HTML and CSS Reference
HTML as a Living Standard
Another reason I am confident in the future prospects of HTML5 is that it is a living stand-
ard. As we saw earlier in the topic, even the HTML5 DOCTYPE does not have a version
number associated with it for this reason. Web based technologies will continue to evolve
over time, new standards will be released, and some older features may be deprecated. Des-
pite this, the vast majority of HTML5 will still be in place in 10 years time, just as the vast
majority of HTML4 is still supported.
Living standards do have their problems. Browser vendors will implement new standards
according to their own timeframes, therefore the need for polyfills is unlikely to go any-
where anytime soon. The competition between browser vendors to support these features is
ultimately good for browser technology however.
The evolution of web standards is likely to focus on adding more and more APIs that will
ultimately make web applications as powerful as desktop applications.
Consider mobile phone applications: the vast majority of these are written for iPhone and
Android using native SDKs. This is largely due to the fact that these provide APIs for fea-
tures such as:
• Accessing the camera
• Using Bluetooth
• Accessing the phone book
• Accessing files
• Accessing the compass
Native SDKs represent a challenge to software engineers and companies producing com-
mercial software however, since the same application needs to be written multiple times to
support each SDK. In addition, applications need to be verified and possibly modified each
time a new operating system is released.
Ideally mobile phones and tablets would present a unified development platform with a suite
of APIs that were supported on all mobile operating systems.
It is likely HTML5 will grow over time to fill this desire. There is no reason that these fea-
available inside the browser.