HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
ing on XHTML, as the W3C was doing at the time. The WHATWG began developing a
specification named “Web Applications 1.0,” which would eventually become HTML5!
The WHATWG philosophy
The WHATWG took a different approach from the W3C in developing the HTML spe-
cification. Instead of pushing what some saw as a draconian overhaul of web standar-
ds, the WHATWG aimed to evolve HTML incrementally, maintaining backward-com-
patibility with previous versions of HTML. This made sense because web browsers did
not operate on a versioning approach to rendering HTML; they attempted to render
whatever HTML was thrown at them, independent of which version of the specification
the web page author attempted to adhere to (HTML 3.2, HTML 4.01, and so on). The
WHATWG developed a specification that was largely driven by what was practically in
use—what web browser vendors were implementing and what web page authors were
using. In 2007 three web browser manufacturers, Mozilla Foundation, Apple, and Opera
Software, requested that the W3C adopt the work of WHATWG as a starting point
for further development of HTML. Soon after, the W3C took the suggestion, and after
nearly a decade of keeping HTML in hibernation, the next version, HTML 5 (with a
space), was underway. In 2009, after eight Working Drafts and no Release Candidate,
the W3C decided to bring XHTML 2 to a close and concentrate on HTML 5 (which
was eventually shortened to HTML5). (Refer to Figure 1-1 for a chart of this convoluted
history.) Additionally, XHTML lives on as XHTML5, which adheres to XML syntact-
ic rules, as opposed to the HTML rules. Bits of XML syntax are permissible in HTML
syntax (trailing slashes on empty elements, such as <br /> , for instance); however,
these are not true XHTML documents unless they are explicitly delivered from a server
as such using the MIME type “application/xhtml+xml” or “application/xml” (more on
this later).
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