An Open Letter to WHATWG

For the last decade or so, Web developers have been moving more and more towards standardization. With the advent and popularity of XHTML, we’ve all been encouraged to ensure that all of the elements we open are closed when we’re done using them, to use all lowercase type for entities and attributes (we could just as easily used all uppercase, but then we’d look like we were shouting in our code), explicitly define attribute values and more. We have come to a golden age in Web development.

Whenever we view the code from other Web sites, assuming it’s written in valid XHTML, it makes sense to most of us. We can tell specifically where paragraphs, divs, spans and other HTML elements begin and end. We have come a long way from the wild west days of the mid-nineties when anything could happen. Some of us are old enough and have been writing HTML long enough to remember the days when HTML was loose and fast and can also remember when browsers would do strange things when attempting to figure out where we really intended one element to end and another to begin.