[whatwg] Administrivia: Update on the relationship between the WHATWG HTML living standard and the W3C HTML5 specification

Melvin Carvalho melvincarvalho at gmail.com
Wed Jul 25 04:13:38 PDT 2012

On 20 July 2012 14:38, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Hixie,
> I believe you have made some spurious claims, one of them being;
> "The WHATWG effort is focused on developing the
> canonical description of HTML and related technologies"
> The claim that HTML the living standard is canonical appears to imply that
> the requirements and advice contained within HTML the living standard is
> more correct than what is in the HTML5 specification.
> I do not consider this to be wholly that case, in particular in regards to
> author level conformance requirements and advice, where the HTML standard
> has no special claim to authority, it is not the domain of browser vendors
> to decide what is good authoring practise and any authoring requirements
> that go beyond implementation realities.
> The HTML living standard is not a canonical description of HTML, if it was
> there would be no need for the existence of specifications such as
> HTML to Platform Accessibility APIs Implementation
> Guide<http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/html-api-map/raw-file/tip/Overview.html>,
> this document is in existence and is being developed because neither the
> HTML5 specification nor the HTML living standard contains anything bearing
> a resemblance of what could be considered and adequate description of how
> user agents can implement accessibility support for HTML features in an
> interoperable way.
> Neither HTML5 in its current form or HTML the living standard can claim to
> be a canonical description of author conformance requirements for the
> provision of text alternatives, as there is another document in existence
> also published by the W3C that provides normative requirements for the
> subject:http://dev.w3.org/html5/alt-techniques/
> The HTML standard contradicts the HTML5 specification (or vice versa) on a
> number of author conformance requirements and advisory techniques,
> including use of tables, use of ARIA and use of the title attribute.
> In respect to those author related requirements mentioned above the HTML5
> specification can currently claim to be contain a more accurate set of
> requirements and advice, that takes into account current implementation
> realities, thus providing author with more practical advice and thus end
> users with a better experience.
> All in all I do not agree with your claim of  the HTML living standard
> being canonical. It is unfortunately the case that we now have at least 2
> specifications; HTML5 and the living standard neither of which can claim to
> be canonical description of HTML for stakeholders other than browser
> vendors.

There's been some commentary about this in blogosphere e.g.


Is it accurate to say that html5 is being 'forked', or would that be an

> --
> with regards
> Steve Faulkner
> Technical Director - TPG
> www.paciellogroup.com | www.HTML5accessibility.com |
> www.twitter.com/stevefaulkner
> HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives -
> dev.w3.org/html5/alt-techniques/
> Web Accessibility Toolbar -
> www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat-ie-about.html

More information about the whatwg mailing list