In the past month or so, HTML5 has been getting a lot of attention. I still feel that HTML5 is really going to be one of the biggest causes of change and innovation in computing for the past 5 or 6 years. Based on the W3c's past history, it seems that all of this is going to happen at the will of the browser makers, rather than the will or planning of the W3c. It is estimated that HTML5 won't become a formal recommendation until 2020, but the browser makers are going forward with these things today, with or without each other, or the w3c.
One of the bigger changes people are discussing, but we haven't seen yet, is Google's commitment to make their video codec free. This was the codec they acquired when purchasing On2. In theory this codec will solve all of the debate between Ogg Theora and .H264
There are two really nice tests you can look at right now to see how your browser is doing in the race for implementation of new functionality, and for conformance to standards.
- HTML5 Test - Uses 160 CSS and functionality checks to measure implementation status.
- The Acid 3 Test - A standards conformance metric combining a wide variety of measures. Your browser must match the provided image exactly.
There is one really neat presentation designed to demonstrate some of the working features of HTML5. Best viewed in Chrome, as they use some webkit-specific functionality while they wait for the standards to catch up.
There's almost a palpable hope regarding the next set of web and browser innovation. In the next month or so, I hope to try out some of the new functionalities such as geolocation, local SQL, etc.