HTML5 to be complete in 2014

html specification dropping version numbers html5 logo

Ask any person first stepping into the world of HTML whether the markup language used for the Web is easy and straightforward, you’ll probably get a variety of answers. For developers, programmers, and folks used to dealing with technical specifications, HTML is reasonably well-documented: there are heaps of books, tutorials, mailing lists, online resources, and (of course) millions of Web sites from which to glean information. However, ask anyone with a more prosaic background whether HTML is straightforward and the answer is likely a resounding “no,” with a mess of completing (and often conflicting) set of standards, acronyms, and versions clamoring for attention.

The W3C tried to put a pretty patina over the technology mess by promoting a collection of Web standards under the label HTML5, only to have the Web Hypertext Application Working Group (WHATWG) say that HTML5 would be a constantly-changing “living document” with no fixed version numbers. And now the W3C’s HTML working group is muddying the waters still further, saying there will indeed be a finalized version of HTML5…it’s just not due until the middle of 2014.

Although the 2014 completion date for HTML5 seems like a long way off, the W3C plans to release a “last call” version of the specification in the second quarter of 2011. The LC spec will include ever feature the W3C believes should be included in the HTMl5 spec: although those features will be refined and changed as the spec is refined, the W3C does not expect to add any new features to the spec after the LC release. That should give Web developers some guidance on how to architect and develop sites and services.

However, the W3C’s last-call and final spec may or may not have any impact on the WHATWG’s working document—although both the WHATWG’s and W3C’s versions of HTML5 are maintained by Google employee Ian Hickson, there are already differences between the two versions, and the versions of HTML5 may increasingly diverge once the W3C’s Last Call spec is ruled “feature complete.”

Part of the reason the W3C’s official process takes so long is that it must coordinate input from a broad group of stakeholders. Some of that coordination is rights clearance: if any aspect of the HTML spec is covered by a patent, the W3C must secure an agreement from the patent holder now to sue anyone implementing the HTML specification—and that safety from being sued only comes with a finalized specification. The W3C also creates implementers versions of the specification in order to iron out details in actually getting HTML to work; after that, there have to be at least two “interoperable” implementations of the HTML spec—basically, two compliant browsers—before the spec can be finalized.

Smart Home

Busted: Facebook Portal gets 5-star reviews from company employees

It's fair to say that Facebook's Portal smart display received a tepid response at launch, so it was something of a surprise to see lots of glowing reviews of the device on Amazon. Turns out some were written by Facebook workers.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Benchmark scores surface for Google's midrange Pixel 3 XL Lite

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.

Faster new PCIe 5.0 standard leapfrogs the best feature of AMD’s Ryzen 3

PCIe 5.0 will bring even faster data transfers, but it may only be found on HPCs and servers initially. The standard is four times faster than your current PC at transferring data, and new devices could appear later this year.

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for January 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.

Watch out for these top-10 mistakes people make when buying a laptop

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?