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
<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
<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."