After more than 3 years of development and discussion by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Working Group on the subject, the draft specifications document for HTML version 5 will now be moved into Last Call status after a 63 to 2 vote, with 3 abstentions. Technically, voting will close on the 22nd.

HTML5 is quite hot already, having being deployed with excitement by browsers on desktop and mobile computers. Some amount of controversy remains, however, over what the final version will look like exactly. As Deutsche Telekom AG's Kai Scheppe said in voting Yes, "I believe it is time to get full consideration of all stakeholders for this draft of the specification, which will only occur in last call status."

From Google Apps to Twitter to Angry Birds many popular mobile apps have shown lately that they are ready to deploy powerful new versions in HTML5 already.
HTML5 community leader Shelley Powers blogged first about the news this morning. The Last Call stage will accept new bug reports for 10 weeks, starting on May 24th, then will have those bugs fixed by the end of January.

Subsequent stages for the document will be Candidate or Proposed Recommendation, and then if everything goes well with no major revisions surfaced (a big if) then the HTML5 spec as written will become an official W3C Recommendation. That's the ultimate designation.

HTML5's local memory, geolocation and cross-platform technologies are the aspects of the spec that we write about most often here, especially where they are deployed in mobile web apps. Google Chrome recently began experimenting with voice input using HTML5, a move we argued points towards a powerful new future of machine learning and natural language processing.

Some observers contend that HTML5 remains too early to effectively challenge some types of native mobile apps.

From Google Apps to Twitter to Angry Birds, though, many popular mobile apps have shown lately that they are ready to deploy powerful new versions in HTML5 already.