W3C Issues XML1.0 as a Proposed Recommendation

Voting Now Underway by W3C Member Organizations on XML, the Extensible Markup Language

For immediate release
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WASHINGTON DC, USA -- 8 December, 1997 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today announced the release of XML1.0 as a W3C Proposed Recommendation. The W3C XML Working Group has determined that the XML1.0 specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, is supported for industry-wide adoption, and is ready to enter the review and voting process by all 229 W3C Member organizations.

W3C Process

Specifications developed within W3C working groups must be formally approved by the Membership. Consensus is reached after a specification has proceeded through the following review stages: Working Draft, Proposed Recommendation, and Recommendation.

Stable working drafts are submitted by working groups to the W3C Director for consideration as a Proposed Recommendation. Upon the Director's approval, the document becomes a "Proposed Recommendation", and is forwarded to the W3C Membership to vote on becoming an official W3C Recommendation.

The W3C Advisory Committee -- comprised of one official representative from each Member organization -- submits one of the following votes on the Proposed Recommendation: yes; yes, with comments; no, unless specified deficiencies are corrected; no, this Proposed Recommendation should be abandoned.

During this voting period, the Working Group expects to resolve minor technical issues and communicate its results to the W3C Director. After this time, the Director will announce the disposition of the document; it may become a W3C Recommendation (possibly with minor changes), revert to Working Draft status, or may be dropped as a W3C work item.

The Member voting and review period lasts approximately 6 weeks.


Created and developed by the W3C XML Working Group, the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) version 1.0 is a version of an existing, widely used international text processing standard (Standard Generalized Markup Language, ISO 8879:1986 as amended and corrected) intended for use on the World Wide Web. XML retains ISO 8879's basic features -- vendor independence, user extensibility, complex structures, validation, and human readability -- in a form that is much easier to implement and understand. XML can be processed by existing commercial tools and a rapidly growing number of free ones.

XML is primarily intended to meet the requirements of large-scale Web content providers for industry-specific markup, vendor-neutral data exchange, media-independent publishing, one-on-one marketing, workflow management in collaborative authoring environments, and the processing of Web documents by intelligent clients. It is also expected to find use in certain metadata applications. XML is fully internationalized for both European and Asian languages, with all conforming processors required to support the Unicode character set in both its UTF-8 and UTF-16 encodings. The language is designed for the quickest possible client-side processing consistent with its primary purpose as an electronic publishing and data interchange format.

The W3C XML Working Group includes key industry players such as Adobe, ArborText, DataChannel, Grif, Inso, Hewlett-Packard, Isogen, Microsoft, NCSA, Netscape, SoftQuad, Sun Microsystems, and Fuji Xerox; as well as experts in structured documents and electronic publishing.

The XML1.0 specification has been produced as part of the W3C XML Activity, and is available at http://www.w3.org/TR/PR-xml-971208. For more information on XML, please see http://www.w3.org/XML/

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to develop common protocols that enhance the interoperability and promote the evolution of the World Wide Web. It is an industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users; reference code implementations to embody and promote standards; and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 220 organizations are Members of the Consortium.

For more information about the World Wide Web Consortium, see http://www.w3.org/

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