Warning, major changes ahead... Tim Berners-Lee just announced a new HTML Working Group that will focus on the future of HTML. I am insanely proud I played a minor role in this change. I started advocating for that change YEARS ago. First in the W3C itself, and Chris Lilley and others can certainly remember side discussions, often at the bar, with me complaining about the wrong directions (plural is important) taken by the current HTML WG. I also posted (long before the WHAT-WG started) numerous blog posts on XHTML 2, and why I think it's not only a bad compromise, but also a bad solution. I had a long chat with Ian Jacobs about it, just before the Woods meeting of the W3C staff. Finally, I decided to make Disruptive Innovations join the Consortium to push for that change.

Don't misunderstand me, I repeat, I had a minor role. The strongest arguments in favor of TBL's decision were almost certainly (1) total lack of interest from all browser vendors for XHTML 2, all of them participating in the WHAT-WG (2) the image given by the Consortium to the public and its Members. If a crazy crowd of geeks like the WHAT-WG can do HTML5, what's the point for a Consortium again ?

I certainly do not forget this is also a major slap for the current HTML Working Group and the XHTML 2 zealots. Sorry guys, I warned you. I really did. Hundreds of times. And you never listened.

XHTML 2 is not totally dead yet, and TBL says a WG will still work on XHTML 2. I urge the Consortium to reconsider this decision, because that's a severe dilution of forces. We don't have that many people able to standardize the lingua franca of the Web. Let XHTML 2 rest in peace, /dev/null is full of programs and specs that never made it. It happens, and it's never a shame.

Similarly, there will be extended work to make the current HTML forms evolve, separately from what XForms is making. This is also a major decision, and definitely an excellent one. If I think XHTML 2 is useless, I clearly see good things in XForms. WebForms and XForms can certainly share this world, the former being used by simple web sites, the latter by complex web applications. IBM will for sure shout with the wolves, but hey, that's life. You dont always win.

Anyway. This is excellent news. And Disruptive Innovations is probably going to join that Working Group to make the 21st century's web happen. I can't wait until Tokyo's AC meeting, this is going to be certainly the most important W3C meeting since 1998.

Tim, thank you. Sincerely.