RIP XHTML 2.0 We never knew thee

Published on 3 Jul 2009 at 9:47 pm.
Filed under Web stuff.

Recently the W3C announced that it will no longer focus its time on the development of XHTML 2 in order focus its efforts on the widely heralded HTML 5 specification. This is something that I am very honestly surprised took this long to happen. XHTML started out as an XML serialization of HTML. XHTML2 barely had anything to do with XHTML 1.1 or XHTML 1.0 and was not even remotely backwards compatible with the current state of the Web.

HTML 5 does not have this problem. HTML 5 is an extension of what already exists on the Web. It is because of this that browser makers have jumped on this effort and have already begun working on the features for this. All modern browsers, even IE8, support at least SOME features of HTML 5. Unfortunately there are too many people out there today that are not using browsers that support these features, and every browser maker has picked various parts of HTML 5 to implement first, but we are seeing progress on this. XHTML 2 has been in the works for a number of years longer than HTML 5. And as far as I am aware no browser supports anything that was being planned for such. The only exception possibly being XForms (which Opera has the best support), and I’m not even sure if that was a part of XHTML 2.

I don’t know a single developer that has ever attemptd to write anything using said language. Maybe I’m just not listening to the right people, but I do spend a signficant portion of my life following the works of industry leaders such Peter-Paul Koch (ppk), Eric Meyer, and Molly Holzchlag, as well as the development blogs for the Internet Explorer team, the JScript team, Google Code, and the Yahoo Developer Network. I can’t believe that between all of that those groups that I would not once have ever heard about something interesting happening with XTHML 2.0 support if there was really something going on. For years I considered it an intellectual challenge rather than something that was ever going to be taken seriously. That intellectual challenge has met its unfortunate end. XHTML 2.0 we never knew thee.

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