CSS3 - When will the final recommendation be ready?
I've been hearing a lot about CSS3 lately and I'm quite excited by some of it's new features, such as rounded corners, multiple backgrounds and opacity. But what I want to know is, when will it be ready to use? Unfortunately, I don't think that's a question that can really be answered right now, other than to say "When it's ready!" But no-one likes a response like that - it's not helpful and doesn't even answer the question! So, could we at least get an indication of when it might be ready? I think we can.
As with all w3c specifications, there is a very lengthy process and a number of phases that each one must go through before a final recommendation can be made, and to get through all these phases can take some time. The four main phases are: Working Draft (WD), Candidate Recommendation (CR), Proposed Recommendation (PR) and Reccomendation (REC).
After looking into some statistics from the w3c we can see that on average, it takes between 18 and 24 months to get from Working Draft to the final Recommendation. However, Development of CSS3 began back in May 2001 and out of the 48 CSS3 modules that comprise the new specification, only 6 have reached Candidate Recommendation phase. It seems like we have a while to wait yet!
But that doesn't mean we can't use CSS3 yet! (although it's probably a bad idea if you're worried about cross-browser compatibility issues). Many of the major browser vendors have already begun implementing the new features, including Firefox, Opera, Konqueror and Safari/Webkit. If you have one of these browsers and would like to see some of the new features in action then you should head over to http://www.css3.info/preview/. If you want to track the progress then take a look at http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/current-work.