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HTML5: To Fork or Not to Fork


Portland, OR: At OSCon, it was evident that the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) and the WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) were no longer seeing eye to eye on how to organize HTML5, the next version of HTML. Ian Hickson, one of the HTML5 editors and a member of WHATWG, announced that WHATWG is going in a different direction with HTML5.

“The goals of the W3C and the WHATWG on the HTML front have diverged a bit as well,” Hickson wrote. “The WHATWG effort is focused on developing the canonical description of HTML and related technologies, meaning fixing bugs as we find them, adding new features as they become necessary and viable, and generally tracking implementations. The W3C effort, meanwhile, is now focused on creating a snapshot developed according to the venerable W3C process. This led to the chairs of the W3C HTML working group and myself deciding to split the work into two, with a different person responsible for editing the W3C HTML5, canvas, and microdata specifications than is editing the WHATWG specification (me).”

That sounds a lot like a fork to me.

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