July 08, 2015

W3C Blog

WICG: Evolving the Web from the ground up

We are super excited to announce the launch of the W3C’s Web Platform Incubator Community Group (WICG). Despite the funny name (“the Why-See-Gee, really?”), this is a great new initiative that seeks to make it easier for developers to propose new platform features for standardization.

What we want to achieve

The purpose of the WICG:

  • Make it as easy as possible for developers to propose new platform features, in the spirit of the Extensible Web Manifesto.
  • Provide a space where developers and implementers can discuss new platform features.
  • Incubate those ideas by providing guidance and a supportive and inclusive environment to those who have never contributed to standards (and even to those that have!:D); Ultimately transitioning those ideas to a W3C Working Group for formal standardization (i.e., making a “W3C Recommendation”).
  • Modernize how we do standardization of platform features (yay! no mailing lists… unless you really want one).
  • Provide a legal framework that keeps all contributions free and open.

In short, we want to be a support group for aspiring standardistas. We want to provide you with all the help you would need in order to take your idea or proposal to the next level.

What we are not

We are not planning on being the new powers-that-be. You don’t have to convince us that your idea is any good; and even if you do, that might not help you much. What we would give you though is feedback on your ideas formulation, and help you iterate on them to improve the chances of them getting some traction once presented to the appropriate group.

Are browser makers involved?

Yes! Absolutely. Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Mozilla are fully supporting this effort.

Inspired by what the RICG achieved, the browser vendors want to make it easier to have a dialog about new features in a space that provides the required legal framework with minimal red-tape. However, we require people to join the community group to participate.

Having early buy-in from browser vendors is critical for getting something supported across browsers. Because all the browser vendors are involved in this effort, ideas can be quickly vetted from both a developer and browser vendor’s viewpoint.

By working together, we can create features that are fit for their purpose and, hopefully, a pleasure to use—all while solving real-world problems!

How we hope to make things easier…

In short: GitHub + tooling + a supportive community.

The elves at the W3C have been busy making sure we have the tools in place to make participation as simple as possible. We will develop specs/use case documents like we develop any open source software.

What’s the process?

Roughly, we want to follow the process already established by the RICG, though we will adapt as we go. It will go something like:

  1. State the problem: Write a description of a limitation with the Web platform and either post it to Discourse, spin up a GitHub repo, or just publish it somewhere (e.g., blog post, gist, whatever you like). This should be something you believe is missing in the platform and would make the lives of developers significantly easier if it were added. It can also be something you’ve noticed is a recurring development pattern which would benefit from standardization.
  2. Join the group: Before bringing the above to the group’s attention, join the community group, which means you agree with the terms of the W3C’s Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA). It’s critical if you first join the group or else key members won’t be able to review or discuss your proposal. Don’t worry if you forget, the Chairs will remind you and hound you till you do :)
  3. Evaluation: As a community, we will evaluate if the problem can’t be solved already using Web tech. We will also look at how many users of the Web might be affected. This will require collecting data, real world usage examples, etc.
  4. Use cases: If need be, we will formalize the above into a use cases document. Such a document can help prove to the community that there is indeed a need for a solution that needs standardization (see the Use Cases and Requirements for Standardizing Responsive Images, for example).
  5. Advocate: We circulate this with browser vendors and the community at large—we pitch it to anyone who will listen. Getting everyone on-board and in our corner is critical.
  6. Specify it: Once we have buy-in from browser vendors and the community, we put together some rough proposals (e.g., a new HTML element, API, or HTTP header…) and we do an “intent to migrate“: where we move the spec to a W3C Working group to seek royalty free licensing commitments from W3C members (you know, the “free” in “free and open”).
  7. (Bonus points) Implementation: Help turn the ideas from words on paper into working features in modern browsers.

(If you are interested in the formal process, take a look at the Web Platform Incubator Community Group Charter)


We won’t sugar coat it: standardization is hard (just ask anyone who survived the RICG:)).

The bar to add new things to the Web is going to remain high: We might need to raise money. Or bring everyone together in a room, like we once did in Paris. Or pitch ideas at conferences to get more developer interest and get momentum behind a feature.

However, anyone who chooses to participate will be well supported. We have some extremely experienced browser/standards engineers participating who are here to help. If you don’t know where to start, or don’t know your RFC2119 from your WebIDL, don’t worry. We got your back!

Collaboration with the RICG

So what’s the relationship between this group and the RICG ? Since we share members and acronym parts with it, we thought it’s worth explaining.

The RICG is focused primarily on pushing essential responsive features into standards and browsers, as well as getting more developers involved in the standards process. The WICG will focus mostly on that second bit: incubation of new platform features. We will help you take your idea of something that is missing in the platform and help you grow it until it is ready to be sent off to the appropriate group. This might even include pushing something into the RICG.

The RICG will continue to handle all things “responsive”, tackling the specific issues that have matured from a gleam in someone’s eye into ready-for-prime-time proposals.

What about other Community Groups?

Other Community Groups continue to function as normal. However, the WICG provides a one-stop-shop for features specifically targeted at web browsers. Sometimes, new CGs might be spun off from this one to work on a particular feature.

Got Questions?

You can find the chairs on Twitter:

by Marcos Caceres at July 08, 2015 10:40 AM

July 07, 2015

W3C Blog

ARIA and DPUB published a First Public Working Draft (FPWD)

By: Tzviya Siegman, Markus Gylling, and Rich Schwerdtfeger

We are excited to announce that a joint task force of the Protocols and Formats Working Group and the Digital Publishing Interest Group (DPUB IG) has published a First Public Working Draft of Digital Publishing WAI-ARIA Module 1.0 (DPUB-ARIA 1.0). This draft represents the joint collaboration of experts in both accessibility and digital publishing, and the vocabulary it contains represents their efforts to bring digital publishing structures to the web in a broadly accessible way.

The DPUB-ARIA 1.0 vocabulary is still very much a work in progress, and we are seeking input on its usability and completeness from a number of communities. As a result of this review, we expect that there will be changes, so we ask you to hold off on implementing the vocabulary until a later release, as there are open issues in the document that will affect its final appearance. Instead, please share your comments, run some trials, and tell us how they go.

The roles listed in DPUB-ARIA 1.0 originated with the EPUB 3 Structural Semantic Vocabulary, a vocabulary for adding inflection to HTML, managed by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), the authors of the EPUB specification. The IDPF drew its original list of terms from the DAISY Consortium, the originators of the Digital Talking Book format. During the decades that the DAISY Consortium has maintained its standard, much has been learned about how to develop semantically rich content that can be easily read and navigated by anyone with a print disability. This work has influenced and been influenced by the broader work of the digital publishing community, and informed the development of the accessible EPUB 3 format.

DPUB-ARIA 1.0 defines structural semantics, which provide authors and publishers a method of conveying intent and specific meaning to HTML tagging. A digital publishing structural semantics vocabulary defines a set of properties or behaviors relating to specific elements of a publication. This can improve general user experience as well as accessibility to users with disabilities. For example, publications often feature glossaries, which are typically marked up as a definition list using the <dl> element. However, a document may contain many definition lists, only one of which is the glossary. Adding role="glossary" to the appropriate list conveys machine-readable and human-readable information about the type of list. The inflection provided by the role enables readers of all abilities to access the glossary component. A user agent might use the declarative “glossary” markup to generate pop-ups glossary terms as the user encounters the terms while reading. At the same time, the role is exposed to assistive technology (AT), so the information is meaningful to users who cannot access the pop-up.

Books and other publications have some unique properties. Publishing has many moving parts, and the nuances of a publication are not always easy to represent in HTML. For example, a book or journal production workflow relies heavily on identifying each granular element to enable processing and reuse of content. It is important for publishers and their tools to be able to distinguish among the components that are “foreword”s, “preface”s, and “chapter”s. Without these declarations, we must rely on heuristics or attributes like "title", which are useful only when working in a single language. There are several ways inflection can be accomplished. Possibilities include embedding RDFa data or stretching the technical definition of the data-* attribute. We weighed the merits of several methods and concluded that one of the most important aspects is to provide a clear method of communicating with assistive technologies. The obvious solution then is extending WAI-ARIA, which already has ways of exposing roles to these technologies.

DAISY has been creating and facilitating accessible books for years, and the time has come to converge with the accessible web. Bringing these semantics into WAI-ARIA represents the next step in the evolution of digital publishing, making it easier to create rich and accessible HTML, whether the author is a traditional publisher or not. This is therefore also the first implementation of the general WAI-ARIA extension mechanism that allows groups to write extensions to accelerate greater semantic interoperability with assistive technologies while providing semantic curb cuts for the broader Web community. An example might be a new digital book reader’s feature that responds to a voice command, “go to the glossary”, and immediately navigate to the book’s glossary without having to flip pages to get there.

One of the roles of the DPUB IG is to work with technical representatives of the web and publishing communities toward convergence of digital publishing and web standards (see a recent blog on the Digital Publishing Interest Group and its current plans). The DPUB IG includes representatives of the standards organizations of the publishing world, the IDPF and DAISY. Publishers have hundreds of years of experience in creating books, journals, magazines, and other publications. Modern publishing workflows and standards rely heavily on the traditions of publishing as well as on the technologies and specifications of the open web platform. The DPUB IG seeks to offer our input toward improving publishing on the web and leverage the technologies of the Web as we improve publishing. This document is one of the first examples. The DPUB ARIA TF also worked with members of the HTML Accessibility Task Force to agree to a method that is appropriate for all user agents.

Shortly, the DPUB ARIA Task Force will begin the work of creating mappings to assistive technologies. We will also work with the IDPF and other members of the digital publishing community to ensure that everyone is comfortable with this proposed vocabulary. We also want to ensure that the dpub- vocabulary is itself extensible. Indeed, there are many terms in the IDPF’s vocabulary that are not yet addressed. For example, the IDPF has been working on specifications for educational publishing, and we know that there is ongoing work to address the accessibility of (educational) assessments.

We publish this draft with some open questions:

  • Are the proposed roles clear and appropriate to the needs of digital publishing?
  • Is the use of the dpub- prefix in role names to avoid potential collision with other WAI ARIA roles acceptable?
  • What mechanism would be suitable for addition of new roles?
  • Is the relationship of this specification to WAI ARIA 1.1 clear?

We are eager to receive your comments. If you’re interested in contributing to the development of this and similar work, consider joining the DPUB Interest Group or the Protocols and Format Working Group. Please submit issues with the label “dpub”. If this is not feasible, please send an email to public-dpub-aria-comments@w3.org.

by Tzviya Siegman at July 07, 2015 02:32 PM

June 29, 2015

W3C Blog

Planning the future of the Digital Publishing Interest Group

Time flies… it has almost been two years since the Digital Publishing Interest Group started its work. Lot has happened in those two years; the group

  • has published a report on the Annotation Use Cases (which contributed to the establishment of a separate Web Annotation Working Group);
  • has conducted a series of interviews (and published a report) with some of the main movers and shakers of metadata in the Publishing Industry;
  • is working with the WAI Protocols and Format Working Group to create a separate vocabulary describing document structures using the ARIA 1.1 technology (and thereby making an extra step towards a better accessibility of Digital Publishing);
  • maintains a document on Requirement for Latin Text Layout and Pagination, which is also used in discussion with other W3C groups on setting the priorities on specific technologies;
  • made an assessment of the various Web Accessibility Guidelines (especially the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) from the point of view of the Publishing Industry, and plans to document which guidelines are relevant (or not) for that community and which use cases are not yet adequately covered;
  • established a reference wiki page listing the important W3C specifications for the Publishing Industry (by the way, that list is not only public, but can also be edited by anybody with a valid W3C account);
  • has conducted a series of interviews with representatives of STEM Publishing and is currently busy analyzing the results;
  • commented on a number of W3C drafts and ongoing works (in CSS, Internationalization, etc.) to get the the voice of the Publishing Industry adequately heard.

However, the most important result of these two years is the fact that the Interest Group contributed in setting up, at last, a stable and long term contacts between the Web and the Publishing Industries. Collaboration now exist with IDPF (on, e.g., the development of EPUB 3.1 or in the EDUPUB Initiative), with BISG (on, e.g., accessibility issues), and contacts with other organizations (e.g., Readium, IDAlliance, or EDItEUR) have also been established.

The group has also contributed significantly to a vision on the future of Digital Publishing, formalized by experts in IDPF and W3C and currently called “EPUB+WEB”. The vision has been described in a White Paper; its short summary can be summarized as:

[…]portable documents become fully native citizens of the Open Web Platform. In this vision, the current format- and workflow-level separation between offline/portable (EPUB) and online (Web) document publishing is diminished to zero. These are merely two dynamic manifestations of the same publication: content authored with online use as the primary mode can easily be saved by the user for offline reading in portable document form. Content authored primarily for use as a portable document can be put online, without any need for refactoring the content. […] Essential features flow seamlessly between online and offline modes; examples include cross-references, user annotations, access to online databases, as well as licensing and rights management.

But, as I said, time flies: this also means that the Interest Group has to be re-chartered. This is always a time when the group can reflect on what has gone well and what should be changed. The group has therefore also contributed to its new, draft charter. Of course, according to this draft, most of the current activities (e.g., on document structures or accessibility) will continue. However, the work will also be greatly influenced by the vision expressed in the EPUB+WEB White Paper. This vision should serve as a framework for the group’s activities. In particular, the specific technical challenges in realizing this vision are to be identified, relevant use cases should be worked out. Although the Interest Group is not chartered to define W3C Recommendations, it also plans to draft technical solutions, proof-of-concept code, etc., testing the feasibility of a particular approach. If the result of the discussions is that a specific W3C Recommendation should be established on a particular subject, the Interest Group will contribute in formalizing the relevant charter and contribute to the process toward the creation of the group.

The charter is, at this point, a public draft, not yet submitted to the W3C Management or the Advisory Committee for approval. Any comment on the charter (and, actually, on the White Paper, too!) is very welcome: the goal is to submit a final charter for approval reflecting the largest possible constituency. Issues, comments, feedbacks can be submitted through the issues’ list of the charter repository (and, respectively, through the issues’ list of the White Paper repository) or, alternatively, sent to me by email.

Two years have passed; looking forward to another two years (or more)!

by Ivan Herman at June 29, 2015 05:18 AM

June 17, 2015

ishida >> blog

UniView 8.0.0 available

Picture of the page in action.

>> Use UniView

Unicode 8.0.0 is released today. This new version of UniView adds the new characters encoded in Unicode 8.0.0 (including 6 new scripts). The scripts listed in the block selection menu were also reordered to match changes to the Unicode charts page.

The URL for UniView is now http://r12a.github.io/uniview/. Please change your bookmarks.

The github site now holds images for all 28,000+ Unicode codepoints other than Han ideographs and Hangul syllables (in two sizes).

I also fixed the Show Age filter, and brought it up to date.

by r12a at June 17, 2015 06:28 PM

June 15, 2015

W3C Blog

Security standard open kitchen

Standards are an interesting kitchen, where the technology is discussed, cooked, sampled and finally implemented. It could work in closed loop, between vendors. But our world is turning into a user centric manufacturing house. And standards are no exception. This is why, at the same time specifications are developed at W3C, it’s useful to go in front of web developers and ask ‘hey look at what we are doing, is it to your taste?’

Standing in front of a crowd of Web developers is a great way to test a dish from the Standards kitchen. I will be doing that in October, at a conference I really like, where the audience asks questions and challenges the speakers, at the end of sessions or in corridors or casually around beers. This conference is Paris Web, a two-day francophone conference –followed by a day of practical workshops– that attracts over 1,300 participants around the DNA (major ingredients?) of the Web, with topics such as open standards, Web design, accessibility, UX, quality, etc. I’m particularly happy that for its 10th edition, Paris Web gives a strong focus on privacy and security.

In my talk “Quoi de neuf sous le ciel de la sécurité du web et des internets ?” (“What’s up in the heavens of security for the Web and Internet?”) I will promote the recent work in Web Application Security, Web Cryptography, Privacy, together with security and privacy related activities of the Technical Architecture Group.

I’ll do my best to expose the recent security and privacy achievements, ongoing plans, and developing success of W3C which I recently described in my blog.

  • I am planning to convince the audience that security matters and tell how W3C progresses on that quest.
  • How users could win a decent treatment of their application permission, but also better understand the danger and countermeasure of browser fingerprinting.
  • How web developers could implement security policy based on crypto operations, and create mixed content with less security risk, thanks to the Web Crypto API, CORS and CSP.
  • How important it is to improve user and service provider’s interest by promoting usage of HTTPS.
  • How the next features of the open web platform could be made available in secured context.

I believe that demonstrating that W3C is the right place to think and design the trusted Web is also a good means to increase the value of the work which takes place there, contributed by all W3C members.

I want also to win something else by promoting W3C activities: collect good insight from the French and European community during the conference, and possibly get some of these smart people on-board so that they can contribute to the Working Group. I’m looking forward to answering questions after my talk, listening to the audience challenge our work, and sharing a beer with those passionate men and women, as we’ll toast to Paris Web for it’s 10th anniversary!

by Virginie GALINDO at June 15, 2015 06:30 AM

June 05, 2015

W3C Blog

W3C forms Security and Privacy Task Force for Automotive

There is an increasing interest and demand around data and services in Connected Cars, and the automotive industry has been working at W3C since 2013 to bring drivers and passengers a rich Web experience, and to make the Web a competitive platform for the automotive industry.

Many industry reports have confirmed that a significant majority of consumers want safe and secure access to the Web from their connected car. At the recent meetings of the W3C Automotive Working Group and Automotive Webplatform Business Group, there was strong interest in creating a joint Task Force to explore the various Privacy and Security implications for the standards work taking place at W3C for connected cars. We hear this need resonating loudly in the automotive industry.

This task force will be exploring security primarily from the perspective of standards being worked on in the Working Group or under early exploration in the Business Group, focusing on potential attack vectors being created.

Privacy similarly will remain focused on data being exposed by standards emerging from the groups but may broaden to potential use cases of applications based on that data, API interaction, user data rights and clearly communicated opt-in sharing arrangements.

We are seeking explicitly security and privacy experts from within the Automotive Business and Working Groups, W3C’s Privacy and Security focused Interest Groups, W3C Membership, Automotive Industry, researchers and other interested parties. With active participation from the automotive industry, W3C is working to bring drivers and passengers a rich Web experience.

For details on participating please see the public call for participation.

Please send questions as well as interview requests to w3t-pr@w3.org.

by Ted Guild at June 05, 2015 12:56 AM

June 01, 2015

W3C Blog

Web and Digital Publishing Experts Converge at Digital Book Event

The Digital Publishing industry convened at the Javits Center in New York City last week for the Bookexpo America (BEA) trade show and the International Digital Publishing Forum’s (IDPF) Digital Book conference.

At Digital Book, IDPF Executive Director Bill McCoy and Book Industry Study Group (BISG) out-going Executive Director Len Vlahos welcomed more than 400 participants for plenary sessions the morning of 27 May. Over the next two days, representatives from the publishing community, including those from a dozen W3C member organizations and staff, participated in numerous Digital Book track sessions addressing current and future industry challenges and opportunities in business, education and technology.

W3C CEO Dr. Jeff Jaffe spoke on a panel, “The Current State of Book Industry Standards,” with standards organization executives Rob Abel, IMS Global Learning, Graham Bell, EDItEUR, Bill McCoy, IDPF, and Len Vlahos, BISG, moderated by Bill Kasdorf, Apex Covantage.

Jeff Jaffe in panel

Jeff Jaffe speaking on Executive Panel on “The Current State of Book Industry Standards”

In response to the moderator’s question why there are so many standards bodies in digital publishing, Jaffe first clarified that W3C’s mission is to develop global Web standards, and then added that the different standards organizations bring different models and perspectives that are healthy to have because they are indicators of the extensive transformation and innovation taking place in the publishing industry as a result of the Open Web Platform.

He suggested “A more exciting question is what is going to be the impact of these standards on new kinds of book forms, content innovation and business opportunities, similar to what we have seen in the entertainment industry.”

McCoy concurred that the convergence of publishing and the web provides a new rich environment and emphasized that “all this content has to interoperate in a way that it did not have to before.”

The vision for how this interoperability and new features are being addressed was the subject of the session, “The Convergence of EPUB and the Web,” moderated by Tzviya Siegman, Wiley. Siegman, who together with Markus Gylling, IDPF CTO and Daisy Consortium co-chair the W3C Digital Publishing Interest Group, were joined on the panel by Ivan Herman, W3C Digital Publishing Activity Lead.

Ivan Herman speaking

Ivan Herman speaking on “The Convergence of EPUB and the Web” panel with Markus Gylling and Tzviya Siegman

During the presentation Siegman explained that the current publishing standards format EPUB3, while based on foundational W3C technologies such as HTML5, CSS and SVG, does not yet have the full feature set of capabilities of the Web. Conversely the Web does not have the presentation features of EPUB such as pagination and other layout features. She explained the progress of the W3C’s Digital Publishing Interest Group to date in identifying specific use cases and requirements through the work of various task forces.

Gylling and Herman further explored the technical aspects of what is needed to achieve the vision of offline and online states of packaged or portable documents which they have begun to document in a white paper. They invited more industry participation in this conversation about EPUB and Web convergence.

The W3C Digital Publishing Interest Group is open to W3C member participation, but others may follow and comment on the work by joining the public mailing list: public-digipub-ig@w3.org

For more information about W3C’s standards activities in Digital Publishing, contact Ralph Swick, Ivan Herman or Karen Myers.

by Karen Myers at June 01, 2015 11:27 PM

May 24, 2015

W3C Blog

Building the Web of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is regularly in the news, and we’re expecting there to be something like one hundred billion IoT devices within ten years. The promise of innovative new services and efficiency savings are fueling interest in a wide range of potential applications across many sectors including smart homes, healthcare, smart grids, smart cities, retail, and smart industry. Currently there is a lot of activity, but it is occurring in isolation, resulting in product silos and incompatible platforms. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is seeking to change that through work on global standards for using web technologies that bridge IoT platforms through the Web, based upon a new class of Web servers. The Internet provides a basis for connecting systems, but like the phone system, it is not useful unless people are speaking in the same language. W3C proposes a conceptual framework with shared semantics and data formats as the basis for interoperability.

This starts with virtual “things” as proxies for physical and abstract entities that are described in terms of metadata, events, properties and actions, along with REST bindings to popular protocols, such as HTTP, Web Sockets, CoAP, MQTT and XMPP. Servers for the Web of Things will be available for microcontrollers, smart phones, home hubs and cloud based server farms. Larger servers will support a range of scripting languages, whilst smaller servers could use precompiled behaviours. There is also increasing interest in enabling end user service creation based upon event-condition-action rules with graphical editing tools and cloud based processing of vocal commands such as “turn down the heating when I leave home”.

The Web of Things Framework allows for distributed control, with control located where appropriate, and the promise of precise synchronisation of behaviour where needed, e.g. for factory robots and process control. The use of Web technologies is expected to dramatically reduce the cost for implementing and deploying IoT services. Companies will be able to realise savings in operational costs, but just as important, companies will have increased flexibility for rapidly reconfiguring manufacturing processes, and a reduction in time from design to shipping of new products. This will enable a shift from mass production to bespoke production where products are tailored to each customer’s specific needs. I am very much looking forward to talking about this at the Industry of Things World this September in Berlin.

There are many existing IoT technologies that serve different requirements and new technologies appear frequently. This necessitates an adaptation layer to bridge to the Web of Things Framework, and decouples services from the details of how devices are connected. This is crucial to building robust systems that are resilient to changes at lower layers. Security and privacy are important topics, and can be challenging for constrained devices. W3C expects to work closely with the IETF and other organisations on bindings to protocols and best practices for end to end security. To manage privacy, data owners will be able to control who can access their data and for what purposes.

With the success of open source software and the advent of open hardware, there is a huge opportunity for hobbyists and members of the “maker” community to get involved and help build momentum around open standards for the Web of Things. It is now possible to build your own IoT services for a few dollars, and I am looking for volunteers to help with developing open source Web of Things servers on a range of scales from microcontrollers, to cloud-based server farms. Working together, we can build strong standards based upon sharing our practical experience of developing services for the Web of Things.

W3C has recently formed the Web of Things Interest Group and plans to launch a Working Group in late 2015 to standardise the Web of Things Framework. We are very interested in understanding use cases and requirements across business sectors, so please join us to help drive the Web to a whole new level!

by Dave Raggett at May 24, 2015 01:26 PM

May 21, 2015

W3C Blog

Make a Mark – Become Verified in HTML5 by W3C!

W3C’s ongoing mission is to make the Web better and one other way to enable this is to offer high quality training programs as a way to increase the skills of Web developers and empower them to become the next leaders and innovators on the Web.

W3Cx logoW3C has recently expanded its Training Program with the edX partnership that resulted in the creation of W3Cx. The first MOOC to be offered on that platform is Learn HTML from W3C (W3Cx HTML5.1a). This exciting 6-week course starts on 1 June 2015 and has been built by Michel Buffa who was the creator and instructor of the HTML5 Course on W3DevCampus. We think that the learning experience that you will have will result in a dramatic increase in your knowledge of HTML5. While you can sign up for the course on the Honor System, I would encourage you to sign up for a Verified Certificate as it provides a mark of distinction for you, the W3C Seal of Approval.

In fact, on W3DevCampus, we were asked by students of our courses to recognize the fact that they had successfully completed the course, so we did that via Open Badges in addition to certificates of completion. People who have earned these badges tell us they make a difference for them as they enter the job market, change opportunities or seek new clients. We believe employers will soon be asking for marks of distinction such as Verified Certificates.

One last comment for your consideration. We are making this a special offer course from a pricing perspective. W3C has set a price for Verified Certificates at $129 per course. For this inaugural course on W3Cx we are offering these at $99 which is an even better bargain!

We look forward to seeing you sign up for this exciting course and the many more that W3C will be offering in the coming years.

by Marie-Claire Forgue at May 21, 2015 07:19 PM

May 15, 2015

W3C Blog

Job: Web Standards Technology Expert

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is looking for a new, full-time staff member to be located at Beihang University in Beijing, where W3C currently has its China Host, to assist, as team contact, W3C Working Groups developing technical specifications in the fields of Ubiquitous Web or Technology and Society.

This is an opportunity for a unique individual to be part of the team responsible for the design of next generation World Wide Web Technologies and to lead a variety of industry and user groups toward the development of technologies that enhance the functionality of the Web. As the recognized leader for the technical development of the World Wide Web, we are seeking an individual with both Web technology and project management experience, an excellent understanding of the Web industry, and enthusiasm for the mission and spirit of W3C.


The individual will work within standard groups to edit specifications, develop change proposals, monitor progress, reach out to different stakeholders, produce tests, and to respond to clarification requests, bugs and issues.

We would welcome candidates with specific technology or business skills such as:

Generic Skills Required

  • Bachelors Degree or higher
  • Background in computer science and software engineering;
  • An understanding of the Web industry and its market, practices, and product development cycles;
  • Familiarity with up-to-date Web technologies, such as HTML, CSS, Web APIs and Scripting;
  • A Team player with good communication / interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work remotely and effectively is required;
  • Experience with the development of open information technology standards is desired;
  • Ability to travel internationally is required
  • Good written and spoken competency in the working language of the W3C, i.e., English, as well as in Chinese is required;
  • Strong writing skills required, with past experiences in editing technical specifications a plus;
  • Knowledge and practical experience of other languages and cultures is a plus

Work starts 1 August 2015

The Position is based at the School of Computer Science & Engineering of Beihang University, No.37 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing. There will be regular international travel including to W3C Host sites, and regular remote work with the Working Groups and the W3C Global staff.

To apply, please send a motivation letter, your resume or CV and (if at all possible) copies of your Diplomas (including High School or equivalent) in electronic form to <team-beihang-position@w3.org>.

by Coralie Mercier at May 15, 2015 07:16 AM

April 29, 2015

W3C Blog

Digital Signage and HTML5: Seminar Report

On March 26, W3C Keio host held a “Digital Signage and HTML5” seminar with the support of the Japanese Digital Signage Consortium. With a capacity crowd of 115 attendees it was a full afternoon of presentations, discussions and high expectations.

As well as an introduction to the work towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ Mr. Ogasawara (Director of the ICT Strategy Policy Division) following a message by Mr. Suzuki (Director-General of the Global ICT Strategy Bureau), there was also an explanation of the current digital signage landscape by Ms. Iyoku of the Digital Signage Consortium.

As an example of HTML5-based signage, Mr. Watanabe and Mr. Yamada from NTT, and Mr. Kato from Recruit Technologies showed examples of their research and development into linking smartphones and beacons. There were also demos making use of beacons (Physical Web) which caught the eye of attendees.

There then followed an introduction to functional requirements in HTML5-based signage by Newphoria’s Mr. Hatano, co-chair of theWeb-based Signage Business Group.

Representing the Web Platform Performance Benchmarking Focus Group, Mr. Hatano, Mr. Hoshino from ACCESS and Dr. Kawada from W3C/Keio presented terminal performance requirements, a terminal performance test specification, and development guidelines for web-based signage contents.

Finally there was a panel discussion focusing on the future of digital signage. The importance of HTML5 going forward was discussed by Ms. Iyoku, Mr. Kato, Dr. Kishigami (W3C Advisory Board) and Mr. Hatano, with Keio University’s Mr. Kikuchi moderating.

The seminar was closed with a reception where W3C members and Digital Signage Consortium members were able to deepen ties going forward.



また、HTML5ベースのサイネージの事例として、NTT(株)渡邉氏・山田氏とリクルートテクノロジーズ(株)加藤氏からそれぞれ、スマホ連携とビーコン連携の研究開発例が紹介されました。ビーコン(Physical Web)活用についてはデモも行われ、参加者の注目を集めました。

次にW3C Web-based Signage BG議長の(株)ニューフォリア羽田野氏より、HTML5ベースサイネージの機能要求条件が紹介されました。

続いて、Webプラットフォーム性能ベンチマーク検討会を代表して、ニューフォリア羽田野氏、(株)ACCESS星野氏、W3C/慶應の川田より、Web-based Signage端末の性能要求条件、端末性能テスト仕様、およびコンテンツ開発ガイドラインの説明がありました。



by Ryoichi Kawada at April 29, 2015 11:45 PM

April 16, 2015

W3C Blog

Idea for a Web Payments Visual Identity

Today the Web Payments Interest Group published the first draft of Web Payments Use Cases 1.0. As we progress toward an architecture for payments well-integrated into to the Open Web Platform, I am thinking about a visual identity for Web Payments. Here is a draft idea:

HTML5 logo tweaked to look like a currency symbol

I hacked up the SVG by hand so it will surely need refinement in the next revision. While I like the idea of extending the HTML5 logo just a little bit to mean “Web Payments,” there are some issues. One is that the Web of course is more than HTML5. Also, a Web Payments architecture will be global and accommodate all currencies (not just the US dollar implied by the logo).

I hope with this post we will start the conversation about a visual identity for future W3C standards for Web Payments. I look forward to your comments!

by Ian Jacobs at April 16, 2015 07:20 PM

April 09, 2015

W3C Blog

One to watch: Web and TV progress

That TV and video is moving to the web is not new — a recent report by Nielsen showed that the number of American households subscribing to an internet video streaming service is already 40%. However there are still areas where these services may not meet user expectations, for example when compared to the instant availability of broadcast TV or the full-featured extras in DVD releases. Equally, broadcasters are increasingly integrating the web into their services but these experiences often need to be more seamless to encourage broad adoption. There are also new ways to enjoy content that the web has the potential to realize, such as multiple simultaneous camera views or customizable synchronization with other online and data services.

There are several groups within W3C working to make this a reality and the entry point for this activity is the Web and TV Interest Group. It’s here where use cases and requirements are established and gaps in standards are identified. Most recently, the needs of video delivery on the web today include:

  • Multi-screen content delivery
  • Stream synchronization
  • TV function and channel control
  • Mixed media sources and content overlays
  • Stream recognition and identification
  • Server-side content rendering (e.g. for low-powered STBs)
  • Improvements to existing features (e.g. adaptive streaming, timed text)

The incubator-style role of the Web and TV Interest Group has led to the creation and support of various groups that are aiming to address these issues and currently there are some exciting developments to be aware of and ideally participate in.

Diagram showing relationship of TV-related groups.

GGIE (Glass-to-Glass Internet Ecosystem) Task Force

A young Task Force within the Web and TV Interest Group that has attracted a lot of attention, it has a broad focus of looking at all phases of the video life cycle: Capture → Edit → Package → Distribute → Find → Watch. The ultimate goal is to identify essential elements in digital video’s life cycle and features that would be appropriate for recommendation for standardization in the appropriate SDOs, not just W3C. To achieve this, the Task Force is currently gathering use cases and all members of the Web and TV Interest Group are welcome to join in the discussion. See the Task Force page for more.

TV Control API Community Group

Thanks to the contributions of a growing number of participants, an API to control TV-like content and features is taking shape with the hope of eventually producing a new standard for media devices, set-top-boxes and of course televisions. We’ve used existing TV APIs for reference but there’s still lots of work to do on the draft specification for it to one day become a standard. See the group page for more and to join. The Mozilla Hacks blog also a good summary of the TV Control API.

Multi-device Timing Community Group

The newest TV-related group looking at how to accurately synchronize media streams across the web. This could be friends on a train wanting to watch the same movie on their separate devices, laughing at the same time. Another use case is watching a sports event on a large screen and having a separate single player or athlete view on your phone or tablet. Some interesting demos have been presented to the group but it’s still early days and a great opportunity to influence its direction and deliverables. See the group page for more and to join.

Media Resource In-band Tracks Community Group

This group is developing a specification defining how user agents should expose in-band tracks as HTML5 media element video, audio and text tracks. In other words, web applications would be able to access information (e.g. metadata, captions, translations, etc.) within media stream containers through the media element. The draft specification that the group is working on currently covers the following media stream container types:

  • MPEG-2 Transport Stream (MPEG-2 TS) (video/mp2t)
  • ISO Base Media File Format (ISOBMFF aka MP4) (*/mp4)
  • WebM (*/webm)
  • OGG (*/ogg)
  • DASH (application/dash+xml)

Other formats could be considered in the future, such as RTP streams. . See the group page for more and to join.

Second Screen Presentation Community Group & Working Group

The Web and TV Interest Group also closely follows this work which is a good example of the evolution of an idea to a standard — it started as a proposal brought to W3C with a Community Group created for easy collaboration. A draft specification for displaying web content on secondary screens was edited and improved by a variety of stakeholders to the point where it formed the basis of a new Working Group. At this point it’s officially on the standards track and further stabilization should see it implemented and brought to a big screen new you. Meanwhile, the Community Group remains open to foster discussion and ideas for future features. See the Community Group page and the Working Group page for more.

These are just some of the recent developments and as you can see, now is a prime time for those wanting to influence and guide new standards that will affect video on the web worldwide.

by Daniel Davis at April 09, 2015 12:23 PM

April 08, 2015

W3C Blog

W3C Interview: Capital One and Tyfone on Tokenization for Web Payments

W3C’s Web Payments Interest Group is gaining momentum in its pursuit of the integration of payments into the Open Web Platform. As part of building understanding security, and the role of the Web, I am organizing a series of interviews on Web payments. In this first interview with Tom Poole and Drew Jacobs of Capital One, and Siva Narendra of Tyfone, we open with the broad question of what the Web needs to facilitate eCommerce.

Ian Jacobs (IJ): Let’s jump right in. The Web is 25 and people have been engaging in commerce from the start. But smart phones, cryptocurrencies, and stories of stolen passwords and other sensitive information have created a lot of new activity around payments. What does the Web need so that we achieve the full potential of ecommerce?

Drew Jacobs (DJ): The Web is clearly one of the most prominent channels for payments today. But there are gaps and pain points across the value chain, from the consumer to the merchant to the financial institution. The reality today is that the process for online purchases today can be convoluted, often requiring a lengthy checkout process where you provide a lot of information without a lot of security. Over the years solutions have emerged such as Amazon¹s One Click to reduce friction at checkout. Other capabilities in market today attempt to solve the challenge of convenience and security, but no clear winners have emerged. We see a lot of opportunities in the payments ecosystem for improving the lives of customers, and giving them new tools for payments.

DJ: For example, online credit card transactions today leverage static data and are therefore vulnerable. We are seeing a move toward tokenization.

Editor’s note on tokenization: In eCommerce today, consumers typically provide sensitive information such as credit card numbers directly to merchants. Many in industry see tokenization as a promising secure alternative. As an example of tokenization: when I want to pay for something with a credit card issued by my bank, the bank can send me an electronic token that I give to the merchant. To the merchant the token is a meaningless sequence of numbers, but it can be “redeemed” at my bank as part of settling payment. This indirection through a secure token benefits the consumer, who keeps control of sensitive information, and also merchants, whose liability is reduced in the case of attacks on their IT system.

DJ: But tokenization should not be a separate process from other forms of payments, we need a cohesive solution across channels. I want to add that there are also many new opportunities to provide customers with richer experiences by leveraging data available to merchants or to banks.

Siva Narendra (SN): I agree with Drew that we need to improve security. Today, ecommerce is a relatively small proportion of the world’s overall commerce; I believe around 7%. But there is a fraud rate of about .9% for ecommerce while it is .09% for other forms of transactions. So the fraud rate for ecommerce is 10 times what it is for non-ecommerce. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that passwords are not very effective. Tokenization, as Drew mentioned, is an important path for the future. But securely authenticating the right user is being provisioned the right token is necessary, otherwise criminals can steal tokens, too. When you have a secure element on your phone that can be used for authentication, for example, your fraud footprint decreases significantly. Tools provided by the Fido Alliance are useful, but they do not yet take into account tokenization standards already in use. I also agree with Drew that leveraging data can be powerful, but I think consumer privacy protection is going to be a big issue, and there may be pushback if users start to receive a lot of annoying alerts.

DJ: Our data can enrich the experience or make it more efficient, but I agree with Siva about the importance of privacy.

IJ: It sounds like security should be our first focus.

DJ: Yes, we need to secure both authentication of the user and then the transaction itself. But we also need to simplify payments. Today there are many disjointed ways to pay: PayPal, Credit Cards, wallets from Apple, Google, etc. There’s already a proliferation of checkout bugs for payment instruments on Web sites. Introducing more is not the answer.

Tom Poole (TP): The more checkout bugs, the less likely any particular one will be noticed. There are three different levels where payments could be improved. The first involves adding support for secure storage of information, such as via a browser plug-in. An open standard would enable multiple providers of such plugins (and of course, browsers might provide their own solutions). The next level up is the “white label container” like Softcard that could provide consistency for payment scheme providers, but still allow for innovation. The third layer would be to build on something like Apple Pay, but that would mean very little differentiation and a single vendor would drive the normalization of payments. But I don’t think many people want to invest in that sort of centralized solution. Rather, I think they will want to differentiate by building better or smoother experiences. W3C should focus on core service and leave a lot of room and levers for innovation.

IJ: Ok, so within the first two levels, where should W3C focus?

TP: Identify what is the narrowest service that must be delivered. One will involve delivery of payments credentials. As Drew and Siva have mentioned, tokenization will play an important role, and the browser (or plugin) would securely store credentials. Over time, we could see direct fill of information in the background, which could further increase security by reducing attacks like keylogging. Ultimately it would be create to standardize the interactions with merchant checkouts, so that sites have a common, secure approach that works across browsers, speeding up transactions, and enabling financial institutions opportunities to add value.

SN: I agree we should start by securing authentication and the transaction. W3C is working on a Web Crypto API that gives developers access to cryptographic operations from JavaScript. I think there’s an assumption in the browser community today that the only token that browsers will support is FIDO Alliance-based. But I think we need greater interoperability. We do need to be looking at secure elements, but chips in phones are not the only way to achieve that. There is a large existing infrastructure for security and we need to extend those capabilities to the Web to achieve scale and success.

IJ: What are the most important bits of infrastructure that you think we should be leveraging for the Web? What should we be connecting to?

SN and DJ simultaneously: Tokenization!

SN: There is no better security than hardware in someone’s hands. Browsers should allow integration of the security modules available through these portable devices. These security models might be running in the cloud, as software on a device, or in a secure element in hardware. For example, browsers might provide access to secure element via a password (and the risk and reward will be different according to application).

DJ: I agree we should be connecting to existing infrastructure, especially around tokenization, and that there should not be a single solution for all applications. Different needs will drive different solutions.

SN: In my view, anything other than tokenization to secure the transaction is probably not going to be acceptable to the financial industry. We also want to see convergence between ecommerce and in-store purchases.

IJ: What will that require?

SN: Building on top of existing tokenization standards will also facilitate convergence. There are questions about liability between physical and ecommerce transactions, but there are well-understood rules of engagement between banks.

DJ: The key point for us is that W3C has a unique opportunity to provide underlying infrastructure standards that leverage existing work around tokenization. That is the biggest pain point for us today: tokenization doesn’t exist easily online, and we need greater security online. We think browsers can play a role in bringing this together. We also see opportunities around improved authentication and identification of the real user.

IJ: What will be the biggest benefits to banks if we can do this?

DJ: Improved security, both in terms of user perception and also protection of assets. And merchants and banks will both benefit from lower rates of shopping cart abandonment if we¹re able to build an infrastructure that helps reduce the friction that exists in today¹s checkout experience.

IJ: Thank you all for your time!

by Ian Jacobs at April 08, 2015 05:12 PM

March 30, 2015

W3C Blog

Linked Data Platform WG Open Meeting

A special open meeting of the W3C Linked Data Platform (LDP) Working Group to discuss potential future work for the group. The deliverable from the workshop will be a report that the LDP WG will take into consideration as it plans its way forward.

LDP offers an alternative vision to data lockdown, providing a clean separation between software and data, so access to the data is simple and always available. If you run a business, using LDP means your vital data isn’t locked out of your reach anymore. Instead, every LDP data server can be accessed using a standard RESTful API, and every LDP-based application can be integrated. If you develop software, LDP gives you a chance to focus on delivering value while respecting your customer’s overall needs. If you are an end user, LDP software promises to give you choice and freedom in the new online world.

So how will this vision become reality? LDP 1.0 has recently become a W3C Recommendation, but there’s still a lot of work to do. Come join the conversation about where we are and what happens next, on April 21st in San Francisco.

See the event wiki page for details.

by Andrei Sambra at March 30, 2015 07:48 PM

February 23, 2015

W3C Blog

W3C, Mobile World Congress 2015 and you

The past year has seen been one of significant milestones in W3C with the highlight being that HTML5 became a Recommendation in late October of 2014. We have seen the Open Web Platform continuing to have an impact on a diverse set of Industries. Within W3C this is manifest by the continued growth of our Digital Publishing Interest Group and the launch of both our Web Payments Interest Group and Automotive Working Group. When you look at the hottest thing going on across Industries you have to recognize the Internet of Things as a movement that has gained an incredible amount of traction. This work within W3C is happening in our Web of Things Interest Group. When you look at the Exhibitors and Attendees as well as the Sessions being held during Mobile World Congress 2015 there is a huge overlap in these conversations. In fact, many of the GSMA Members that also Members of W3C are active participants in one or more of these groups – shouldn’t you be?

W3C will be at Mobile World Congress 2015 but we will not have a booth this year. We will be represented by Dominique Hazael-Massieux, our Mobile Guru, and J. Alan Bird, our Global Business Development Leader. They will be on-site at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain from the afternoon of Monday, 02 March 2015 through Thursday, 05 March 2015. If you are in any of the industries that are being touched by the Open Web Platform we’d love to have a conversation with you. If you’re not in one of the Industries mentioned above but are curious about W3C, we’d also love to have a conversation with you. The best way to schedule that is to send an e-mail to abird@w3.org.

We look forward to seeing you in Barcelona and working together to help the Web reach its Full Potential!

by J. Alan Bird at February 23, 2015 07:04 PM

February 06, 2015

W3C Blog

W3C Updates General Document License

W3C announced today an update to liberalize its general document license. The updated license —applied today to all documents the W3C has published under its general document license— permits the creation of derivative works not for use as technical specifications, and the excerpting of Code Components under the W3C Software License.

When writing Recommendations, we want to encourage contribution toward and implementation of standards. We also want to encourage consistent implementation of standards and limit the likelihood of confusion or non-interoperability from divergent versions of a single specification. The updated license works to balance these concerns. Accordingly, this update facilitates the re-use of code, including in packages licensed under the GNU GPL. It also grants clear permissions to enable those documenting software, writing guides and tutorials, and implementing specifications to use excerpts of W3C documents as authoritative source material. The copyright license does not permit the modification of W3C documents to create competing technical specifications.

This license update stems from numerous discussions in the Patents & Standards Interest Group, from experimentation in other groups such as the Second Screen Working Group and the HTML Working Group, and discussion of re-licensing of unfinished specifications. Recognizing that this change may not satisfy all users or use cases, we will continue to seek consensus on options that meet even more needs.

by Wendy Seltzer at February 06, 2015 09:45 PM

January 30, 2015

W3C Blog

This week: W3C TAG on Securing the Web, Web Of Things Interest Group, YouTube defaults to HTML5 video, etc.

This is the 23-30 January 2015 edition of a “weekly digest of W3C news and trends” that I prepare for the W3C Membership and public-w3c-digest mailing list (publicly archived). This digest aggregates information about W3C and W3C technology from online media — a snapshot of how W3C and its work is perceived in online media.

This is the last edition for a while. I hope you have all learned useful information via this digest.

W3C and HTML5 related Twitter trends

[What was tweeted frequently, or caught my attention. Most recent first]

Other news

W3C in the Press (or blogs)

10 articles since the 23-Jan digest; a selection follows. You may read all articles in our Press Clippings page.

by Coralie Mercier at January 30, 2015 04:10 PM

W3C and NETmundial

On 24 December 2014, the Inaugural Coordination Council of the NETmundial Initiative was announced.

The NMI is being set up to implement the Internet Governance NETmundial Principles and, according to their recent declaration, will start with a phase of community discussions on their exact charter and roles.

Jean-François Abramatic, former W3C Chairman and currently W3C Fellow seconded by Inria was selected (by the NMI Organizing Partners, CGI.br – Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, ICANN and the WEF – World Economic Forum) to be part of the Council.

The W3C Team, with advice from the W3C Advisory Board, has prepared a W3C and NETmundial Initiative FAQ to give our community some context on this selection.


by Daniel Dardailler at January 30, 2015 08:13 AM

January 29, 2015

ishida >> blog

Bopomofo on the Web

Three bopomofo letters with tone mark.

Light tone mark in annotation.

A key issue for handling of bopomofo (zhùyīn fúhào) is the placement of tone marks. When bopomofo text runs vertically (either on its own, or as a phonetic annotation), some smarts are needed to display tone marks in the right place. This may also be required (though with different rules) for bopomofo when used horizontally for phonetic annotations (ie. above a base character), but not in all such cases. However, when bopomofo is written horizontally in any other situation (ie. when not written above a base character), the tone mark typically follows the last bopomofo letter in the syllable, with no special handling.

From time to time questions are raised on W3C mailing lists about how to implement phonetic annotations in bopomofo. Participants in these discussions need a good understanding of the various complexities of bopomofo rendering.

To help with that, I just uploaded a new Web page Bopomofo on the Web. The aim is to provide background information, and carry useful ideas from one discussion to the next. I also add some personal thoughts on implementation alternatives, given current data.

I intend to update the page from time to time, as new information becomes available.

by r12a at January 29, 2015 12:07 PM