Chris Cid

The W3C vs. WHATWG war is finally over

With obvious winner the browser vendors, WHATWG.

Last week W3C and WHATWG announced that officially settle their conflicts on the web standards. From now on, WHATWG is taking care of the HTML and DOM standards.

How the split of web standards happened

WHATWG was created back in 2004, as a result of the direction that W3C was taking, to focus on XHTML as the next major version of HTML and the disagreement with this direction from major contributors of W3C, especially the then major browser vendors: Apple, Mozilla & Opera. Later on Google & Microsoft joined and they started to work on a separate —from W3C— standard for the new HTML 5.

I remember that initially I was excited with the XHTML direction of W3C. But soon after I tried to implement some experimental projects, I found that XHTML was a pain to use in production, without any obvious benefits.

When the first draft of HTML 5 introduced by WHATWG, I realized that XHTML soon or later was going to die; And it did!

The status of web standards

The markup status today is based on the work of WHATWG. And since HTML is the backbone of the web, the HTML 5 from WHATWG was the main contributor for the today’s web technologies.

With this settlement between W3C and WHATWG, I strongly believe —and hope— that we are going to see an even faster pace on adapting new technologies from web browsers.

What we (might) lose from HTML 5.3

The settlement is making clear that HTML 5.3 and DOM 4.1 are gone for good now…

As for HTML 5.3, the main features that was defined till now, and we might never see them implemented, are:

Probably some of these features will come back later on; but as for now better to ignore them altogether.

What I hope to see soon for the next version of HTML

On November 2017, Apple post a proposal for a Mustache‐based dynamic templating for HTML.

I personally bet on this. And boy oh boy, that will change a lot the landscape of the web.