Warning! Pry Your Career Out from Under HTML

TML, that universal and egalitarian documentation format, is now 13 years removed from birth and 10 years removed from the lab. Unless pretenders such as Adobe’s PDF quicken their pace, HTML documents will remain the dominant format for publicly accessible content for some time. Few question the egalitarian value of HTML’s center-stage position, but for technologists the spotlight is clearly wandering elsewhere.

A Victim of Its Own Success
HTML has been successful?too successful. That’s a well known problem typical of mature systems, regardless of the simplicity or naïveté of their origin. That success has led to a growing number of layers built on top of, and dependent upon HTML (see Figure 1).

If HTML’s Not Changing, What Is?
Squashed at the bottom of the stack in Figure 1, HTML is thus frustratingly frozen, and yet enticingly visible (“Just use a

tag!”). So is the data captured within it. Several technologies now seek to alleviate this situation (see Figure 2).

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