“If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing.”
If you want to remain the standard-setting body for the web, promise new recommendations, never deliver.
The W3C started work on the CSS3 specification the same year they published CSS2—1998. Ten years later, CSS2.1 is still not technically a published recommendation.
Between 1995, when the W3C was founded, and 1999, HTML went from version 2, an RFC, to version 4.01. Where is 5? In January of this year it became a Working Draft.
When was XHTML last updated? 2001. The DOM? 2004. MathML? 2003.
When did “do nothing group” replace “working group” over there? (Probably around 2004.)
I realize that implementing new standards is not trivial. I also realize that standards are crucial to the continued growth of the web—this site is valid XHTML and uses valid CSS.
However, without updates, these “standards” will get old and die. Something else, or someone else, will replace them. We’ve already used CSS2 for a decade. Will we use it for another? (I want my drop shadows! I want my opacity! I want my rounded corners!)
I lead with a quote from Napoleon, so I’ll finish with the French Revolution: Off with their heads. The W3C needs a change in leadership or a vigorous shakedown to get off their asses and do something.
If they’re not willing to put forth the effort, then let them eat cake while someone else does.