Browser Testing and Tools Working Group Charter

The mission of the Browser Testing and Tools Working Group is to produce technologies for automating testing of Web applications running in browsers.

Join the Browser Testing and Tools Working Group.

Start date 19 May 2016
End date 31 December 2018
Chairs David Burns, Mozilla
Team Contacts Michael[tm] Smith (0.05 FTE)
Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: On an as-needed basis, up to once a week
Face-to-face: we will meet during the W3C's annual Technical Plenary week; additional face-to-face meetings may be scheduled by consent of the participants, no more than 3 per year.


The scope of the Browser Testing and Tools Working Group includes APIs for the purpose of automating testing of Web applications running in browsers—for example, to simulate user actions such as clicking links, entering text, and submitting forms.

Success Criteria

In order to advance to Proposed Recommendation, each specification is expected to have at least two independent implementations of each of feature defined in the specification.

Each specification should contain a section detailing any known security or privacy implications for implementers, Web authors, and end users.


The working group will deliver the following W3C normative specification:

Web Driver API

Provides methods that allow automated simulation of user actions, such as clicking links, entering text, and submitting forms.

Expected completion: 24 October 2016September 2017May 2018

Other Deliverables

Other non-normative documents may be created such as:

The Browser Testing and Tools Working Group will also produce a test suite and implementation report for the WebDriver specification. It is expected that the implementation report will include results for implementation of the WebDriver API in at least four different browser engines:

  • Mozilla Gecko
  • Mozilla Servo
  • Google Blink
  • Microsoft Edge


For all specifications, this Working Group will seek horizontal review for accessibility, internationalization, performance, privacy, and security with the relevant Working and Interest Groups, and with the TAG. Invitation for review must be issued during each major standards-track document transition, including FPWD and CR, and should be issued when major changes occur in a specification.

Additional technical coordination with the following Groups will be made, per the W3C Process Document:


To be successful, this Working Group is expected to have 6 or more active participants for its duration, including representatives from the key implementors of this specification, and active Editors and Test Leads for each specification. The Chairs, specification Editors, and Test Leads are expected to contribute half of a day per week towards the Working Group. There is no minimum requirement for other Participants.

The group encourages questions, comments and issues on its public mailing lists and document repositories, as described in Communication.

The group also welcomes non-Members to contribute technical submissions for consideration, with the agreement from each participant to Royalty-Free licensing of those submissions under the W3C Patent Policy.


Technical discussions for this Working Group are conducted in public. Meeting minutes from teleconference and face-to-face meetings will be archived for public review, and technical discussions and issue tracking will be conducted in a manner that can be both read and written to by the general public. Working Drafts and Editor's Drafts of specifications will be developed on a public repository, and may permit direct public contribution requests.

Information about the group (including details about deliverables, issues, actions, status, participants, and meetings) will be available from the Browser Testing and Tools Working Group home page.

This group primarily conducts its technical work in the following two places:

The public is invited to post messages to that mailing list and to participate in discussions on that IRC channel.

It is not anticipated that the group will conduct any regularly-scheduled teleconferences but may conduct occasional teleconferences on an as-needed basis.

The group may use a Member-confidential mailing list for administrative purposes and, at the discretion of the Chairs and members of the group, for member-only discussions in special cases when a participant requests such a discussion.

Decision Policy

This group will seek to make decisions through consensus and due process, per the W3C Process Document (section 3.3). Typically, an editor or other participant makes an initial proposal, which is then refined in discussion with members of the group and other reviewers, and consensus emerges with little formal voting being required.

However, if a decision is necessary for timely progress, but consensus is not achieved after careful consideration of the range of views presented, the Chairs may call for a group vote, and record a decision along with any objections.

To afford asynchronous decisions and organizational deliberation, any resolution (including publication decisions) taken in a face-to-face meeting or teleconference will be considered provisional. A call for consensus (CfC) will be issued for all resolutions (for example, via email and/or web-based survey), with a response period from one week to 10 working days, depending on the chair's evaluation of the group consensus on the issue. If no objections are raised on the mailing list by the end of the response period, the resolution will be considered to have consensus as a resolution of the Working Group.

All decisions made by the group should be considered resolved unless and until new information becomes available, or unless reopened at the discretion of the Chairs or the Director.

This charter is written in accordance with the W3C Process Document (Section 3.4, Votes), and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis. For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.


This Working Group will use the W3C Software and Document license for all its deliverables.

About this Charter

This charter has been created according to section 5.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Charter History

The following table lists details of all changes since the initial charter for the group, per the W3C Process Document (section 5.2.3):

Charter Period Start Date End Date Changes
Initial Charter 13 October 2011 31 December 2013 No changes in scope or deliverables.
Charter Extension 1 January 2013 31 December 2015 No changes in scope or deliverables.
Charter Extension 1 January 2016 31 March 2016 No changes in scope or deliverables.
Rechartered 19 May 2016 31 March 2017 No changes in scope or deliverables.
Charter Extension 1 April 2017 30 September 2017 No changes in scope or deliverables.
Charter Extension 1 October 2017 30 June 2018 No changes in scope or deliverables.
Charter Extension 7 November 2018 31 December 2018 No changes in scope or deliverables.