David Baron recently blogged on his impression of why xhtml2 died. It's not a pretty thing.
Protracted death throws, a hammy performance if ever there was one!
We have known for many years that the likelihood of XHTML2 ever becoming something viable was incredibly doubtful and indeed I can recall or at least vaguely remember statements that it was effectively dead from at least two years back.
It's an interesting but sad piece to read and smacks to me of the overall state of web development which I see as moribund, at least in it's approach, yes there is always exiting stuff on the horizon or in discussion but actually getting around to firm implementation, tends to be a case of 'Don't hold your breath'. If HTML5 is what we need, and even if some implementers do get their skates on, we have a effective date for completion of the 'Standard' set around 2020. Sorry but I really hope I'm not still working by then
CSS3? How long have we waited with baited breath for bloody columnar properties? only to find that IE8 has made no effort to implement any CSS3 properties so we are effectively still stagnating as we were three or four years ago.
I call into debate the whole notion of Standards!
Yes! Bring back the browser war.