HTML Working Group Charter

This charter is written in accordance with section 4.2.2 of the W3C Process.

Table of Contents

Mission Statement

To fulfill the promise of XML for applying XHTML to a wide variety of platforms. To assist W3C's leadership role to support rich Web contents that combine XHTML with other W3C's work on areas such as math, scalable vector graphics, synchronized multimedia, and forms.


The main scope of this charter is to complete the transition from HTML to XHTML, carried over from the previous charter. This includes finishing work on XHTML 2.0, the next generation of XHTML whose design goal is to use generic XML technologies as much as possible. This document type will include new features such as XForms and XML Events as replacements for legacy HTML/XHTML features.

W3C's work on areas such as math, scalable vector graphics, synchronized multimedia, voice browsing and forms holds great promise for a new generation of Web contents. Work is now needed on combining these with XHTML, and for W3C to take a leadership role in promoting the resultant document types as the new baseline for Web browser interoperability. The HTML Working Group will need to collaborate with other Working Groups to assist W3C in reaching this goal. The need for liaison with other related W3C groups and activities is described below.

The widespread and interoperable deployment of the deliverables listed here is critical for the success of the XHTML. In order to ensure interoperable implementations, test suites need to be developed for the deliverables.

Success Criteria

The success of the HTML Working Group will be judged on how well it fulfills the above objectives in terms of the deliverables and milestones set out below, and the deployment of its deliverables.


Following its approval by W3C Members, this group will commence in August 2002 and will terminate in August 2004.


In the following, the terms: Note, Working Draft, Candidate Recommendation, and Proposed Recommendation are defined in the W3C Process.

Release Policy

A list of documents actively under consideration by the group, is to be maintained by the W3C Team contact under the direction of the Working Group Chair. To add a document to the list, or to revise a document in the list, the draft should be sent to the chair, Team contact and/or the group mailing list. The Chair will decide on new/revised drafts in collaboration with the group, provided the document falls within the scope of work items for the group. As documents stabilize, they will be released as W3C Technical Reports. Milestones of those active documents will be maintained on a publicly accessible road map (see Deliverables).

Relationship to other W3C groups

The following is a list of known dependencies with other W3C groups at the time this charter was written. Liaison with other W3C groups can take advantage of a broad range of mechanisms such as cross membership, reviews of drafts produced by other groups, joint meetings etc., and whenever appropriate, the HTML Working Group will also coordinate with groups not listed here.

Technical Architecture Group (TAG)
The HTML Working Group will ensure that all deliverables can fit into the Web Architecture, and resolve architectural issues through the TAG.
Hypertext Coordination Group
The Hypertext Coordination Group is the primary place for the HTML Working Group for coordination with other Working Groups within the W3C. The Chair will participate the regular Hypertext Coordination Group meetings and ensure that reviews between Working Groups are planned and carried out so as to meet requirements for deliverables and deadlines.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group and Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Working Group
The work of the HTML Working Group will be coordinated with these groups on presentation issues.
Device Independence Working Group
The HTML Working Group will cooperate with this group to ensure that XHTML meets the requirements for device independence. The work on document profiles was originally started by the HTML WG, but this work is now transferred to the Device Independence WG.
Document Object Model (DOM) Working Group
The HTML Working Group will cooperate with this group so that XHTML content will be accessible from the XML DOM, and XML Events can provide ability to uniformly integrate event listeners and associated event handlers with DOM Level 2 and 3 event interfaces.
Internationalization Working Group
The HTML Working Group will cooperate with this group to ensure XHTML provides effective support for internationalization.
Math Working Group
The HTML Working Group will cooperate with this group to ensure that MathML can be seamlessly integrated with XHTML. Particular work items include maintenance of XHTML+MathML and development of XHTML+MathML+SVG.
Multimodal Interaction Working Group
The HTML Working Group will cooperate with this group to ensure that XHTML and XML Events can be usable with multimodal interaction.
Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) Specification Working Group
The HTML Working Group will coordinate with the P3P Specification WG so that new features in XHTML should be addressable with P3P where data collection can happen. The P3P Specification WG will be asked to review deliverables of the HTML WG.
Quality Assurance (QA) Working Group
The HTML Working Group will coordinate with the QA WG to develop test suites.
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Working Group
The HTML Working Group will cooperate with this group to ensure that XHTML can be seamlessly integrated with SVG. Areas of coordination include joint work on XHTML+MathML+SVG.
Synchronized Multimedia (SYMM) Interest Group
The HTML Working Group will coordinate with this group to enable XHTML documents to include synchronized multimedia components, in particular to develop XHTML+SMIL profile, and to enable the use of XHTML as an integral component of multimedia presentations.
Voice Browser Working Group
The HTML Working Group will review proposed extensions to XHTML from this group, if any.
Web Accessability Initiative (WAI)
The HTML Working Group will cooperate with the Web Accessibility Initiative to ensure that the deliverables will satisfy accessibility requirements. Coordination with WAI will be primarily conducted through the Protocol and Formats Working Group, but direct coordination with other WAI groups, such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group and User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group, will also be done when appropriate.
XForms Working Group
The HTML Working Group will cooperate closely with this group to ensure a smooth transition to next generation Web forms.
XML Core Working Group
The HTML Working Group does not address changes to XML syntax. The deliverables of the HTML Working Group must conform to core XML technologies developed by the XML Core Working Group.
XML Linking Working Group
The HTML Working Group will coordinate with the XML Linking Working Group on hyperlinking issues for previous versions of XHTML and application in future revisions to XHTML.
XML Schema Working Group
The HTML Working Group will use XML Schemas as a means to describe XHTML Modularization.

Openness Policies

W3C, and all W3C Working Groups, are accountable to the Web community as a whole for the quality of W3C technical work. In support of this public accountability, and to ease cooperation with external bodies, the Working Group maintains a regularly updated publicly accessible road map (see Deliverables), and makes efforts to release specifications according to the road map. Feedback and discussion on early drafts will be encouraged on the public mailing list (see Mailing Lists). This charter is also public.

The Working Group Web page, the proceedings of this Working Group including the e-mail archives and minutes of meetings of the Working Group are accessible to W3C Members and invited experts only.

Intellectual Property Rights

W3C promotes an open working environment. Whenever possible, technical decisions should be made unencumbered by intellectual property right (IPR) claims.

This is a Royalty Free Working Group, as described in W3C's Current Patent Practice, dated 24 January 2002.

Working Group participants disclose patent claims by sending email to <>; please see Current Patent Practice for more information about disclosures.

Communication Mechanisms

Face to face meetings

The Working Group gathers for face-to-face discussions at least once every 6 months and preferably 4 times a year. Meeting details will be made available on the W3C Member Calendar and from the Working Group page.

Mailing Lists

The archived member-only mailing list is the primary means of discussion within the group.

The archived mailing list is used for public discussion of XHTML, and Working Group members are encouraged to subscribe. The Working Group is expected to track discussions on this list and to respond appropriately, as a commitment to public accountability.


A weekly one-hour phone conference will be held. The exact details, dates and times will be published in advance on the Working Group page. The Chair is expected to post an agenda to the Working Group mailing list in advance of the conference call.

Working Group Web Page

The Working Group shall maintain a Web page that shows the list of active documents, the meeting schedule, and links to email archives, meeting minutes, and the list of Working Group participants etc. These pages will be restricted in access to W3C Members and invited experts.

Voting Mechanisms

The Group works by consensus. In the event of failure to achieve consensus on substantive issues, the group may resort to a vote as described in the W3C Process. Each Member organization which has at least one Group member in good standing may vote. There is one vote per W3C Member organization or group of related Members. If more than one vote is received from a Member organization or group of related Members, the votes must be counted as one vote if they agree, otherwise they must be ignored and the Chair must inform the participant's Advisory Committee representative(s) of the discrepancy. Votes are held by email to allow all participants a chance to vote; there is a two week voting period followed by a period of two working days for the announcement of the result. All votes must be sent to the archived Working Group mailing list (see Mailing Lists). In the event of a tie, the Chair has a casting vote. If the issue is solved by consensus during the voting period, the vote is cancelled.


by W3C Members

Requirements for meeting attendance and timely response are described in the W3C Process. Participation (meetings, reviewing and writing drafts) is expected to consume time amounting 1 day per week for the lifetime of the group. Working group participants are required not to disclose information obtained during participation, until that information is publicly available.

W3C Members may also offer to review one or more Working Drafts from the group for clarity, consistency, technical merit, fitness for purpose and conformance with other W3C specifications. The only participation requirement is to provide the review comments by the agreed-to date.

by invited experts

Invited experts have the same rights and responsibilities in the group as employees of Member organizations. Participation as an invited expert must be approved by the Chair and the Team contact. For details about participation as an invited expert, refer to the W3C Process.

by W3C Team

W3C Team member(s) will ensure that the mailing lists and Group page are adequately maintained and that public Working Drafts are made available on the Technical Reports page. W3C Team member(s) will ensure that minutes at teleconferences and face to face meetings will be posted to the Group mailing list and to the Group page.

W3C Team member(s) will provide liaison between non-Team document editors and the W3C Team; including posting revisions of Working Drafts to the Group page.

W3C Team member(s) are expected to adopt the same requirements for meeting attendance, timely response and information disclosure as are required of W3C Members.

Resources Required

Appendix: Current and Previous Versions of HTML/XHTML

XHTML 1.1 was issued as a W3C Recommendation in May 2001. XHTML 1.1 defines a new XHTML document type that is based upon the module framework and modules defined in Modularization of XHTML. The purpose of this document type is to serve as the basis for future extended XHTML 'Family' document types, and to provide a consistent, forward-looking document type cleanly separated from the deprecated, legacy functionality of HTML 4 that was brought forward into the XHTML 1.0 document types. This document type is essentially a reformulation of XHTML 1.0 Strict using XHTML Modules. This document should be used in conjunction with Modularization of XHTML when deveoping new XHTML Family document types.
Modularization of XHTML
Modularization of XHTML was issued as a W3C Recommendation in April 2001. This Recommendation specifies a modularization of XHTML 1.0. There are two aspects to the proposed modularization: modularization into abstract components, and modularization into document type definition (DTD) components. Modularization into abstract components provides a means for subsetting and extending XHTML, a feature desired for extending XHTML's reach onto emerging platforms. Modularization at the DTD level improves the ability to create a close XML approximation of the HTML 4 DTDs, as well as a better separation of declarations by type for easier use by DTD developers.
XHTML Basic was issued as a W3C Recommendation in December 2000. The XHTML Basic document type includes the minimal set of modules required to be an XHTML Host Language document type, and in addition it includes images, forms, basic tables, and object support. It is designed for Web clients that do not support the full set of XHTML features; for example, Web clients such as mobile phones, PDAs, pagers, and settop boxes. The document type is rich enough for content authoring.
XHTML 1.0 was issued as a W3C Recommendation in January 2000. XHTML 1.0 is a reformulation of HTML 4.01 as an XML 1.0 application, and includes three DTDs corresponding to the ones defined by HTML 4.01. The semantics of the elements and their attributes are defined in the W3C Recommendation for HTML 4.01. These semantics provide the foundation for future extensibility of XHTML. Compatibility with existing HTML user agents is possible by following a small set of guidelines.
HTML 4.01
HTML 4.01 was issued as a W3C Recommendation in December 1999. It fixes bugs in the HTML 4.0 specification, which for instance, omitted the name attribute on the img and form elements. HTML 4.01 defines the semantics and datatypes for HTML.
HTML 4.0
HTML 4.0 was issued as a W3C Recommendation in December 1997, and revised in April 1998. It includes support for style sheets, internationalization, accessibility to Web pages for people with disabilities, frames, richer tables and forms. HTML 4.0 has been superseded by HTML 4.01, and errata for this document will be reflected to errata for HTML 4.01.
HTML 3.2
HTML 3.2 was issued as a W3C Recommendation in January 1997, represented the consensus on HTML features for 1996. HTML 3.2 added widely deployed features such as tables, applets and text flow around images, superscripts and subscripts while providing backwards compatibility with HTML 2.0. HTML 4.01 is the latest version of HTML, and HTML 3.2 will not be updated anymore.
HTML 2.0
HTML 2.0 (RFC 1866) was developed by the IETF's HTML Working Group, which closed in 1996. It set the standard for core HTML features based upon current practice in 1994. Its current status is HISTORIC.

Masayasu Ishikawa <>, HTML Activity Lead and Team Contact for the HTML Working Group
Steven Pemberton <>, HTML Working Group Chair

Last modified: $Date: 2003/01/09 09:16:29 $