Original author: Ian Hickson
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In 2009, WHATWG announced that the development of the HTML5 specification was in its final stages. Then it was planned to complete the specification this year and publish a snapshot of HTML5 in 2012. However, shortly afterwards, we realized that the demand for new HTML features is high, and therefore we must continue to support HTML and add new features before we can call "HTML5" complete. As a result, we switched to a new development model  - without versioning. Instead, we will just have a living document defining the technology as it develops.

Since there is still interest in posting the HTML5 snapshot , the W3C is still working on it (in conjunction with WHATWG).

Since the specification is now a living document, we are announcing two changes:
  1. The HTML specification will henceforth be known simply as “HTML”, from the URL . (We will also continue to support the Web Applications 1.0 specification , which contains HTML and a number of related APIs such as Web Storage, Web Workers, and Server-Sent Events.)
  2. The WHATWG HTML specification can now be considered a living standard. This is more advanced than any other version of the HTML specification to date, so it's nonsense to call it just a draft. We will no longer follow the “snapshot” model of spec development with rare “requests for comment,” “calls for implementation,” and so on.
WHATWG worked like this for many years, and we were going to change the name last year, but in the end we decided to wait a bit, because people still often used the term “HTML5”. However, now the term is mainly used to mean anything related to web standards, so it's time to move on!

UPD TheShock wrote a voluminous commentary “ What does the new html5 development model promise us ”.

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