The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the collective that manages specifications used on the Internet, has issued a report on the progress of HTML 5. The markup language that is know by many as the Java killer wasn't originally scheduled to be finished for another 10 years but thankfully the Consortium came to their senses and put development into hyperdrive.
The W3C now says HTML 5 Candidate Recommendation, described by Engadget as a feature-frozen beta, will be submitted by the end of the year before being finalized by the end of 2014. This will consist of features that are stable and used in real world browsers.
Any pieces of the puzzle that are found to be unstable or have any other sort of problems will be removed from the candidate and set aside for a draft version of HTML 5.1. That version will include the unfinished bits along with everyone else from HTML 5.0 and is expected to be finalized and released in 2016.
The long-term goal is to continue this development route, meaning anything that isn't ready for an HTML 5.1 Recommendation will be moved to HTML 5.2. Rinse and repeat with 5.3, 5.4 and so on.
Part of the reason that HTML 5 will see the light of day sooner rather than later is the fact that several technologies like Web Workers and WebSockets have been removed from the proverbial HTML 5 umbrella and are now considered separate specifications.