[uf-discuss] W3HTML WG, HTML5, semantics, and so on

John Allsopp john at westciv.com
Fri May 11 15:15:20 PDT 2007

Hi all,

I'm not sure how many here (a few at least?) have been following  
developments with the W3's HTML WG.

In essence, the future of HTML will be HTML5:

"We are resolved, then, that the W3C's next-generation HTML  
specification be named "HTML 5" and to start review of the text of  
the HTML 5 and WF2 specifications, and we welcome Ian Hickson and  
Dave Hyatt as editors (while remaining open to the possibility of  
other editors in the future)." [1]

Of particular relevance to this mailing list is the way in which  
HTML5 provides mechanisms for extending the semantics of HTML - and  
the discussions around the issue of semantics in HTML generally. This  
thread on the very busy mailing list (which is in effect is now the  
official communications channel for the development of HTML) should  
give a sense of the general way in which people involved are  
thinking. [2]
I'd argue that things don't look overly promising on that front at  
present. Two mechanisms are currently used in HTML5

1. A small number of new HTML elements, like <copyright>
2. "reserved" class values that coincide with currently widely used  
class values in the wild (though whether any two instances of the  
same class value will always imply the same thing is open to  
consideration, at the very least).

Unfortunately the HTML WG mailing list is ludicrously busy - 1000+  
messages a week, so keeping up with it, and participating is,  
frankly, impossible, but I do think it is an area in which  
participants in this community have a significant amount of  
theoretical and practical experience with, and the HTML 5 efforts  
would definitely benefit from that. In the associated threads I've  
seen very little mention of ufs, and where they have been mentioned,  
somewhat critical (abbr pattern problems, even with ufs no one uses  
profiles so HTML 5 should get rid of them ...)

 From the outside, the whole enterprise does look like possibly  
falling into a heap of political/religious/theoretical debates, and  
does make me feel that at time arguably restrictive policies of  
what's on topic for these mailing lists in fact serve the community  
very well in many ways.

Anyway, just a little update on something that is without doubt very  
relevant to the efforts of the uf community, and hopefully many of  
the lessons hard learned over the last few years developing ufs might  
benefit the HTML  WG efforts

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007May/0909.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007May/0881.html


John Allsopp

style master :: css editor :: http://westciv.com/style_master
about me :: http://johnfallsopp.com
Web Directions Conferences :: http://webdirections.org
My Microformats book :: http://microformatique.com/book

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