2022, or when will HTML 5 be ready?

by .

Aside from being the year Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, assuming she’s still kicking around, 2022 is the year that’s been inappropriately linked with HTML 5 in the minds of a lot of our community.

I understand why someone might think that, but it’s wrong. 2022 was misinterpreted as the year HTML 5 would be ready. That’s wrong. HTML 5 is ready today.

In an interview by Tech Republic, for a techie audience, Ian Hickson, the editor of the HTML 5 working draft, was asked to give a timeline of the HTML 5 recommendation.

One date should have come out of that interview, but another, much further away did instead: 2022 – the date of the final proposed recommendation, which actually translates to:

require at least two browsers to completely pass [HTML 5 test suites]

Let’s put this in context of another spec that has taken a very long time: CSS 2.1.

CSS 2.1 is CSS that I’m certain you’re familiar with. I’m certain you use it day to day without any thought as to whether it’s a completed spec.

It’s been in development for over 10 years, and it’s only just become a candidate recommendation (23rd April 2009).

That said, it doesn’t have two browsers completely supporting it. Only Internet Explorer 8 supports the full CSS 2.1 spec.

Did that stop you from using CSS 2.1? I suspect not. Will that stop us from using HTML 5? It certainly shouldn’t. HTML 5 is available and ready to be used today.

What is the important HTML 5 date?

October 2009.

This October is the last call for the HTML 5 working draft.

That means, that issues with the spec, enhancements, bugs, anything, it all needs to be in and submitted and written in to the spec for October this year (it can go through reiterations, the this is the main deadline).

The WHATWG is completely open for anyone to contribute their ideas and suggestions.

You can sign up to the mailing lists, look through the backlog of mailing list. You can communicate directly using IRC and there’s even a complete log of all the IRC history. All available from http://whatwg.org.

44 Responses on the article “2022, or when will HTML 5 be ready?”

Phil Ricketts says

The comparison to CSS 2.1 is nice, puts it perspective – we can use html5 today, successfully. But … it will be a pain in the arse if you still need to support ancient browsers! I guess it also depends on what benefits of HTML5 (other than being trendy and ‘modern’) you are hoping to lift.

This comment should have been more meaningful.

steve faulkner says

Hi remi,
you wrote:
“The WHATWG is completely open for anyone to contribute their ideas and suggestions, compared to the W3C working groups are closed and invite only for experts.”

This is completely incorrect in relation to the W3C HTML WG

Anyone can become a member of the W3C HTML WG, if you do, you will be able to paricipate in the development of the spec (all members get to vote on important issues that are put to a vote and can make formal objections etc) , not just a chance to comment. Subscribers to WHAT WG mailing list have no such rights. if you don’t want to become a W3C working group member, you can still submit bugs to the HTML5 bugzilla or send comments to the HTML comments.

Information on how to join and the various ways to contribute are available http://www.w3.org/html/wg/

Remy Sharp says

@Steve – gah! big whoops. I’ll correct that now! I’ve removed the statement altogether. Cheers for the catch.

steve faulkner says

no problem,it should be noted that the what wg guys pushed for the group to be more open compared to traditional w3c working groups.

oli says

Now someone needs to tell the http://ishtml5readyyet.com/ guy :D

Also, @Steve Faulkner would “W3C working groups are closed and invite only for experts” be a fair generalisation for groups apart from the W3 HTML WG? I know some email lists are open, but I’m under the impression (as Remy appears to have been) that most decisions are made behind closed doors.

Chris Mahon says

Good post Remy. Like Phil said in the comments I think the benefits of using HTML 5 over HTML 4 need to be made a lot clearer.

One question I did have actually was the ability to mix HTML 4 & 5 elements together. For example the video bits in HTML 5 are superb, but can these be injected into a page with a HTML 4 doctype?

The other question is when the rest of the web (such as Google) will start making use of HTML 5 so that our markup is indexed properly. Maybe they are doing this already but I think a lot of other things need to happen before HTML 5 is ready to be adopted by the masses.

Remy Sharp says

@Chris – one of the key things about HTML 5 is that it’s being developed with the following approach: “pave the cowpaths”. Since this is the case, there’s nothing stopping you from putting a video element in an HTML 4 document – because that’s the cowpath!

In fact, there’s nothing stopping you from using XHTML 1.1 strict and using poorly marked up tags. The browser’s going to do what it can to render the page.

HTML 5 is what you’re validating against. If you have a video element in an HTML 4 doc, it will work (though I’ve not tested it, I’m pretty sure it will), but it’s not “valid”.

Re: Google – they’re already using the HTML 5 doctype, and by no coincident, the HTML 5 editor also works for Google. So you can be fairly sure (like pretty much 100% sure) that Google is going to correctly index the markup. Equally, you’re still using heading elements for headings, and you’re using semantics, so you’re going to be fine with HTML 4 or 5 and Google is going to both do it’s job in indexing and all the SEO dark arts (regardless of your doctype).

I’m really not sure what “other things need to happen” for this to be a reality. Go back to comparison off CSS 2.1 – when did you start using it? When it was supported in all the browsers (which isn’t now, not even IE6 – :hover anyone?), but you were comfortable with supporting IE5 (during the early – and later days of IE7) and IE6.

oli says

@Remy—zing! :D

@Chris—HTML 5 is basically the same as HTML 4 with a shorter doctype, as long as you don’t use the new bits. I’d use the HTML 5 doctype if you do plan on using the new bits though!

steve faulkner says

Hi Oli, yes as I noted in my next comment.

“but I’m under the impression (as Remy appears to have been) that most decisions are made behind closed doors.”

There is oversight of decisions within the W3C and all specifications go through a public consultation process. there is not such formal process in the WHAT WG, while one is free to subscribe to the WHATWG mailing list, this does not confer rights to the individual to play a part in the development of the spec.

Sean Hood says

I’m using HTML5 in all my new projects. I dont see why other people aren’t. It’s less code to type on an average page for one.

kazu says

CSS 2.1 has NOT been recommendation yet, right? It’s still candidate recommendation – the fact does NOT affect your point at all, though.

Remy Sharp says

@Kazu – thanks, I tried to clarify but didn’t get a response in time. I’ll update the article.

Chris Mahon says

@remy thanks for clarifying some of the questions I had.

I think CSS is a bit of a different beast. The main deciding factor on choosing which CSS spec (or part of it) to use depends on how you want to achieve a certain style. I agree I didn’t even think about when to use CSS 2.1, all I’m saying is that HTML 5 needs to be very clear with the benefits on why someone should use HTML 5 over HTML 4. With CSS it is very clear what the benefit of a certain spec has over, maybe I just haven’t looked in enough detail but HTML 5 seems to be focussing on the semantics, which is good, but there must be more to it than that to make people switch. I think this site will help HTML 5 out though so hopefully that’s a non issue soon :)

At the end of the day, people will choose to use what they want because of habit and getting them out of that is the tricky bit. HTML 5 looks cool and I’ll probably end up using it at some point (new job is very UI focussed, not much markup) but more for the JS stuff I’ve seen you do, rather than the semantic side of it.

Paul says

Ich finde das Projekt sehr gut.
Hoffentlich wird es sich durchsetzten, mir hat es jetzt schon sehr geholfen.

HTML 5 - A Quick Overview says

[...] Remy Sharp of HTML 5 Doctor writes in his article: “2022 was misinterpreted as the year HTML 5 would be ready. That’s wrong. HTML 5 is ready today”. [...]

Resident sceptic says

“Google is using HTML5″ ???
Oh please :P

They’re only putting lipstick on a pig as the saying goes…

View source on Google.com and you’ll see a <doctype html> slapped on the worst kind of non-validating, non-conformant, bad practice (eg. inline styling and inline scripting only) tag soup including attributes that were excluded from HTML in the 90′s and considered ugly code since then…

If that is what HTML5 makes us create (all the “halleluljah rethorics/propaganda aside), then thanks but no thanks.

ZorphDark says

A really good post to read. Thanks for explain that argue ’bout html5 boyhood. Me & some friends were using the fifth version to develop some little testings, but from now I will reconsiderate the new ht language from another perspective. Browsers developers should help us in this way ;)

Ugly Troll says

HTML 6 = Silverlight :-)

Frank Silbermann says

Let’s hope that by 2022 we’ll have long had an object-oriented _replacement_ for HTML.

Joeri Kassenaar says

Hmm…
I’m 42 years old and I hate the digital world.
Nice to compare html5 to css2.1, now lets compare it to a car shall we?

Me
Is my car ready?
Car sales person
Yes, but mind you, most petrol stations will sell the wrong petrol, and if you need a new tire then it would most likely will not fit without a convertor ( hint to audio tag )

I, today, got 4 breaks at my work for software updates…
As I stated: I hate the digital world. Create specs, create the product, release the finished product.

“Yeah we know its only half the film and only some cinemas will show reel 2, but heh, we will have the script finished on october 2009″ Just isn’t good enough for me to state to movie is “there”.

I hope you can at least folow my drift a bit :)

Remy Sharp says

@Joeri – I think I see what you’re trying to say, but answer me this one question:

Even though CSS 2.1 isn’t a completed spec, and it’s only fully implemented in IE8 – does that stop you from using CSS 2.1?

If not, then you catch my drift too ;-)

[...] yet to be finalised and depending on who you believe will not be finalised until 2022, but it seems this is less important than it sounds. What we are starting to see is something relatively new, the web development community getting [...]

Hamranhansenhansen says

The real question is when will HTML4 be ready? The answer is never. HTML4 was a failure. We made proprietary Internet Explorer apps with proprietary Flash audio video in them the whole time whether we wanted to or not.

An introduction to HTML5 - Robert's talk says

[...] etc and the time it has taken, and you will probably get a more sane reaction). Read more about in 2022, or when will HTML 5 be ready? if you want to know [...]

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you sir, are a lame-wad says

@Joeri Kassenaar really? could you be any more lame? stop being an old man and embrace new things. html 5 will change things much like html 4 did for 3 to 2 to 1.

you sir, are a lame-wad says

@Ugly Troll you are just an idiot. period.

joeri kassenaar says

LOL. stop being old? hahaha… html5 going to do that?

How old is this threat? Are we near 2022 yet, ’cause the video src= embed is still not working.
Or are there some negotiations between Apple Microsoft and RedHat going on that I don’t know about?
Seems to me that the video codec issue is de-railing so much it will have Flash video as a standard for a long time.
I can have all the jQuery I want to not have to invent the javascript myself but I will still need the same movie at least 3 times on my server to be pc/ipad/android compatible.
It’s not that I’m not embracing new things, it’s that by the time html8 is coming out (2022) html5 will maybe be some sort of standard. Maybe there is some hope, Steve Job is at least doing his best to keep ogg and flv off his divices.

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Reason A Bubble says

So html4 lasted 10yrs and will more than likely last another 10yrs. That’s all I need to know to get back to servicing my clients. Glad I didn’t buy into the xhtml hype when it was at it’s peak. All the best with html5 dev and implimentation. Love to all.

Umer Munir says

I am using XHTML 1.04 with CSS2 and I am pretty happy with these.
Do you think that HTML5 and CSS3 can be used to create dynamic web apps without using anything like silverlight, flash or java and it will be better than XHTML 1.04 or XHTML 2?
I am a little bit confused so it would be better if someone can help me!

HTML5 | Puce et Média says

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HTML5 | Puce et Média says

[...] won’t be ready until 2022. Yes, 2022., idem pour Remy Sharp sur html5 Doctor dans son article 2022, or when will html5 be ready ?. Alors quoiqu’il en soit et en attendant l’une ou l’autre des dates… peu [...]

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HTML5 | Puce et Média says

[...] won’t be ready until 2022. Yes, 2022., idem pour Remy Sharp sur html5 Doctor dans son article 2022, or when will html5 be ready ?. Alors quoiqu’il en soit, et en attendant l’une ou l’autre des dates… peu [...]

Jeffrey Barke says

Despite the fact that it’s still three years, 19 days and 14+ hours until “HTML5 is ready” (at the time of this comment), it looks like the “yeas” have overtaken the “nays.” Somebody did tell the “Is HTML5 ready yet?” guy, because his site is dead. :(

Not only has the “Is HTML5 ready yet?” site been taken down, but J Cornelius (creator of the site) is now using a WordPress theme containing the HTML5 DOCTYPE and semantic elements! Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

For posterity’s sake, the latest index from the Internet Archive (4 May 2012) is located at http://web.archive.org/web/20120504112614/http://ishtml5readyyet.com/.

Nice to see that Remy’s response is still live, though. To avoid the link rot, I think Corenelius should have put a 301 redirect on his domain to Remy’s.

Remy Sharp says

@Jeffrey: first up: HMTL5, in it’s entirety, IHMO, will never be ready. If only because of microdata…sort of…

Anyway, is HTML5 ready for production use? Yes, and has been for quite some time now.

As for those domains, somehow my “response” lapsed and someone has taken over the domain, and inserted the “buy this amazon book” with referral purchase links – cheeky git!

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