If the W3C were a TV show, it would be Survivor, without a doubt. With the announcement of the less than graceful retirement of XHTML 2.0, the charitable would say that W3C is consolidating resources. The less charitable would say that in a face-to-face with the WhatWG and the browsers, the W3C blinked; or was voted off, to use the Survivor parlance.
Yes, XHTML will continue, but it’s a weakened XHTML, barely given enough oxygen to survive. In the wake of its rude abandonment, other affiliated groups, including the RDFa group, are left to scramble about as best they can to find a base. Sam Ruby of the HTML WG has encouraged them to jump into the HTML 5 web waters, and grab a copy of HTML 5 as a raft to ride to the future. I hope we will be forgiven, though, if we see the raft as a desperate, leaky ride, at best.
Our web dims, as the lights of the consortium of web browsers— Mozilla/Firefox, Apple/Webkit/Safari, Google/Chrome, Microsoft/IE, and Opera—burn brighter. But wait? Wasn’t this the state of affairs a dozen years ago? Wasn’t the web of the future supposed to be a goal of what can be, not an infomercial of what is?
Why do I feel we have suddenly embraced mediocrity and called it gold?
Those who beat tiny fists at walls surrounding HTML 5, are given a glimmer of hope: all they have to do is make a copy of the HTML 5 specification and modify it as they want, and if this doesn’t magically bring about consensus, why there will be some kind of vote and the best spec will win.
I wonder, though, will the vote take place with paper and charcoal, and names read off around a campfire? With some form of ritualistic extinguishing of the loser’s torch?
- The W3C FAQ on the announcement
- XHTML2 vs HTML5 vs Accessibility
- An Unofficial Q & A about the Discontinuation of the XHTML2 WG. Note if the page loads oddly, Henri is using font-face, and I believe the fonts are loading slowly. Also, in my opinion, there are several misrepresentations and omissions.
- Manu Sporny clarifies the omissions in Henri’s document in the RDFa in XHTML email group.
- Zeldman: XHTML DOA WTF
- Zeldman: In Defense of Web Developers
- XHTML2 language dumped in favor of HTML5 from the San Francisco Chronicle
- XHTML2 Dies a lonely death Makes room for HTML5 from Wired
- From one of the XHTML creators: W3C, you ignorant slut, winning my award for best article title on the topic
- Follow up post from Shane
- “Ian, you seriously think that?” John Allsosp responds to Ian Hickson’s statement of “when the future comes we can just fix HTML.” (via Mr. Last Week)
- HTML 5 + XML = XHTML 5 from the new HTML5 Doctor web site
- Sam Ruby Vendor Veto
- My response to Chris Wilson on his response to my Formal Objection
- Manu Sporny’s first take at HTML5, RDFa style
- The birth of the Accessibility group’s take HTML 5
I remind the new HTML 5 players of Survivor, and the concept of Alliance.