beat.
Home Theater

Time for a TV upgrade? Here’s what you need to know about 4K Ultra HD TV

Ultra HD 4K has quickly taken over the world of TVs. But what is Ultra HD 4K, how does it work, and most importantly, should you upgrade, or keep your old TV? We explain it all right here.
Home Theater

Need more contrast in your life? Here’s what you need to know about HDR TVs

So what is HDR TV? In a nutshell, it’s the best thing to happen to TV since the arrival of 4K. Here's everything you need to know about the technology, what it can do, and why it’s a must-have.
Computing

Which is best: The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme or the 15-inch MacBook Pro?

To try and help nail down the best 15-inch laptops in the world, we compared the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme vs. MacBook Pro 15 in a head to head that looked at their power, design, and portability.
Computing

Microsoft co-founder, Seahawks owner Paul Allen dies at 65

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen died on October 15 of complications from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The cancer survivor was best known for his entrepreneurial spirit and his frequent contributions to charities.
Product Review

Don't bother with any other 2-in-1. The Surface Pro 6 is still the best

The Surface Pro been updated to its sixth generation, now coming dressed in black and packing a quad-core processor. Outside of that, you’ll have to dig a little deeper to see where Microsoft has made some truly noteworthy improvements.
Computing

How does Microsoft’s newest Surface stack up against the Apple iPad Pro?

In an era where everyone is taking a bite at Apple’s products, we’ve stacked up the 12.9-inch iPad Pro against the latest Surface Pro 6. Check out this comparison guide to see which one gives you more bang for your buck.
Computing

Leaked benchmarks suggest rumored AMD GPU could be king of midrange graphics

AMD's next GPU may not be Navi-based after all. Rumors continue to build about an RX 590 which has now shown up on 3DMark's benchmark database, delivering results that easily outstrip stock clocked GTX 1060s.
Emerging Tech

Curious how A.I. 'brains' work? Here's a super-simple breakdown of deep learning

What is deep learning? A branch of machine learning, this field deals with the creation of neural networks that are modeled after the brain and adept at dealing with large amounts of human-oriented data, like writing and voice commands.
Computing

Qualcomm’s ‘Snapdragon 1000’ could bring octa-cores to Windows laptops

The rumored Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 CPU may bring the octa-core design of mobiles and tablets to Windows laptops, offering four powerful cores for high performance, and four low-power cores for efficiency.
Computing

Is the new Surface Pro 6 worth the extra money or is the Surface Go good enough?

Each of Microsoft’s Surface devices are great, but with the recent addition of the Surface Pro 6, you might be wondering how it stacks up against the Surface Go. In this comparison piece, we’ve put the two devices up against each other…
Computing

Is the Surface Pro 6 a sidestep, or does it blow away its predecessor?

How good is the new Surface Pro, and is it worth an upgrade? The best way to find out is to pit the Surface Pro 6 vs. Surface Pro 5 in a head to head that tests them both on performance, design, and portability.
Computing

These gloves will make virtual reality feel even more immersive

Scientists from EPFL and ETH Zurich have come up with a thin and light VR glove which makes it so that a touch of an object in the virtual world equates to the physical touch you would expect in real life.