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Old 05-10-2007, 01:52 AM   #1
ilox's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 104
Default Six Months Later: The New HTML Working Group

from the SitePoint Tech Times #164:

---------------- begin news ----------------------

Unlike most W3C working groups, the new HTML working group's charter welcomes the scrutiny and participation of the general public. Anyone can join the working group, post to the mailing list, chime in on teleconferences, and vote on what goes into the final spec.

Better yet, there is no minimum level of participation, so if all you have time to do is monitor the mailing list and vote on issues of interest to you, that's fine too.

The working group is currently led with good humor by its co-chairs, Chris Wilson (Microsoft/Internet Explorer) and the Dan Connolly (W3C), who do their best to squeeze consensus out of the roughly 1,000 email messages per week that are posted by the working group's membership.

Also participating in the group are representatives from the Mozilla Foundation, Apple's Safari team, Opera's browser team, and familiar faces from the Web Hypertext Application Technology (WHAT) Working Group, which had undertaken the task of updating HTML on its own before the new W3C working group was created.

Officially, the group's first target is to produce a working draft of some description (even if it's just a roadmap for further development) by the end of June. This is to be the first step on the way to a finished specification by the end of the year 2010. To make this happen, the group needed one or more editors to compile and maintain the documents produced by the group.

A Surprise Proposal

Before the search could begin, however, representatives of Mozilla, Apple, and Opera came forward with a proposal to adopt the WHAT Working Group's HTML5 draft specification as a starting point for further development of HTML within the W3C.

After no small amount of discussion, the W3C's HTML WG today voted to accept the proposal, with these specific outcomes:
* The WHAT Working Group's HTML5 (Web Applications 1.0 and Web Forms 2.0) will become the current working draft, and an extensive review by the new working group will now take place.
* The final W3C specification will be named "HTML 5".
* The W3C specification will be edited by Ian Hickson (Google), editor of the WHAT-WG's HTML5, and David Hyatt (Apple/Safari).

And there we have it: the harmful division that had come to exist between the major browser vendors and the W3C seems to be a thing of the past! So far so good, right?

Of course, there are still large challenges ahead, not least of which will be getting this large and open working group to agree on a seemingly endless list of technical minutiae.

-------------------- news ends --------------------

So can somebody tell me just what this breakthrough might mean for us in the short term and long term of web design?

Cheers, Ian
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