XKCD recently published the future and found through a good number of Google searches that finishing up HTML5 would herald the demise of newspapers and the Third Coming of Christ.
Coincidentally the W3C declared that finally CSS 2.1 had reached Proposed Recommendation status, and surely, surely!, the end, in the form of CSS 2.1 as Recommendation, should be nigh [Note from the future: it became one later same year]. I recapped the story in an almost four year earlier entry, Cruelly Slow Slog, a slog that cruelly continued for four more years. 11 years of labour is not bad for what was intended as a quick fix.
Heaping on the irony, a new working draft of CSS3 Speech Module was published. While CSS 2.1 was bound to reach PR some day, the CSS3 Speech Module had been missing in action for seven years, if this module had been a person he would have been recorded as dead long time ago and his belongings spread among his inheritors.
Maybe it is time for me to revive the Audio module? While the Speech module is an aural equivalent to the Text module, how to style spoken text (generated by text to speech), there would be a use, arguably a greater one, for handling audio files. Audio is to speech as image is to rendered text. Properties of an audio module would be the likes of volume, balance, delay, speed, how to present the media in a given context.
In the intervening years HTML5 has happened, with dedicated audio and video elements. As is otherwise the case having more well-defined markup makes the case for styles easier, with the ability of everyone involved to adapt content to user circumstances, for audio as well as images.
Of course, given present form, Jesus Christ would have become a frequent flyer by the time such a module would reach Proposed Recommendation.
Originally published on My.Opera.com