Where are we going, what will prevail in the future ? XHTML, cause its a XML, better structured, more accessable, more generic, a W3C recomendation, Microsoft seems to wish to support it in the future, and so on, or HTML 5 – cause it brings something new, finally after a lot years of waiting something usefull for the web, cause Google, Opera, Mozilla, Apple and others are behind it. Or maybe there will be something in the middle, some kind of a hybrid?

Short descriptions:
HTML 5 – is a proposed extension to the current HTML, made by those, who currently provide us with a good internet experience.

  • <datagrid> – finally something to replace our favourite tables, some programming languages like c# have such elements, but inside HTML, this would be really cool and usefull
  • <canvas> – drawing without limits, but i am not sure how should it work together with SVG (Opera 8 and Firefox 1.5 have some support for SVG)
  • <event-source> – as i see it, a replacement for all those ugly frame and iframe things, nice !
  • <output> – would help the dynamic pages (think ajax)
  • input type=”range”, “time”, “date”, “email”, “url” – finally some help to get rid of the javascript checks
  • Attributes: autofocus, required, pattern, list, min – i think their names are self-explaining, very nice
  • Attribute: onstartdrag – a good substitute for javascript technics, i hope it would be some universal implementation
  • content = “editable” – yes, yes, yes – for a rich internet applications, this one cannot be missed
  • <section>, <article>, <aside>, <nav>, <footer>
  • <progress>, <gauge>, <date>, <time>, <menu> – we will see =O)
  • i18N(internationalization) – i dont really know what exactly do they want to do with it, but i hope to see some good features, eenabling us to do more stuff for international users
  • device independent, media independent, separation presentation from content, accessible, open standard

xHTML 2.0 – is a proposed standard by the responsable internet authority (W3C), who is responsable for the current standards

  • as generic XML as possible – more application and device independent, this is really important for the future growth and diversity of the web.
  • structure changes – at this moment i think there are other priorities, though i cannot deny, that it can be interesting
  • semantics = <person>, <note>, <length> – nice features
  • less presentation, more structure – sounds good to me
  • better paragraphs – finally ! The web is a about a text, so there must be some standards available for integrating the other elements with it together
  • images – nice idea, but i think that it can be done with css background-image attribute, also it is not backwards compatible, so it can create some problems with older browsers

It is just a small part of what they really should bring, but i think that the main idea becomes more or less clear. I found that the definition of the xHTML 2.0 by the W3c is – “XHTML2 addresses the remaining identified problems in HTML4/XHTML1”. Ok, so it is a bug-fix release ? Where are the new concepts, new features, new limits and so on ? I think that xHTML 2.0 lacks additional functionalities for the net – since the <ruby> tag there were not much addition to the web standards to improve the surfing experience, and the <ruby> wasnt really not really implemented nor used.

So far i know, some of the features are allredy being implemented in the next generations of browsers. Canvas for example is being implemented in Safari, Firefox (1.5) and Opera (8.5?). I would say that the “rich components” is the keywords to describe the general idea of the HTML 5, and i think with all that buzz that Ajax has made in the past monthes, and thousands of the applications being created based on this idea, the HTML 5 future seems to be closer to our reality. Anyway, my vote goes to HTML 5. Yesterday i have finally taken my decision in this “battle”, which will take in the years to come.

Apparently some firms like Google are starting using SVG on their pages, see this nice example about web authoring statistics.

But if i could chose i would go for a structural presentation of the xHTML and the all the “sweets”, that HTML 5 is promising to bring us. =O)

p.s.: useful links:

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