HTML and the “living standard”

From an interview with with Ian Hickson, HTML editor:

The Web's technology stack is one of the only (maybe the only? I'm hard pressed to come up with another example) platform that is completely vendor-neutral and not centrally developed. Anyone can invent a new feature and if the market agrees, can get that feature to be a de facto part of the platform. XMLHttpRequest is a classic example. A browser cannot be a serious competitor on the Web without supporting it now, yet it was initially just made up and shipped by one vendor without any consultation with anyone. ... the HTML spec is not just a reflection of my wishes.

I always thought of the quirks of web development to be largely because of standards bodies, but I realize it's more of a living standard -- what do browsers decide to implement?

There's a bunch of interesting stuff in the interview -- worth a read.