HTML5 Markup Language first draft published

HTML5 is big. It contains multitudes. It’s very much a work in progress. One important milestone in that process occurred today, with the publication of the first draft of the HTML5 Language first draft, titled, perhaps a little confusingly “HTML: The Markup Language”

This specification describes the fifth major version of the HTML vocabulary. It provides the details necessary for producers of HTML to create conformant HTML documents. By design, it does not describe related APIs nor attempt to describe how consumers of HTML are meant to process HTML documents.

In essence, it’s a web authors guide to HTML.

If you’ve not been following the HTML5 saga closely, there’ll be some new, as well as some familiar things there, including the obsoleting of the font element!

There’ll be a long path from here to this becoming a W3 recommendation, but it is an important step nonetheless.

No responses to “HTML5 Markup Language first draft published”:

  1. Just to be clear, that document is only an editor’s draft and it has only been put forth as a proposal. It’s not yet on the recommendation track, and it’s not yet clear if it ever will be. It’s also questionable whether it can actually be consisdered “a web authors guide to HTML”, because that’s not its stated purpose. The authoring guide is a separate document, of which I am the editor, and is being written in a much more reader friendly fashion.

    • By: JimJ
    • November 21st, 2008

    But most of the document was automatically extracted from the (then-) current draft of HTML5, so … it is the same words as the mainline draft — just a much smaller subset, so you can focus on the markup portions.

  2. As Lachlan points out, he’s already been working on a editor’s draft of an authoring guide — “The Web Developer’s Guide to HTML 5” — and the document I’ve put together — “HTML: The Markup Language” — has a quite different purpose than that guide. My draft has as its primary purposes to precisely define what a conformant HTML document is, and to succinctly define the semantics of the set of HTML elements and attributes. And to be clear: The only Recommendation-track document that the group thus far as agreed to publish as an official deliverable of the group is the existing HTML5 specification that Ian Hickson is editing. There has been no decision by the group to take on any other Recommendation-track document as a deliverable (not the “HTML: The Markup Language” draft, nor the “The Web Developer’s Guide to HTML 5”, or anything else). I think both documents were put together in the same spirit of producing something concrete for us to discuss (in the case of “The Web Developer’s Guide to HTML 5”, a detailed, comprehensive, user-friendly how-to guide to HTML5 for authors and Web developers; and in the case of “HTML: The Markup Language”, a small, very narrowly-scoped spec just for producers of HTML content who primarily just need a precise definition of what a conformant HTML document is, but who don’t want or need implementation-conformance details for how a browser or other consumer of HTML content must behave.

    As far as how the “HTML: The Markup Language” was put together: Parts of it are manually edited and parts of it are generated/copied as part of an automated build process; the generated parts are built from the same Relax NG schema used by the HTML conformance checker, and some parts are copied over from the existing HTML5 draft (for instance, all of the Example sections). There are some more specific details:

  3. […] after it was released, it was received with cautious optimism, but also some confusion. Was it for authors (who would write web pages), or for implementers of tools? Within the listserv, […]

  4. But most of the document was automatically extracted from the (then-) current draft of HTML5