Browser Testing and Tools Working Group Charter

This charter has been replaced by a newer version.

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 13 December 2018
End date 31 March 2021
Charter extension See Change History.
Chairs David Burns, W3C Invited Expert
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 protocols and 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.

To promote interoperability, all changes made to specifications should have tests.


Draft state indicates the state of the deliverable at the time of the charter approval. Expected completion indicates when the deliverable is projected to become a Recommendation, or otherwise reach a stable state.

Normative Specifications

The Browser Testing and Tools Working Group will revise the following W3C normative specification:


WebDriver is a remote control interface that enables introspection and control of user agents. It provides a platform- and language-neutral wire protocol as a way for out-of-process programs to remotely instruct the behavior of web browsers.

Draft state: Editor's Draft
Latest publication: 05 June 2018 (Recommendation)

The group may publish other normative specifications within the scope defined in this charter.

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 multiple browser engines:

  • Gecko
  • Blink
  • WebKit
  • EdgeHTML


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 at least 3 months before 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:

W3C Groups


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 up to a quarter of a working day per week towards the Browser Testing and Tools Working Group. There is no minimum requirement for other Participants.

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

The group also welcomes non-Members to contribute technical submissions for consideration upon their agreement to the terms of the W3C Patent Policy.


Technical discussions for this Working Group are conducted in public: the 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. The meetings themselves are not open to public participation, however.

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.

Most Browser Testing and Tools Working Group teleconferences will focus on discussion of particular specifications, and will be conducted on an as-needed basis.

This group primarily conducts its technical work on GitHub and on the public mailing list (archive). The public is invited to review, discuss and contribute to this work.

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 Browser Testing and Tools 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 (Version of 5 February 2004 updated 1 August 2017). 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 from the initial charter, 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.
Rechartered 13 December 2018 31 December 2020 No changes in scope or deliverables.
Charter Extension 1 January 2021 31 March 2021 No changes in scope or deliverables.