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W3C |Interaction Domain

Rich Web Client Activity Statement

The Rich Web Clients Activity contains the work within W3C on Web Applications.

With the ubiquity of Web browsers and Web document formats across a range of platforms and devices, many developers are using the Web as an application environment. Examples of applications built on rich Web clients include reservation systems, online shopping or auction sites, games, multimedia applications, calendars, maps, chat applications, weather displays, clocks, interactive design applications, stock tickers, office document and spreadsheet applications, currency converters, and data entry/display systems.

Web client applications typically have some form of programmatic control. They may run within the browser or within another host application. A Web client application is typically downloaded on demand each time it is "executed," allowing a developer to update the application for all users as needed. Such applications are usually smaller than regular desktop applications in terms of code size and functionality, and may have interactive rich graphical interfaces.

The work of the Web Applications (WebApps) WG covers both APIs and formats. APIs are the assorted scripting methods that are used to build rich Web applications, mashups, Web 2.0 sites. Standardizing APIs improves interoperability and reduces site development costs. Formats covers certain markup languages, including Widgets for deploying small Web applications outside the browser, and XBL for skinning applications.

Highlights Since the Previous Advisory Committee Meeting

Web Applications Working Group

The WebApps WG has brought several of its deliverables further along the Recommendation Track. The XMLHttpRequest specification advanced to Candidate Recommendation phase. Several API specifications have had recent Working Draft publications, including Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Events, XMLHttpRequest Level 2, Server-Sent Events, Web Sockets API, Web Database, WebSimpleDB API, Web Storage, and Web Workers.

In addition, the Widget family of specifications has advanced. The following Widget specifications have advanced to Candidate Recommendation phase: Widgets 1.0: Packaging and Configuration, The Widget Interface (TWI), Widgets 1.0: Access Requests Policy (WARP), Widgets 1.0: Digital Signatures, and The view-mode Media Feature. The Widget URIs specification has entered Last Call. The following Widget documents have updated public drafts: Widgets 1.0: Requirements, Widgets 1.0: URI Scheme, and Widgets 1.0: APIs and Events.

The active participation in the WebApps WG by all major browser vendors and many other experts and key technology interests have made it a productive and popular group to join and to bring work to, and the group continues to balance new work with the completion of existing deliverables. The full list of WebApps WG deliverables and their publication status may be found on the WebApps WG wiki.

Web Performance Working Group

The Web Performance Working Group was launched on 18 August 2010. As Web browsers and their underlying engines include richer capabilities and become more powerful, web developers are building more sophisticated applications where application performance is increasingly important. Developers need the ability to assess and understand the performance characteristics of their applications using well-defined interoperable methods.

Compound Document Formats Working Group

The Compound Document Formats (CDF) Working Group closed on 19 August 2010. The specifications under development were published as Working Group Notes. Although the specifications developed by the CDF Working Group did not reach Recommendation status, they do serve as valuable reference material, and many of the tests produced as a result of Candidate Recommendation experience are reusable by other groups. The CDF Working Group also coordinated with other groups, such as the CSS and SVG Working Groups, to successfully include changes in those specifications which have led to better integration of technologies and improved interoperability. The topic of compound documents by reference and by inclusion is continued in other groups, including the HTML and SVG Working Groups.

Audio Working Group

The Audio Working Group was launched on 28 February 2010. Its goal is to define a client-side script API adding more advanced audio capabilities than are currently offered by audio elements. The API will support the features required by advanced interactive applications including the ability to process and synthesize audio streams directly in script. This API can be used for interactive applications, games, 3D environments, musical applications, educational applications, and for the purposes of accessibility. It includes the ability to synchronize, visualize, or enhance sound information when used in conjunction with graphics APIs. Sound synthesis can be used to enhance user interfaces, or produce music.

Upcoming Activity Highlights

There are currently two new proposed working groups under review by the Advisory Committee, the Touch Interface Working Group and the Web Notification Working Group.

The Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Events specification, which has undergone significant changes to improve internationalized keyboard and mobile device text input, is expected to transition to LC in the coming months.

Finally, the WebApps Working Group has seen wide uptake of its Web IDL specification among other W3C groups, and anticipates a new public draft soon based on numerous revisions. The WebApps WG is coordinating with ECMA TC-39 to ensure that the features described in Web IDL align with recent developments in the ECMAScript languages (such as Javascript).

Summary of Activity Structure

GroupChairTeam ContactCharter
Web Applications Working Group
Charles McCathieNevile, Arthur BarstowYves Lafon, Xiaoqian Cindy WuChartered until 31 July 2016
Web Performance Working Group
Ilya Grigorik, Todd ReifsteckXiaoqian Cindy Wu, Philippe Le HégaretChartered until 31 May 2016
Web Notification Working Group
Jon LeeMichael[tm] SmithChartered until 31 December 2013
Audio Working Group
Joe Berkovitz, Matt ParadisDoug Schepers, Chris LilleyChartered until 1 September 2016
Pointer Events Working Group
Arthur BarstowDoug SchepersChartered until 9 May 2015

This Activity Statement was prepared for TPAC 2014 per section 5 of the W3C Process Document. Generated from group data.

Doug Schepers, Rich Web Clients Activity Lead

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