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Robert has been working with web developing, mostly interface coding, since 1998. His biggest interests lies in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, where especially JavaScript has been a love for quite some time. He regularly blogs at about web developing, and is running/partaking in a number of open source projects ( Robert is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 60 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

The Open Web Platform is what we want – HTML5 becomes HTML

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Last night there was an interesting announcement from the WHATWG group, who effectively develops various HTML5 and related specifications. That is, HTML5 is no more.

Their statement is entitled HTML is the new HTML5, and what do they mean with that? The gist of it is that there are so many things happening both in terms of actual HTML and JavaScript APIs that there’s no good point in time when “everything will be done”.

The development is now meant to be version-less and instead the results will be a living document that will adjust itself over time according to new evolving technology.
HTML5 is now indeed HTML. I understand their reasoning, but it is also facing a number of problems we need to deal with, mentioned in the comments to that post.

In the end, though, I think this has good potential to end well.

Does that mean HTML5, as we know it, doesn’t exist?

Not really. The idea is that WHATWG and W3C are working together on creating a snapshot that can be labelled as HTML5. I think, for quite some time, the HTML5 term is going to be around – not so much for referring to the above-mentioned snapshot, but because the term has gained traction in both media, marketing and in the heads of managers and decision-makers.

We can’t call it HTML, right?

HTML5 became the term successor to AJAX, encompassing all new technologies on the web, no matter if they were in the specification or not. With this just named HTML, it’s not really something that by its name sends the connection to that, and it’s certainly not something people can search Google for and get good results.

So let’s look not necessarily to what specification something is in, but rather what people mean, and want to address, when they have used the term HTML5.

The Open Web Platform

The way I see it, when people from all kinds of fields; web developers, management, media; have spoken about HTML5, what they are actually referring to is various open technologies that aren’t owned by any company, but instead are open specifications. They mean all that HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SVG and more can offer directly in a web browser, without any plug-in.

So we should start calling it what it really is: The Open Web Platform.

I have taken this term from Philippe Le Hégaret and I think it perfectly depicts what we really want to say. And not only does it just refer to video elements, online games with canvas, SVG magic or any other new technology what offers a richer web experience, it also brings up, and even contains in its name, the vital fact that the web has to be based on open technologies.

Internet is not there only for the West, it’s the most democratic medium we have, bringing people together, rich or poor, disabilities, differing opinions – whatever you can think of. It has become such an important piece for mankind and how we communicate with each other, and we have to defend this delicate thing as much as we possibly can.

And the way we do that is building on and developing the Open Web Platform.



Published at DZone with permission of Robert Nyman, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Jakob Jenkov replied on Fri, 2011/01/21 - 1:45pm

I agree that what we are really looking for is an open web application platform. I'd just wish they had redesigned it from the ground up, rather than the current technology stack. I mean, a application model that is a mixture of a document and a GUI components seems a bit fraile to me. Additionally, the unchecked JavaScript is not my favourite either.

I actually kinda liked the idea and form of Flex... but then Apple wouldn't support it, leaving Flash out on IPhone and IPads... and there are quite a few of them, aren't there?

I'd prefer some app-targeted "Web Application Language", or "... Platform" or something like that :-)

Axel Rauschmayer replied on Fri, 2011/01/21 - 4:40pm

Amen to that! I find HTML5 and the explanations given for the new logo way too technical and would rather brand webapps, but “Open Web Platform” is just as good.

Roland Carlsson replied on Fri, 2011/01/21 - 10:21pm

Open Web Plattform, guess that means that H264 is no more since it isn't open. Cool.

Thomas Kern replied on Thu, 2012/09/06 - 10:59am

Well, I disagree with that. Having worked as a consultant, meeting numerous clients, journalists etc, if I’d say Web Platform only, Flash and other things would definitely be in there for them too. 

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