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HTML5's rel="noreferrer"  (View post)

Veky [PersonRank 10]

Sunday, January 3, 2010
12 years ago7,472 views

Well, Google is the new Netscape. :-]
(Netscape designed HTML3.2, Google designs HTML5)

Shelley Powers [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Several errors in your post.

First of all, HTML5 is a W3C ongoing effort. In fact, it's more likely a W3C standard now, then it is a WhatWG standard. The lack of openness, participation, and so on with the WhatWG has turned most people off from that organization.

Since the W3C has abandoned XHTML 2.0, HTML5 is the only effort the W3C is currently pursuing.

Also, Mark Pilgrim does not participate in standards development, at least not with any open organization I know of.

However, the fact that Ian Hickson is still the only author of HTML5 is of concern...and it should have been discussed more fully when Google came out with its own, competitive browser, Chrome.

Having said this, though, the W3C does have a procedure in place that can override Ian Hickson's decisions, and Ian has agreed to abide by this decision.

IrishWonder [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Oh holy sh#t, not Google-owned HTML this time! :D

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Thanks for showing up to clarify a few points, Shelley.

Matt David [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Shelley brings up some good points in her comment. Last week I spoke with the W3C and they are squarely in control of the HTML 5.0 standard. There are three leaders managing the discussion of the HTML standard. None of the leaders are from Google – it would be great to have one join.

In addition, Google is NOT inventing HTML 5.0. Unlike 1996, the new HTML standard is being developed by a group with representation from companies such as Apple, Microsoft, IBM and Adobe. Google is doing a great job with Chrome and advocating HTML 5.0 technologies, but let's not get carried away with the rhetoric.

Brandon Paddock [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

This seems like an obnoxious overload of the "rel" attribute. "Rel" should define a relation, not arbitrary behaviors to be optionally imposed when navigating.

"nofollow" was a similar abuse but at least had the merit of being useful and necessary since it enabled that functionality without changing the standard. But for a new standard like HTML 5 it seems rather lame.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Thanks for the insights Shelley!

> Having said this, though, the W3C does have a procedure
> in place that can override Ian Hickson's decisions, and Ian
> has agreed to abide by this decision.

That's still a lot of influence for him, one would think – there may be a myriad of subtle decisions which Ian subconsciously decides in the favor of companies like Google, which do not get overridden immediately. Considering Ian has a job like this and people apparently accept his decisions, I would guess he's a good and fair fellow with best intents, so I'm not referring to malicious abuse of the position or anything... I'm just suggesting that him also working at Google – makers of Chrome – may have a certain influence.

Matt, I'm curious to hear your view on this issue as a Google employee. Would you equally accept such an editor if s/he'd be from Microsoft?

Shelley, as far as the W3C having taken over the lead now, do you have some citations as to which draft is considered the more authoritative one? I'm not involved in either mailing list, so I don't know as much as you do about this. The WHATWG FAQ says:

<<The WHATWG was founded by individuals of Apple, the Mozilla Foundation, and Opera Software in 2004, after a W3C workshop. Apple, Mozilla and Opera were becoming increasingly concerned about the W3C’s direction with XHTML, lack of interest in HTML and apparent disregard for the needs of real-world authors. So, in response, these organisations set out with a mission to address these concerns and the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group was born.>>


<<WHATWG and the W3C HTML WG (...)

Which group has authority in the event of a dispute?

The editor [i.e. Google employee Ian] takes feedback from everyone into account and does not look at the source of those arguments for technical arguments.>>

Mark Pilgrim [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

> Also, Mark Pilgrim does not participate in standards development, at least not with any open organization I know of.

Thank you so much for speaking on my behalf, Shelley, since as we all know, I am incapable of speaking for myself. You have quite an... interesting view of the world, colored as it is by so many... interesting opinions and innuendos. Some might even go so far as to call them "errors," but naturally I am not such a person.

Michael Herf [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

window.location = url (javascript) doesn't send referrer information. Is there an advantage to the new tag for javascript-enabled browsers?

Shelley Powers [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Philipp, there is concern about Google's influence on HTML5, whether real or perceived. I have mentioned this specifically in the HTML WG's email list, and that the W3C HTML WG must take care that Google does not have extraordinary influence, whether real or perceived. Such influence, whether real or perceived, is not healthy for HTML, nor for Google.

Ian Hickson has stated that he will abide by the group's decisions. If he does not, then the group will have to act accordingly. However, this situation has not arisen.

As for the WHATWG, it can do what it wants, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the work of the W3C group needs to follow along. Several organizations, including all of the primary browser companies, such as Microsoft, as well as other tool and accessibility folks are involved in the W3C effort. The WHATWG effort is not so comprehensive, or open (membership is invite only).

There should be only one HTML5, and there will be if people act responsibly and maturely. This also requires that companies that employ the people involved insure their people act responsibly and maturely.

In addition, functionality such as the Canvas element, and the associated 2D API are dependent on the effort in the W3C because of the W3C's patent policy.

As for dispute between groups, there is overlap in membership between groups. Chances are there won't be organizational disputes, there will be disagreements about how individual pieces are handled. And we now, in the W3C HTML WG have a process in place to handle such disputes.

It is an odd situation, but if all members of both organizations act with maturity, it can be a workable situation.

Shelley Powers [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

I apologize if I spoke out of turn, Mark.

Philipp mentioned you in the post, and I wanted to clarify that you're not a member in the HTML WG[1], and you're also not a member of the WhatWG[2]. Your influence is no more or less than anyone else's who writes on HTML5. That you work for Google should not be an issue, nor should it imply undue influence on the direction HTML5 takes.


Shelley Powers [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Sorry last comment:

I'd like to encourage those who have issues with the current version of HTML5 to file a bug[1], in order to insure that their concerns are addressed. You don't have to be a member of any group in order to file a bug.


Matt David [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

This is a very interesting debate. I would strongly encourage anyone who wants to be involved with the development of HTML5 to join in the discussion. For W3C you can take the following steps:

To participate in HTML5...
1. You first start by creating a public account here:

2. Next, complete the Invited Expert application:

There is a lot of discussion about Google's involvement with HTML5. What I find interesting is the lack of discussion regarding Apple's involvement. We have to remember that some of the more dramatic changes in HTML5 have from Apple. Through interesting developments such as CSS Transitions, animation and 3D (all of which, in my opinion, should be controlled by JavaScript) Apple is showing itself to be very interested in HTML5.

To your question above regarding Microsoft's involvement. I believe there are three chair positions in charge of filtering the comments that come in on HTML5 for W3C. My understanding is the Microsoft holds one of these positions. This does concern me.

This is a great discussion.

Mark Pilgrim [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Well, I am a member of the WHATWG, as evidenced by my (few, but existing) emails to the WHATWG mailing list.

As for questions of "influence," certainly Google does have influence on HTML5, as well we should. We make a browser (which consumes HTML), we make a search engine (which consumes HTML), we make several popular web applications (which produce HTML). Standards that are built without influence from key stakeholders tend to end up in fantasyland (see also: XHTML2). Mozilla, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Oracle, Nokia, and hundreds of other companies have also influenced HTML5's evolution in the past 5 years. Some more than others, since some have chosen to expend more resources towards the standards-making effort (which is quite exhausting and time-consuming).

Perhaps you meant to question whether Google has *undue* influence, on account of paying the salary of the primary editor. I have seen no evidence of this, but we should all remain on the lookout for such evidence, to ensure that HTML is not weighted in favor of any one consumer or producer.

Matt David [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Over the last several months I have spent a lot of time reading about HTML5 (I am working on a HTML5 book for Focal Press). Both W3C and WHATWG are presenting a technology that is needed for a new type of web development (one that did not exist a decade ago). I believe Google, Apple, Opera and Mozilla are doing a great job in rapidly advancing HTML5. Look back one year and most Web developers did not know what HTML5 was.

The one company I would like to see more actively support HTML5 is Microsoft. Whether we like it or not, Internet Explorer is still widely used. Yes, IE9 was presented at the recent PDC, but Microsoft was very coy about disclosing which HTML5 standards would be included. All we really saw was better font rendering and rounded corners in CSS. Where is the support for new elements such as ARTICLE and ASIDE? Where is support for CANVAS and WebGL?

This is a great conversation.

Dan Tobias [PersonRank 6]

12 years ago #

Since Google has, so far, refused to fix the HTML on its home page so it actually validates under any HTML standard, it's dubious for them to have any role in creating the standards which they just ignore anyway.

Josh Betz [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Agreed on the leverage part. Google is one of the major parties pushing the HTML5 spec along. This doesn't bother me too much – as long as all the right features get in. I trust google with this. I don't think any company is more qualified than google for this. Some of the other stuff they're doing worries me a little bit though. I just can't wait for HTML5 and CSS3 to be ratified.

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