This is an opinion piece about why I stopped bothering with the debate about HTML 5. Its fine to have contrary opinions, but the HTML 5 conversation is getting a lot of steam over on Jeffrey Zeldman’s site this week and its probably important that people all have their say. Whoever we are, wherever we are. We’re all stakeholders in these technologies.
On September 8, 2007 I wrote an article titled The Solution is a HTML 5 Apathetic Doctype which marked a point in my mindset. To a certain extent that article was tongue in cheek but it had a certain seed of truth within that made it clear to me the HTML 5 specification was always going to be about Hickson’s vision, whether that was the right or wrong vision made no difference.
Did I really want a HTML 5 Apathetic Doctype? No. What I wanted to say in that article is that dumbing down to meet the case study for Flickr, for example, is ludicrous. Its Flickr’s responsibility to provide a workable application, not a specification’s job to bend to meet the business model of third party developers. Why not just put a get out of jail free card into the specification and stop trying to fool anyone… but that’s just my opinion. I’ll continue to code XHTML 1.0 and deliver it as text/html until the cows come home, sometime in about 2030 at least (again tongue in cheek).
The really sad part of the HTML 5 issue is that if this turns out to be a dud then we’re using XHTML 1 and HTML 4 into the way, way future and we’ll have achieved zero. So Hickson better be more than sure that he’s pushed the right direction.
Needless to say, while the perception of the dual-committee specification development is that primarily this is Hickson’s vision and Hickson’s mission then its pointless trying to argue, suggest or debate. Bruce Lawson suggests that if we don’t vote we can’t complain about the government, but I’d suggest some governments don’t take kindly to criticism. So, like a lot of people, I have walked away from the entire conversation.
I’m glad Jeffrey Zeldman is mixing it up on his blog about HTML 5 right now because it all needs to be said. Now XHTML 2 is dead, we should be concerned about the HTML 5 specification.