HTML5 First Working Draft

The W3C released the first working draft of HTML5. They really, really, really want your help and input. Here are a few of the phrases from the spec that prove how in need they are of careful critical appraisal for this spec.

This specification should be read like all other specifications. First, it should be read cover-to-cover, multiple times. Then, it should be read backwards at least once. Then it should be read by picking random sections from the contents list and following all the cross-references.

Almost everything is marked “non-normative” but just in case you don’t get the point, they say,

All diagrams, examples, and notes in this specification are non-normative, as are all sections explicitly marked non-normative. Everything else in this specification is normative.

The working draft is sprinkled with sentences similar to this one:

The current situation with IDL blocks is pitiful.

There is a section on the DOM, the semantics, browsing contexts, APIs and the language context. In the HTML section, they explain new HTML elements which are under consideration, such as the section element.

The section element represents a generic document or application section. A section, in this context, is a thematic grouping of content, typically with a header, possibly with a footer.

Examples of sections would be chapters, the various tabbed pages in a tabbed dialog box, or the numbered sections of a thesis. A Web site’s home page could be split into sections for an introduction, news items, contact information.

The document is huge. To comment helpfully, you’ll need to devote several hours to studying it prior to having your say. The more people to apply some sharp intelligence to this effort, the better off we’ll all be in the end.

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