W3C warns that HTML5 isn’t ready yet

As the browser wars heat up, the latest buzzword seems to be HTML5. Microsoft has a whole site filled with HTML5 demos, Apple is expecting everyone to ditch Flash and adopt HTML5 for web video, and everyone else is also busy implementing support for the new standard. Here’s the thing, though. According to Philippe Le Hegaret of the World Wide Web Consortium (as quoted by InfoWorld), the standard isn’t yet ready for prime time.

That’s not a sensational paraphrase. Le Hegaret said quite plainly, "I don’t think [HTML5]’s ready for production yet . . . The real problem is can we make [HTML5] work across browsers and at the moment, that is not the case." He went on to say HTML5 will only be "feature-complete" by the middle of next year, and the spec won’t receive "final approval" for—wait for it—two or three years.

Of course, considering the current state of the browser wars, I doubt the standard’s incomplete nature will preclude early mainstream implementations. But as Le Hegaret points out, web developers won’t be able to count on all of their users running HTML5 browsers for quite a while. Net Applications figures show that Internet Explorer 6 still commands a 15.6% usage share on the web, for example, and that browser has been obsolete for about four years. Browsers that aren’t HTML5-capable could take just as long to phase out.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 9 years ago

    “…Internet Explorer 6 still commands a 15.6% usage share on the web…”

    Whoa. Well, I guess this goes for folks who just don’t care about their PCs or those not really knowledgeable about it. Say, your grandmother. I know it’s not life or death but these folks sure are missing a lot.

      • Skrying
      • 9 years ago

      Companies. Many refuse to update their software due to reliance on out dated solutions that don’t work on modern browsers.

    • provoko
    • 9 years ago

    Seeing how the performance of flash vs html5 are, html5 often times being 10% of the performance of flash, html5 shouldn’t be used to do what flash does now until more than 5 years from now.

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      The web can live on without either, in addition. I haven’t enabled flash by default for many years, and I am still able to get byg{<.<}g

        • provoko
        • 9 years ago

        so i’m guessing you don’t visit newgrounds or youtube?

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 9 years ago

          You can use the html5 version, can’t you?

            • ShadowTiger
            • 9 years ago

            I used the html5 version of youtube on opera… it works pretty well, a few buttons are not functional.

            The main reason why html5 is inferior to flash, something inherent to the architecture i believe, is that it cannot fullscreen. The fullscreen takes up your whole browser window, but it cannot pop out and take up your whole monitor. This means html5 video will never take off, in my opinion.

            • provoko
            • 9 years ago

            Youtube html5? It’s a joke. The quality is degraded, it’s pixelated, even the font in documents on scribd are pixelated. And the performance is seriously lower with skipping. There’s many sites that pit flash vs html5 proving the performance hit html5 takes.

            Also, newgrounds isn’t html5.

            Html5 doing what flash does is just a novelty…

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 9 years ago

    Steve Jobs’s fervent support for HTML5/shunning of Flash seems like his ardent refusal to put 3.5″ floppies in Macs in the late 90s…..it’s like firing crucial staff years before the next, but better, staff are old enough to be legally employed.

    • just brew it!
    • 9 years ago

    Heck, with a significant fraction of computer users still running IE6, you could argue that we’re still not ready for CSS! 😉

    • porov
    • 9 years ago

    w3c are a joke

      • just brew it!
      • 9 years ago

      How so? Without them, we wouldn’t have even the (imperfect but improving) HTML standardization we have now. It’s bad enough that web designers still need to cater to the broken IE6 rendering engine; without anyone publishing a standard, every browser vendor would implement HTML slightly differently and total chaos would result.

    • wira020
    • 9 years ago

    Have they decided what codec to use with html5 video yet?..

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      no. still up in the air. probably going to be h.264

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 9 years ago

        The Mozilla Corporation will not like this.

        I don’t see why they don’t leave it up to the publisher to decide which codec he wants to use and browsers can just provide a plugin interface for them.

    • djgandy
    • 9 years ago

    So what. The spec doesn’t have to be final for implementation to occur. Features are made along the way and pushed into the spec. The spec means everyone has to support it to be compliant.

    The features that prove popular will make the spec, and eventually the spec will be finalised.

    Then Microsoft will completely ignore it and the whole point of having a spec will be negated. 🙂

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    Isn’t 802.11x (i.e., any letter) still sitting in the IEEE’s “draft” folder?

      • Peldor
      • 9 years ago

      No. a b g and n are all published.

        • khands
        • 9 years ago

        Although a ton of routers were using draft n specs back in the day.

          • indeego
          • 9 years ago

          And still are. In fact many routers for sale today still say draft ng{<.<}g

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