[whatwg] Removing versioning from HTML

Tab Atkins Jr. jackalmage at gmail.com
Sun Aug 9 09:21:51 PDT 2009

On Sun, Aug 9, 2009 at 11:10 AM, Aaron Boodman<aa at google.com> wrote:
> [If this has been discussed before, feel free to just point me there]
> I frequently see the comment on this list and in other forums that
> something is "too late" for HTML5, and therefore discussion should be
> deferred.
> I would like to propose that we get rid of the concepts of "versions"
> altogether from HTML. In reality, nobody supports all of HTML5. Each
> vendor supports a slightly different subset of the spec, along with
> some features that are outside the spec.
> This seems OK to me. Instead of insisting that a particular version of
> HTML is a monolithic unit that must be implemented in its entirety, we
> could have each feature (or logical group of features) spun off into
> its own small spec. We're already doing this a bit with things like
> Web Workers, but I don't see why we don't just do it for everything.
> Just as they do now, vendors would decide at the end of the day which
> features they would implement and which they would not. But we should
> never have to say that "the spec is too big". If somebody is
> interested in exploring an idea, they should be able to just start
> doing that.

A feature that is not widely supported is a feature we authors can't
depend on.  If we're lucky, we can put in some extra effort to work
around the lack and still deliver a decent experience.  If we're not,
we simply don't do what we wanted, or deliver something inferior that
relies on technologies we *can* rely on.

The idea behind pushing something to the next version is that it gives
implementors time to catch up to the spec and converge on what they
support.  This is good for people like me.  ^_^

In the meantime, there's certainly nothing preventing someone from
exploring an idea.  The fact that it won't make it into a spec *yet*
doesn't mean you can't still discuss and refine it, or implement test
versions of it in js, or anything else.


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