Skip to main content

Adobe sabotaging the HTML5-spec via W3C politics?

We’re new to this one, but according to DaringFireball, it appears that Adobe has been trying to slow down the HTML5 ratification process by sending in objections whenever they can.   Could there be a reasonable explanation for Adobe objecting to HTML5 ratification?  Adobe’s man in question, Larry Masinter, has a pretty distinguished career both with Adobe and also the W3C consortium so we wouldn’t want to judge this hastily without all of the facts.  

Anybody out there with more information on the subject?

Update: Masinter posts this in the comments:

 No part of HTML5 is, or was ever, “blocked” in the W3C HTML Working Group — not HTML5, not Canvas 2D Graphics, not Microdata, not Video — not by me, not by Adobe.

Neither Adobe nor I oppose, are fighting, are trying to stop, slow down, hinder, oppose, or harm HTML5, Canvas 2D Graphics, Microdata, video in HTML, or any of the other significant features in HTML5.

Claims otherwise are false. Any other disclaimers needed?

There are some things that are wrong with the spec I’d like to see fixed. There are some things that are really, really, wrong with the process that I’d like to improve.

I’ve been working on web standards since the beginning of the web in the early 90s, and standards for even longer; long before I joined Adobe. My opinions don’t come from Adobe, and I don’t get approval or direction. I hate to see decades of work on web architecture messed up in the short-term interest of grabbing control of the web platform for a few vendors to own. If you think that position doesn’t match what you imagine Adobe’s position is, well, I’m glad Adobe’s planning to support HTML5 in its products.

As for the HTML standards process: I’ve worked in scores of standards groups in IETF and W3C, as well as a few others here and there, and I’ve never seen anything as bad as this one, with people abusing their official positions to grandstand and promote proprietary advantage. I’ve blogged some about this, but I’d rather fix things along.

I think progress of HTML5 in W3C could be faster if the subsections on graphics and metadata could (if not now, then eventually) be moved to separate subgroups focused on those topics. The organization of work in W3C is determined by the “charters” of working group and the “scope” of he charters, so saying work is “out of scope” even if you are marking a snapshot of the (already published) documents as “Working Draft”, means you might rewrite the “Status of This Document” section to say that it might move. That’s what I was asking for, in the somewhat stilted language of “objection”.

If you want to know who is sending in technical objections, you can see the working group mailing list at And if you want to see more of my opinions, I’m also on the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG) and post there a lot, see; the TAG often discusses HTML5.

Any more questions about my opinion? My email address should be easy to find.

Also John Dowdell Post this:


Seth… Ian posted that early Friday morning, and most people were mystified by it through the day. By Friday afternoon the mystery seemed best resolved by comments at Ajaxian:…

Today Thom Holwerda has a wrapup at OSNews:…

(I don’t know what the full story is either… Hickson’s post had no detail, and although active on Reddit, he hasn’t confirmed what it is that he’s warning about. I’m not sure when John Gruber first heard about it.)


via DF

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel