HTML5 Draft Specification Achieves ‘Last Call’ Status

The World Wide Web Consortium, also known as W3C, opted to advance HTML5 forward, to Last Call status. This is a significant move for the draft specification after more than three years of testing and development.

While advocates of HTML5 are undoubtedly excited over this move forward, they shouldn’t be jumping up and down just yet. It’ll still be quite a while – even several years – before HTML5 is officially recommended by W3C. The W3C’s Last Call status signifies that there will be 10 more weeks of further testing and reports.

After that period has passed, the HTML Working Group of the W3C will have until January of 2012 to correct all outstanding issues. If all issues are corrected satisfactorily, HTML5 will then advance to Candidate Recommendation status. If it passes that phase, it will reach the final status as an official W3C Recommendation, and likely venture into widespread use.

While most developers are eager to see HTML5 move forward through the vetting process – in fact, many developers are already utilizing aspects of it online – there are those who are opposed to its advancement. Among them is Daniel Glazman, W3C’s Working Group co-chairman. Glazman voted against HTML5’s Last Call status, voicing his concern about the lack of longdesc in HTML 5. Since HTML5 is intended to be compatible with earlier versions of HTML, the longdesc deficiency could lead to problems with those using HTML4.

Others in W3C aren’t concerned about the descents against HTML5, since it’s rare that any status change garners unanimous support amongst all members. Regardless of opposition, it seems inevitable that HTML5 will continue to move forward.

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