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HTML5 not ready for prime time, says W3C

updated 11:15 pm EDT, Wed October 6, 2010

Flash use expected to "decrease" but not die out

The World Wide Web Consortium, the body that regulates and publishes the specifications of the HTML standard, is warning web content producers that the HTML5 is "not yet ready for production" and that the W3C will likely make further significant changes to the specification to increase interoperability. Philippe Le Hegaret, interaction domain leader responsible for the HTML and SVG spec, added that they expect it to be feature-complete in mid-2011.

While industry sees HTML5 as a game-changer, having full browser interoperability and other concerns for the web as a whole has been a problematic area. Citing these concerns, Le Hegaret advises against full deployment.

As an example, while a tag for audio playback is part of the specification, not all browsers support the same formats. Safari and Chrome support native MP3 playback using this tag; Firefox and Opera do not. In another instance, the HTML5 specification won't feature a native video codec due to patent issues.

Le Hegaret sees the use of Flash on websites decreasing as HTML5 gains in popularity, but argues that proprietary technologies such as Microsoft's Silverlight or Flash will continue to be popular for other reasons, such as embedded ads and DRM controls (HTML5 does not support DRM, though Le Hegaret admitted it could be added in the future). It will take years for all web browsers in use to support all the elements of HTML5, he says.

Another factor slowing adoption despite the excitement around it is the lack of a selection of authoring tools. Adobe does offer one in their Creative Suite.

The HTML5 spec is expected to reach final approval in two or three years. The specification was begun in 2004. [via InfoWorld]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009

    -17

    But...


    Steve seems to think it's ready? Is he lying to us again?

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Mar 2004

    +7

    Better than Flash...

    No, he just thinks it is already better than Flash. Which it is.

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    0

    I didn't realize that standards took that

    long to finalize. It appears that Adobe Flash is going to be around for a long, long time. I sure hope Apple can speed HTML5 up a bit. I'd thought that HTML5 was just around the corner. Now I find out it's around the corner and five miles north walking in the hot sun.

  1. Zkatz007

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 1999

    +4

    Two to Three Years IS Fast

    For the spec to be feature complete in a year and finalized in 3 years IS near, considering how damn long they take. CSS3 anyone?

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +8

    HTML5 is more than video delivery

    The specification for HTML5 will, when finished, change the entire web, not just how we access videos. As everyone has seen, HTML includes features that enable alternative ways to present multimedia stuff, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    So no, Steve isn't lying. When Steve talks about HTML5, he's referring mainly to ways it can be used instead of proprietary solutions that eat processors, like Flash. An open standard (like HTML5's tag is preferable to a proprietary solution, regardless of which proprietary solution you might be referring to.

    HTML5's ability to deliver video is here now and probably not changing much, meaning web sites not concerned with supporting 10-year-old browsers like IE6 can move ahead with a better way to present certain kinds of video and audio to their users. From the narrow perspective of "video content delivery," HTML5 will continue to grow in acceptance -- but as the guy from the W3C points out, Flash (et al) still have their place, particularly with *commercial* video on the web.

    Flash (and things like it) will *decrease* from the 90+% they have now, but aren't likely to be killed off anytime soon.

  1. eldarkus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2004

    +6

    Flash and Silverlight

    "Le Hegaret sees the use of Flash on websites decreasing as HTML5 gains in popularity, but argues that proprietary technologies such as Microsoft's Silverlight or Flash will continue to be popular for other reasons, such as embedded ads and DRM controls"

    Everyones favorite part of the web, right? :P

  1. t_c

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2002

    0

    Come on W3C


    Wow, what a dog, from 2004 - 2012 to do a 'spec'. Once it's done, it will still take a while for browsers to implement fully.

    I guess it's a little more than writing something on paper but as much as I tout W3C standards, they just dropped down a notch in my respect.

  1. serkol

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010

    -5

    Open source in it's best

    Open source sucks: "Don't rush as, we are doing only what we want to do, and only when we want to do that". This is what that guy from W3C is all about.

    I'm all for HTML5 and I'm against Flash, but I'm against this childish open-source mindset. Could Apple possibly buy W3C and kick them into their open source a**, so that they finalize HTML5 in a couple of months? Just kidding :-)

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +3

    Re: Open source in it's best

    Open source sucks:

    HTML5 isn't "open source". It's a standard, as in "This is how everyone should do it". You know, the same damn things everyone always complains MS doesn't follow in their browsers and all.

    "Don't rush as, we are doing only what we want to do, and only when we want to do that". This is what that guy from W3C is all about.

    No, they want to make sure they have a good specification. Rushing through these things is what causes holes and questions and areas where then each browser maker fills in their own way.

    I'm all for HTML5 and I'm against Flash, but I'm against this childish open-source mindset.

    And if HTML5's goal was "We need to get rid of flash", it wouldn't be that hard. Except that isn't the goal. The goals are large, many of which can be used to reduce the 'need' for Flash. Note I say 'reduce' because it HTML5 does NOT say "No Flash! No Plug-ins!" It's just expanding it to make it such you can do things in HTML rather than having to resort to flash.

    Could Apple possibly buy W3C and kick them into their open source a**, so that they finalize HTML5 in a couple of months? Just kidding :-)

    No, you're not kidding. What you want is one person (Steve) making all the decisions on how a standard should be. That's the definition of a proprietary solution. And if that's what you want, that's fine. But don't complain when no one else follows it.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +3

    Re: Two to Three Years IS Fast

    For the spec to be feature complete in a year and finalized in 3 years IS near, considering how damn long they take. CSS3 anyone?

    It isn't 2-3 years. It was started in 2004. First released in 2008 and still another year to be feature complete, which doesn't mean the spec is complete, just that they shouldn't be adding any more options/features after that (it reaches 'beta' stage, if you will).

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