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This Week in HTML 5 – Episode 6

by Mark Pilgrim, Google in Weekly Review

Welcome back to "This Week in HTML 5," where I'll try to summarize the major activity in the ongoing standards process in the WHATWG and W3C HTML Working Group.

There is no big news this week. Work continued on last week's orgy of Web Forms-related check-ins. This week adds the <label> element and the jack-of-all-forms <input> element. [r2191, r2192, r2197, r2200, r2202, r2204, r2205, r2207, r2211, r2212, r2213, r2214, r2218, r2219, r2220, r2222, r2223]

Laura Carlson and others have begun to review the accessibility of multimedia on the web. Most accessibility discussions revolve around the needs of visually impaired users, but hearing impaired users are also important and too often ignored. There was a long discussion last month (and continuing into this month) about the accessibility implications of the <audio> and <video> elements for hearing impaired users. YouTube (owned by Google, my employer) recently announced support for captions on YouTube videos and published a tutorial on adding them to your own videos.

Ian Hickson (the HTML 5 editor) gave an interview about HTML 5 in which he reiterated his goal of having two independent, complete, interoperable implementations of HTML 5 by 2022. (By contrast, HTML 4.0 was "finalized" 11 years ago but still doesn't have two independent, complete, interoperable implementations.) This led to a mini-firestorm among bloggers who misunderstood "2022" as "the date when I can start using HTML 5 features." It bears repeating that the "2022" date has no significance at all for web developers. Most browser vendors are actively involved in HTML 5, several browsers are already shipping HTML 5 features, and developers who are holding their breath until 2022 are going to find themselves seriously behind the curve.

On that note, Brenton Strine asks a very good question: "Is there some place that documents the parts of HTML 5 that are already up and running? Can I use <canvas> or <video>? In which browsers? What other tags can I use? What other fancy HTML 5 stuff can I do today in 2008?" On the video front, Mozilla will be shipping Ogg Theora support in Firefox 3.1. (You can read more about why Ogg matters.) Last year, Opera released experimental builds with Ogg Theora support, and they now have video-enabled builds on 3 platforms. The Wikimedia Foundation has a few Theora-encoded videos you can watch.

Tune in next week for another exciting episode of "This Week in HTML 5."

6 Responses to “This Week in HTML 5 – Episode 6”

  1. Fyrd says:

    Thanks for the post!

    I think it may be worth adding a link to the Implementations in Web browsers page in your post, as it’s probably the best answer to Brenton Strine’s question about browser implementation of HTML5.

  2. david says:

    Thanks a lot for the link to ishtml5readyyet.com, Mark! Those expert comments are just way too funny. You made my day, you really did!

  3. Definitely ready. Zero days to go.

  4. TechieLife says:

    You should check out why HTML5 will change the web and why it won’t

    I think it’s a waste of time given the timeline.

  5. Hampton says:

    There is a good sized list of Theora-encoded online video examples, in addition to the Wikimedia project you mentioned here, on the Xiph.org Wiki,

    In regards to the HTML5 “video” tag Firefox 3.1, the nightly developer build already has the feature roughly functional.

  6. bruce says:

    Self-link, but I have a demo of a page using the new page structuring tags (header, footer, nav, aside) that works on all modern browsers, plus IE 6 using the Javascript shiv.

    See http://www.brucelawson.co.uk/2009/html-5-elements-test/

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