Anne van Kesteren


Some clarification seems to be in order about the Adobe and HTML5 debacle. What happened is that one public resource indicates that Larry Masinter (from Adobe) raised a Formal Objection and another indicates he objects and wonders how he can do that formally. Several private resources reveal more, but they cannot be discussed. The objection is against publication of HTML+RDFa, HTML Microdata, and HTML Canvas 2D Context, on the grounds that these would not be in scope. The public resources are:

The objection to HTML Canvas 2D Context is spurious in particular since it has been part of the W3C draft of HTML5 since the very beginning. The scope question for that API has been raised two years ago and was resolved back then, involving all the layers of W3C, including its Director. That it is now decided to publish it is a separate document does not change the resolution of this decision on scope. HTML Microdata has likewise been published as part of HTML5 by the W3C before. HTML+RDFa is a new more recent effort and has never been part of the HTML5 draft.

The situation at this point is somewhat confusing with Larry claiming he did not raise a Formal Objection (though not disputing he is objecting, using "Formal"), plh talking about procedural questions in a blog post, and the co-chairs of the HTML WG providing a bunch of pointers in comments on Some questions about the “blocking” of HTML5, but not much else.

Today is the last day of the call for consensus to publish the drafts. I guess we will see where it all stands tomorrow.


  1. What you will see tomorrow is the Chair's decision. The resolution of the Formal Objection(s) will likely come later.

    Posted by Sam Ruby at

  2. OK. Then how *can* someone raise an issue or an objection and block anything using issues that have already been resolved years ago ? The only conclusion to your rather shortened presentation of the facts is that the WG chairs have no idea what they're doing. How else could 'spurious' issues cause any kind of logjam ?

    If that's what you're saying, then say it. I mean, maybe that is the case. I don't know, I'm not a member there. Is that the case as far a you're concerned ?

    I still don't have a clear opinion of what happened. I'm even having a hard time figuring out why this arcane procedural dispute would produce so much heat. But I'll say this: Adobe has handled itself way better than its critics thus far. The self-righteous rantings and screaming are not really hurting them anywhere near as much as the screamers believe. They may even have reached the point where they help Adobe present their opponents as unreasonable. And they are unlikely to solve the issue or help negotiate a solution. Soap boxes are a lot of fun but they just don't go that far. Time to go back to work.

    Posted by SylvainG at

  3. "plh is the W3C Interaction Domain Activity Lead"

    anne, plh is Philippe Le Hégaret, right?

    Posted by orlando at

  4. orlando, yes.

    By the way, rubys posted a summary to the mailing list indicating updates will follow next week.

    Posted by Anne van Kesteren at

  5. What about SVG. Is that included again in HTML5? According to AlistApart it is: in addition, the HTML5 specification enables embedding SVG in HTML, where before it was only supported with XHTML.

    Will Opera support SVG in html soon? IMHO SVG support in html will be a MAJOR breakthrough for SVG.

    Posted by Janghou at

  6. SVG can be included in an HTML document per HTML5, yes. I suspect it will be a while before we support that since it requires a new HTML parser.

    Posted by Anne at