"We're not going to retire Flash anytime soon," Le Hegaret said. It will take years before all Web clients support HTML5, he said. He cited Microsoft's IE6 browser as an example of popular client not supporting the standard. "IE6 is still being used on the Web today, and it is 10 years old."
Over time, however, HTML5 will become the standard for websites, he said. "You will see less and less websites using Flash," said Le Hegaret.
Meanwhile, HTML5 is headed toward final approval in two to three years. HTML5 development was begun in 2004 by the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group.
"We basically want to be feature-complete by mid-2011," Le Hegaret said. Once the specification reaches that stage, W3C will issue a last call for comments. The next stage would be the candidate recommendation stage and then a recommendation stage. "And then we're done," Le Hegaret said.
Le Hegaret also acknowledged some other shortcomings in HTML5. For example, HTML5 lacks a video codec, and Le Hegaret does not expect to have one in the upcoming specification. "It's a patent issue," he said. The MPEG-4 codec, for example, is covered by patents, Le Hegaret said.
Digital rights management also is not supported in HTML5, he said. This means some video producers will not deploy their videos in HTML5 without this type of protection, he said.
HTML5 is an open standard, presenting a problem for DRM. "If we are going to develop a solution for DRM which is open, it would be broken by a hacker within two days," he said. "There is no point of us doing that."
There is a possibility for DRM in HTML5 at some point, however, but it is not in the plan at the moment, said Le Hegaret.
HTML5 also lacks authoring tools at the moment, he said. Adobe does offer one that works with its Creative Suite package, however, said Le Hegaret.
This article, "W3C: Hold off on HTML5 in websites," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter.