HTML5 will – most likely – be officially finalized and recommended as the new standard in the second quarter of 2014. While this date may seem rather far away considering how much we’ve already accomplished with HTML5’s new features, the W3C will be keeping busy with research and revisions until then.
While HTML5 is still considered just a ‘draft’, web developers have already busied themselves with new experiments and projects that rely on heavily on it. We have played around with the audio and video tags, the more semantic header and nav tags, and paired them with our endless CSS3 possibilities. But when does the experimentation phase come to an end?
By May 2011, it is expected we will have a version of HTML5 that is complete in terms of its features: no additional tags will be added, but current features will continue to be tweaked and refined as necessary. Upon completing this first-round revision, likely by the end of 2011, the W3C will have yet another round of revisions geared towards another audience: the browser makers.
By mid-2012, the focus of HTML5 refinements will be aimed at those that build our beloved browsers. Feedback from these members of the community is crucial in helping us bridge any gaps in cross-browser compatibility. The more thorough this round of revisions is, the easier it will be to implement techniques that work across all browsers. While most of us have accepted the fact that complete browser compatibility is impossible, it is still a prominent goal of ours to make our daily work less stressful.
This phase will be comprised of thousands of tests that ensure the same implementation of HTML5 specifications across various mediums. It is expected that feedback from these tests will be complete in the first quarter of 2014, upon which there will be a brief 6-week review period.
All of this work will bring us into the second quarter of 2014, with a new HTML5 standard that web developers will be far more familiar with.