W3CArchitecture Domain | XML

Charter of the XML Core Working Group

April 2002

Paul Grosso, Arbortext, co-chair
Arnaud Le Hors, IBM, co-chair
Liam Quin, staff contact, for Tim Berners-Lee, Director
The XML Core Working Group is a Working Group of the W3C and follows the working group process described in the Process Document. Except as outlined elsewhere in this charter, the Working Group follows the Common Procedures for XML Working Groups. This is an extension of the charter for this Working Group. It extends and supersedes the Working Group's previous charter of March 2000 until September 2003 when the XML Activity Charter expires.

  1. Scope
  2. Deliverables and schedule
  3. Relationships with other Working Groups
  4. WG Membership
  5. Communication
    1. Confidentiality
    2. Group Home Page
    3. Meetings
  6. W3C staff resource commitment


The mission of the XML Core Working Group is to maintain and develop as needed core XML specifications. Specifically, it is responsible for supporting the XML 1.0 Recommendation, maintaining it and its Errata document in response to reported errata and other comments, and providing careful updates (such as the XML 1.1 revision) as warranted. It is also responsible for handling the ongoing life cycles of the following specifications:

This working group also may do work in related supporting areas such as:

The following tasks are included within the scope of this working group:

Errata to XML 1.0
Since XML 1.0 became a W3C Recommendation in February of 1998, some number of errors or inconsistencies have been detected in the specification. The XML Core WG issued a Second Edition of the XML 1.0 Recommendation in October 2000 with various corrections/clarifications to date folded in. This ongoing task is to continue to evaluate potential errata, to publish the related corrections/clarifications, and from time to time to fold them into a new edition of the XML 1.0 specification.
Tracking Internationalization Developments relating to XML 1.0
Input from the Internationalization WG on changes produced by updates UNICODE and ISO 10646, and their work on equivalence and normalization of Unicode strings has driven the XML 1.1 project which will likely lead to a minor update to the XML 1.0 Recommendation.
XML Processing Model
Define an XML vocabulary for describing the inputs and outputs to XML processes and a method of describing XML processing in such a way that operations such as schema validation, XInclude processing, and other processes defined by W3C and non-W3C specifications can be executed in the order needed to obtain a particular result.
Testing and QA
Publish and mantain conformance test suites for XML 1.0, and for other specifications where possible.
As the community gains experience with the Namespaces in XML Recommendation, especially during the development of schema facilities, refinements and new requirements have arisen. This working group provides a forum to address them, and is tasked to maintain an Errata document and potential errata list as well as to consider the task of drafting and releasing a new version of the Namespaces in XML specification.
Information Set
This specification defines an abstract data set called the XML Information Set (Infoset). Its purpose is to provide a consistent set of definitions for use in other specifications that need to refer to the information in a well-formed XML document
This specification defines a processing model and syntax for general purpose inclusion. Inclusion is accomplished by merging a number of XML Infosets into a single composite Infoset. Specification of the XML documents (infosets) to be merged and control over the merging process is expressed in XML-friendly syntax (elements, attributes, URI References).
XML Base
This specification proposes a facility, similar to that of HTML BASE, for defining base URIs for parts of XML documents.
The XML Core WG needs to review and comment on work on the definition of the MIME type for XML (see RFC 3023).
XML processors classification
The XML 1.0 Recommendation only defines two categories of XML processors: validating and non-validating. There may, however, be a need for having a finer classification that would distinguish the various non-validating processors: for example, those that expand external parsed entities from those that don't.
Associating Stylesheets with XML
Since Associating Style Sheets with XML documents became a W3C Recommendation in June of 1999, at least one issue has been raised. This task will be to address such uncovered issues, and issue an errata as deemed appropriate.

Deliverables and schedule

This charter extends the ongoing work of the XML Core WG. Since a sizable portion of this WG's work is ongoing in nature, milestones and success consist of regular updates to Errata documents and existing specifications. The efforts of this working group get allocated among any number of ongoing tasks on this WG's task list. Current work still in the pre-Recommendation stage is as follows:

The WG will also study the advisability of a version 2.0 of the XML specification and may undertake the preparation of such a specification, if deemed advisable.

This working group is expected to continue for the duration of the XML Activity, through September 2003.

Relationship with other Working Groups

The XML Core WG chair participates in the XML Coordination Group to help track dependencies. In addition to all the WGs in the XML Activity, the following working groups are also expected to provide last call review of deliverables of this working group:

The DOM specifications provide APIs that rely on the existence of an underlying XML information set.
The XSL specification uses patterns that match rules to the abstract objects in the XML document's information set.
Which defines minimum requirements for internationalized documents, and in particular works on equivalence and normalization of Unicode strings.

WG membership

Effective participation is expected to consume one workday per week for each WG member (including the W3C Team principal and alternate); two days per week for editors. Members must continue to fulfill the participation requirements or they will be dropped from the Working Group. (The participation of either one of the principal or alternate fulfills the member company's participation requirement.)

The initial co-chairs of this WG are Paul Grosso, Arbortext, and Arnaud Le Hors, IBM.



Members must treat all Member-only documents as confidential within W3C and use reasonable efforts to maintain this confidentiality and not to release this information to the general public or press.

excerpt from section 1.1.3 - Member Confidentiality of the W3C Process

All documents appearing on the Member Web site must be respected by those authorized to consult the site as confidential within W3C. W3C Members must agree to use reasonable efforts to maintain this confidentiality and not to release this information to the general public or press.

excerpt from section 2.4.2 - Communication of the W3C Process

The proceedings of this working group are member-confidential, subject to exceptions made by the chair.

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, this working group will periodically (e.g. monthly) make public a summary of all technical decisions made since the last public summary, and the rationales for these decisions.

Group Home Page

The XML Core WG has a group home page that records the history of the group, provides access to the archives, meeting minutes, task list and current documents, membership list, and other relevant documents and resources. It is maintained by the Chairs in collaboration with the W3C staff contact.


The working group uses a mailing list for technical communication, supplemented by teleconferences approximately once per week. The twice-per-year W3C Technical Plenary meetings are expected to fulfill the need for face-to-face meetings.

W3C staff resource commitment

To be successful, we expect the XML Core WG to have 10 or more active principal members for its duration.

The W3C staff contact for this WG is, initially, Liam Quin. It is expected that this WG would consume about 30% of the contact's time including administrative logistics.

Communications resources for press and media relations and speaking appearances or meeting planning resources are amortized across the working groups in the XML Activity and concentrated in the XML Coordination Group.