Evolution or Revolution? Both!

Steven Pemberton

How do you distinguish?

Evolution: you can still use the new content in old software. New software not needed

Revolution: Needs new software

The Web through the Ages

HTML1: Originally Revolution with a dash of evolution (using TCP/IP, FTP, etc)

<img>: Revolution, though it didn't need to be

<img src="pic.gif" alt="A Picture">

could have been

<img src="pic.gif">A picture</img>

HTTP 1.1: Revolution

HTML 3.2: Revolution

Tables: Revolution

Forms: Revolution


HTML4: Revolution/evolution (eg <meta> was evolution, id everywhere was revolution)

Frames: Revolution

CSS: Evolution


XML: Revolution

XHTML1: Mostly evolution

XHTML2: evolution/revolution: for instance this talk is in XHTML2, being displayed with Opera

Since it was XForms that apparently started this discussion...
W3C Modular architecture


    =Regular XHTML Browser

Time to build all of above: 3 programmers, 4 months

Total footprint (on IPAQ implementation): 400K (above Java VM)

In fact this is quite evolutionary: XForms uses existing W3C components. It is only the XForms processing model that describes when to calculate values that is really new.

A Timeline






=Requirements document

=Working draft

=Candidate Recommendation

=Proposed Recommendation


=The month we got Opera and Apple's comments


It's not a choice between evolution and revolution: we need both. In fact in the whole HTML timeline, only CSS and XHTML 1.0 were evolutionary.

If you are interested in a W3C technology, don't leave it to the last moment to find out what is happening.