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The future of HTML - enlighten me?

From: Dustin Boyd <rpgfan3233@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2009 08:45:20 -0600
Message-ID: <ef7a0f3a0911030645j245d4b30o4c3cb804dc9c82c6@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
XHTML 2.0 is no longer being developed and the decision has been made
to support HTML 5, which has an XML serialisation.  With HTML 4.x, XHTML
1.x and even through some of the various drafts of XHTML 2.0, I was
able to take in the information and use the various elements and
attributes.  With HTML 5, it's simply too large.  I realise that XHTML
2.0 was moving too slowly, but the simplicity made it rather nice.
HTML 5 on the other hand appears to be going the way of a programming
API, where you need a constant reference, reducing the usefulness.
Honestly, a lot of features are being asked for, but how many of those
requested features will be used enough to warrant their additions in
practice?

I know the same argument about HTML 5 being "bloated" has been made
before, and I also know that alternatives deemed as being "viable" are
rarely made.  However, it needs to be cut down somehow.  It's too
complex to be considered practical.  At this point, removing features
seems to be a ridiculous idea.  Starting from scratch isn't very
appealing either.  If features were to be removed, how would anybody
decide which features to omit?  It seems as if several elements and
attributes are intertwined with others.  This makes the prospect of
removing features seems rather implausible.

Oh, and while I like the idea of the CANVAS element, does such a thing
really belong in a markup language used for conveying information?
After all, the canvas API could be retained since it would rely on an
external implementation such as JavaScript, but why couldn't something
like the OBJECT element be used rather than a dedicated element?

Is HTML 5 actually being defined as a markup language as the name
suggests or is it turning HTML into a programming language?  If it's
becoming a programming language, why is it still defined as "HyperText
Markup Language" rather than "HyperText Programming Language"?  Is
HTML 5 really headed in the right direction?  Should it be split into
different sections to separate the programming from the markup?  Or
perhaps those who want a simple language should just use XSLT to
transform XML documents to HTML 4.x or XHTML 1.x.  After all, HTML 5
doesn't seem to be for authors.  That is not to say that HTML 5 is
completely useless.  I'm merely trying to make a point of the fact
that HTML 5 is more like "HTML for browser vendors".  The "Author"
view for the HTML 5 specs on the WHATWG site is rather useful, but it
still has a lot of things that appear to be more beneficial to
implementors than to the authors that create the documents.  Again,
this makes me wonder whether HTML 5 is being defined as its name
suggests or whether it is becoming a programming language instead of a
language for conveying information.  Is there going to be another Dark
Age for the Web?  HTML 4's strict definition made an effort to remove
the things that created the first Dark Age, things like FONT elements
and other presentational items as well as inaccessible items like
FRAMESETs.  In my opinion, HTML 5 as a whole is a regression rather
than a natural progression.

Of course, all of this is purely my opinion.  Feel free to direct me
toward answers that can perhaps enlighten me to the true nature of
HTML 5 because all I can see, even with my open mind, is something far
too complex to use.
Received on Tuesday, 3 November 2009 14:46:12 GMT

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