HTML and CSS Reference
Appendix A. HTML5 and related specifications
This appendix covers
• Development of the HTML5 specification
• Popular W3C-accepted HTML5 specifications (non-drafts)
• Related, popular specifications (non-HTML5)
It would be odd if you hadn't heard buzzwords such as HTML5, CSS3, and Node.JS used
inaccurately, or even incorrectly, at some point. In particular, HTML5 has become a catchall
word for emerging web technologies. For example, one of the authors once met a marketer
who said, “I can create an SEO-optimized video game with HTML5.” At the least, it's im-
portant to know what an HTML5 specification is, and what it isn't, to keep you from making
a fool of yourself. For appendix A , we'll cover what's officially HTML5 and what isn't.
A.1. The origins of HTML5
You might be surprised to learn that the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) didn't advocate
HTML5 in the beginning. W3C considered HTML to be dead after HTML4 and was work-
ing on XHTML2, continuing the trend of web markup based on an XML syntax. If you
thought XHTML1 was strict, the second version promised to take things further. As a result,
many members in the W3C felt a need for a change of direction, and the WHATWG (Web
Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) was formed to begin work on HTML5.
HTML5 started off as Web Apps 1.0 and Web Forms 2.0, then later merged into a single
specification: HTML5. Before long, W3C began to realize that there was merit to the case
for HTML and began working on version 5 of HTML (not quite the same as HTML5, it
should be noted), taking the work of WHATWG as the starting point for the new standard.
For a time, this only added to the confusion. Not only was WHATWG continuing to work on
HTML5, but W3C was also working on version 5 of HTML, derived from an earlier version
of the HTML5 specification, while it was also continuing work on XHTML2. Confused?
We certainly were.
Since that time, XHTML2 finally died, and developers at both WHATWG and W3C worked
on the HTML5 specification, with each maintaining a separate version, albeit both overseen