The W3C announced yesterday that it plans to finalize the HTML5 standard by July 2014.
W3C today extended the charter of the HTML Working Group with clear milestones for HTML5, the cornerstone of W3C's Open Web Platform for application development. In May 2011, the Working Group will advance HTML5 to "Last Call," an invitation to communities inside and outside W3C to confirm the technical soundness of the specification. The group will then shift focus to gathering implementation experience. W3C is developing a comprehensive test suite to achieve broad interoperability for the full specification by 2014, the target date for Recommendation.
"Even as innovation continues, advancing HTML5 to Recommendation provides the entire Web ecosystem with a stable, tested, interoperable standard," said Jeff Jaffe, W3C CEO. "The decision to schedule the HTML5 Last Call for May 2011 was an important step in setting industry expectations. Today we take the next step, announcing 2014 as the target for Recommendation."
Today there are more than 50 organizations participating in the HTML Working Group, all committed to Royalty-Free licensing under the W3C Patent Policy. There are more than 400 individuals from all over the world in the group, including designers, content authors, accessibility experts, and representatives from browser vendors, authoring tool vendors, telecoms, equipment manufacturers, and other IT companies.
Demand for Web Interoperability Greater Than Ever
The Web has become a critical global resource that is transforming all industries, including mobile, television, gaming, publishing, and health care. Forward-thinking industries are turning to the Web as the platform of choice for integrating diverse devices, services, and business models. As the audience for the platform grows, so does the need for interoperability among the many technologies of W3C's Open Web Platform including HTML5, CSS, SVG, WOFF, various APIs, and more. Nearly all of these technologies are already in use, at varying degrees of maturity and implementation.
Because HTML5 anchors the Open Web Platform, W3C has started work on a comprehensive test suite to ensure the high levels of interoperability that diverse industries demand. W3C invites test suite contributions from the community, which will enable software implementers to fulfill W3C's implementation criteria and make it easier to create content and applications. The testing effort will play an important role in the timely completion of the standard.
Stable Standards Drive Innovation with Confidence
Stable standards play an important role in the broad deployment of technology. As reference points, they make it easier for large numbers of independent implementers to achieve interoperability across diverse platforms, devices, and industries. This is particularly important in the rich ecosystem of HTML producers and consumers, which includes authoring tools, browsers, email clients, security applications, content management systems, tools to analyze or convert content, assistive technologies, and unanticipated applications. Stable standards with community support give developers and implementers confidence that what they build today will continue to work in the future. W3C's consensus process, Royalty-Free patent policy, and commitment to building a comprehensive test suite will make HTML5 an important standard across multiple industries, for years to come.
As part of the mission of the W3C HTML Working Group to continue the evolution of HTML, W3C Director Tim Berners-Lee also encourages the group to begin discussion of requirements for future versions of HTML.