We covered the HTML5 phenomenon from the beginning, iPhoneifying the subject from an Flash vs HTML5 point of view. In public, Adobe claims to “support” HTML5. On the private W3C mailing list, though, they’ve placed an objection to prevent the current spec from being published. It seems that Adobe, is that Adobe is trying to block the API spec for the canvas element. The canvas element hasn’t gotten as much attention as the video element, but clearly, 2D graphics in canvas is competitive with Flash, and it appears that Adobe’s plan is to sabotage it via W3C politics.
So, what is actually going on? Ian ‘Hixie’ Hickson (Google) and Anne van Kesteren (Opera) were both claiming that Adobe was blocking the publication of the latest HTML5 specifications by posting a formal complaint to a members-only W3C mailing list. Others picked up on this, but it’s a bit of a storm in a teacup, since a perusal through the relevant mailing list thread reveals that it’s all based on a misunderstanding.
After Hixie’s and Van Kesteren’s claims made it onto the internet, Shelley Powers posted a message to the public mailing list of the HTML-WG, asking what on earth was going on. “At least two members of this team, Ian Hickson and Anne van Kesteren, representing Google and Opera, respectively, have been writing this morning that Adobe is officially blocking publication of HTML5,” Powers wrote, “This type of communication could cause FUD among the community of users, and should be addressed as soon as possible.”
The concerns in question have to do with charter and scope, and are not exclusive to Adobe. The problem seems to be that all these documents – Microdata, RDFa, Canvas 2D API, HTML5 document – are all lumped together, and some are confused about whether or not an objection to a single one can block all of them. The answer is clear: no, it cannot. In other words, Masinter’s objection does not block HTML5.
If you are an iPhone/Mac user you are not a Flash fan for sure. But is this just a misunderstanding or there’s something really fishy going on behind the curtains?
If you are interested to read some more on this subject, you can check out the mailing list thread.