HTML5 - Bad Idea

Send to friendI just sat in a presentation by the W3C working group at XML Summer School in Raleigh, NC today (2009-07-27) and I am not a happy camper. The XHTML working group will be going away in December and the W3C is working on a new standard called HTML5. They are moving backwards instead of forward in a lot of ways.

Some of the more notable changes from XHTML are:

  1. No end tag required.
  2. No quotes required around attributes.
  3. Binary attributes don't require a value.
  4. All elements are defaulted to lowercase.
  5. Writing their own parser to only allow 'embedded' vocabularies, SVG, MathML which converts vocabularies to itw own internal syntax.
  6. No DOCTYPE statement allowed.
  7. HTML/XML comments in
  8. Defining new forms components that align more with XForms but do not include binding capability.

I am not sure how this is going to really impact us in the long term but we should watch this effort closely. My hope is the spec doesn't grow legs but my fear is that it will because the spec rewards HTML authors who have followed bad practices (the squeaky wheel always gets oiled first) and the reality is that there are more unenlightened users of HTML then not. Doug Spherer (W3C) used a football field as an analogy as to why the W3C is moving in this direction. The football team are the people who are interested in well-formedness and XHTML and the filled bleachers are users who don't care. I think this is a naive viewpoint.