Anne van Kesteren

Progress on HTML

It’s probably no news anymore that the W3C made a major shift in focus and is now planning to work on the next version of HTML4 and XHTML1 as well, much like the WHATWG has been doing since somewhere in 2004. Not much has started yet though as the group is still waiting for Chris Wilson from Microsoft to join (and other people from Microsoft presumably) who will be co-chairing the group. There has been some discussion already on forms, tests, editors and whether acronym can be dropped. Most of it not very interesting in my opinion. Maciej from Apple explained the W3C Patent Policy to which all participants agreed too. If you’re planning to join (and you probably should) that’s worth a read. There’s a list of people who already joined the group. I suppose with 147 participants it’s already the largest group the W3C ever had.

Another discussion that took place on public-html was about the role of the WHATWG. I think that the effort should not be stopped at least until it’s clear what the W3C HTML WG will be doing. It all very much depends on what the new specification will be based on, who will be the editor, et cetera. (You can have a say in that by the way, by joining the group as indicated above.) Probably more will become clear once the co-chair joins. Meanwhile, I encourage you to join the WHATWG as well if you haven’t already done so. And the #whatwg IRC channel on Freenode where people discuss HTML and related issues.


  1. I guess that Apple's move to protect it's canvas element would block the W3C from taking on HTML5 wholesale?

    Posted by AlastairC at

  2. Sorry, commented before reading Maciej's post on patent policy. I'm still not clear on why Apple would make noises about patenting the canvas element if they are joining the working group?

    Posted by AlastairC at

  3. I think you got it wrong, AlastairC. Apple said that they consider canvas their intellectual property, in any case. They said they would make no statements regard to license, however, for the W3C or the IETF they would cater to their patent policies. In other words, if canvas ends up in a W3C specification, it will get a royalty-free license. If it doesn’t end up in a W3C specification, well, you don’t know what Apple would do. So one might say that the W3C patent policy is already showing off its merits.

    Note that the W3C does not disallow technologies from being patented, it just requires that if a member’s technology is used in one of their specifications, that the member provide a royalty-free license, so that everyone can implement it freely.


    Posted by Laurens Holst at

  4. If Apple grant a universal loyalty free liscence, great. Their joining of the HTML working group suggests that they would.

    However, the email carefully did not say that, I would have thought this would introduce doubt. I'm just surprised there has been no further mention of this.

    Posted by AlastairC at