Complacency – One of the biggest enemies of HTML 5 (and I guess standards development in general)

I have been on the W3C HTML Working group for about a month now.  The big initiative we’re working on is the development of HTML 5.

Since I joined the working group, I’ve been out there talking with people, listening to folks, reading comments, and reading blogs.  Noted JavaScript expert Jeremy Keith summed up a common collective feeling that i’ve heard so much from people…

The present isn’t that bad. HTML is good enough.

I really think that complacency is one of the biggest enemies of HTML 5.

People generally don’t know what’s wrong with HTML 4 or why HTML 5 is better so they don’t pay attention or get involved.

The thing is we need HTML 5.  The Web and how the world uses the Web has changed a lot since HTML 4.  More on this later…

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2 thoughts on “Complacency – One of the biggest enemies of HTML 5 (and I guess standards development in general)”

  1. S’funny… I don’t *feel* complacent.

    But I guess if you were to place me on a sliding scale between angry and complacent, I’d definitely be pretty far away from angry.

    It’s all subjective of course. When I say HTML is good enough (which is still a far cry from saying it’s perfect), I’m mean it’s good enough for the kind of documents I’m trying to write. For people like Alex Russell or Douglas Crockford, who are pushing the very boundaries of what’s possible in the browser, HTML is going to seem woefully inadequate.

    But, and I think this a key point, I think they’re in the minority. I think my situation is *probably* more indicative of the day-to-day grind of the average web developer.

    That said, today’s level of acceptability is tomorrow’s level of inadequacy. That’s why it’s good to have canaries in the coalmine pushing the boundaries and telling us what will need to change for the future.

    So, just to clarify, just because I say that HTML is currently “good enough” to do what I want, that doesn’t mean I don’t want changes and improvements. In other words, I’m with you on the need for HTML5 (though I may dispute some of the finer details).

  2. I totally agree with you… i just think that the difference between HTML 4 being good enough and there being a serious need for more is the difference between getting HTML 5 just being adopted by the alpha-geeks/early adopters and it getting mass adopted by the whole community.

    This post was just to say that I think this is something that the HTML Working Group has to contend with and they’re not. They think people will see the amazingness of what HTML 5 is and they won’t have to sell it.

    I think they have to sell it because for what most people do know, they don’t see a big enough problem with what they have.

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