This report, dated May 29, 2020, was prepared for the May 2020 Virtual W3C Advisory Committee Meeting (W3C Member link). See the accompanying W3C Fact Sheet — May 2020. For the previous edition, see the September 2019 W3C Strategic Highlights. For future editions of this report, please consult the latest version.
This report highlights recent work of enhancement of the landscape of the Web platform and innovation for its growth and strength. The work accomplished by the W3C Community is a tribute to human engineering that builds on top of the core work done on the Internet, giving us the Web: a tool that has and will continue to accelerate scientific cooperation and discoveries, a social means to bridge families and friends, a way to learn online and grow skills, an instrument to conduct successful business, and much more.
34 working groups and 10 interest groups enable W3C to pursue its mission through the creation of Web standards, guidelines, and supporting materials. We track the tremendous work done across the Consortium –250 specifications– through homogeneous work-spaces in Github which enables better monitoring and management.
Privacy on the Web has become a growing issue, which the Covid-19 pandemic has further exacerbated when a significant fraction of the population moved their work and communications to the Web, in application of the required isolation to stop the spread of the virus.
Early in 2020, the world faced one of our biggest challenges to date –a global pandemic of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Respecting the importance of social distancing, W3C prioritized the needs of people first and thus quickly suspended all work-related travel, operating completely remotely to continue the most vital work we do in this community –creating Web standards.
The Web is one of the key infrastructures required for getting through the crisis and our work in enhancing the platform and making it available for everyone is critical. Most projects are continuing although the lack of physical meetings and other considerations are causing some to slow down.
As the Web evolves continuously, groups are looking for ways for specifications to do so as well. So-called "evergreen recommendations" or "living standards" aim, for where that's appropriate, to track continuous development (and maintenance) of features, on a feature-by-feature basis, while getting review and patent commitments.
The W3C Advisory Board, the Revising W3C Process Community Group and the W3C Team have worked on a significant proposed update to the W3C Process Document which introduces changes to allow easier updating of RECs and CRs, to provide a native Living Standards capability of the W3C Recommendation Track, while maintaining the same review and quality requirements that it currently possesses. An in-depth explainer about the changes affecting the Recommendation track is available.
The capability of living standards requires enhancements to the W3C Patent Policy. The W3C Patents and Standards Interest Group (PSIG), working at an accelerated pace and according to the principle of minimal necessary amendments to the existing policy, and endeavoring to secure patent commitments at snapshots of the Candidate Recommendations (Patent Review Drafts), while preserving the Consortium's stable, trusted patent policy, presented a proposed update to the W3C Patent Policy that includes a few open issues.
The review, which is open to the public, ends on May 31. We anticipate sending the revised documents for formal Advisory Committee review and approval in June, aiming they come into effect in July 2020.
W3C uses a variety of mechanisms to engage community discussion on good future Web standards. These include conversing with the Membership, liaising with other standards bodies, watching the activities of thousands of participants in over 335 community groups, and hosting W3C Workshops. There are lots of good ideas. The W3C strategy team works to identifying promising topics for standardization and invites public participation.
Workshops bring communities together around presentations, panels, breakouts, and "hallway" sessions to spur collaboration on new work areas. While switching to virtual entails a change in mode and some re-setting of schedules, we envision that distributed meetings can be even more accessible and globally participatory. Upcoming workshops and ideas under consideration include:
Recently completed Workshops
The Strategy Funnel documents the staff's exploration of potential new work at Incubation and Evaluation, and eventually to the chartering of a new standards group. The Funnel view is a GitHub Project where new area are issues represented by “cards” which move through the columns, usually from left to right. Most cards start in Exploration and move towards Chartering, or move out of the funnel.
Public input is welcome at any stage but particularly once Incubation has begun. This helps W3C identify work that is sufficiently incubated to warrant standardization, to review the ecosystem around the work and indicate interest in participating in its standardization, and then to draft a charter that reflects an appropriate scope. Ongoing feedback can speed up the overall standardization process.
Since the previous highlights document, W3C has chartered a number of groups, and started discussion on many more:
W3C's payments standards enable a streamlined checkout process, giving a consistent user experience across the Web with lower front-end development costs for merchants. Users can store and reuse information and more quickly and accurately complete online transactions. Recent progress include:
The Web is the universal publishing platform. Publishing is increasingly impacted by the Web, and the Web increasingly impacts Publishing.
Topic of particular focus of Publishing@W3C include typography and layout, accessibility, usability, portability, distribution, archiving, offline access, print on demand, and reliable cross referencing. And the diverse publishing community represented in the groups consist of the traditional "trade" publishers, ebook reading system manufacturers, but also publishers of audio books, scholarly journals or educational materials, library scientists or browser developers. Recent progress include:
Securing the future of EPUB and setting new directions for Publishing at W3C will result in the following structural changes:
The Web is the Open Platform for Mobile. Telecommunication service providers and network equipment providers have long been critical actors in the deployment of Web technologies. As the Web platform matures, it brings richer and richer capabilities to extend existing services to new users and devices, and propose new and innovative services.
WebRTC has reshaped the whole communication landscape by making any connected device a potential communication end-point, bringing audio and video communications anywhere, on any network, vastly expanding the ability of operators to reach their customers. WebRTC serves as the corner-stone of many online communication and collaboration services.
The WebRTC Working Group continues its intense efforts toward publishing WebRTC 1.0 (and companion specification Media Capture and Streams) to Recommendation. The initial end-of-2019 schedule has been delayed, but work on interoperability and issue closing has made good progress and hope to get to REC in the upcoming few months.
Meanwhile, the group has published its first version of the identified use cases for expanding WebRTC (aka WebRTC NV) on which the group would focus its efforts once WebRTC 1.0 is finalized, and that will form the basis for the next WebRTC Working Group charter that the group is currently discussing.
The group focuses its attention on two major topics of exploration:
The Media and Entertainment activity tracks and standardizes media-related topics and features needed to create immersive experiences for end users. HTML5, TTML and TTML profiles, WebVTT, brought standard audio, video and captions to the Web. Standardization activities since then turned the Web into a professional platform fully suitable for the delivery of media content and associated materials, enabling missing features to stream video content on the Web such as adaptive streaming and content protection. Current goals are to:
The Timed Text Working Group continues its work on captioning standards for the Web. After publication of TTML2 and of the TTML Profiles for Internet Media Subtitles and Captions (IMSC) 1.1 standards end of 2018, the group published a Candidate Recommendation of TTML IMSC 1.2 in March 2020. This revision defines a text-only profile and an image-only profile of TTML2. It retains compatibility with TTML IMSC 1.1 on which it builds to reflect contemporary practices, and incorporates extensions specified in SMPTE ST 2052-1:2010 "Timed Text Format (SMPTE-TT)" such as the SMPTE #image extension. By selecting a subset of the features and extensions defined in TTML IMSC 1.2, it is possible to create a TTML IMSC 1.2 document that also conforms to SMPTE2052-1.
The group also started work on a TTML profile intended to support audio description script exchange throughout the workflow including production of the script, rendering as voice by recording or text to speech synthesis, and audio mixing.
Beyond traditional closed captions, a number of video sharing platforms implement a feature known as Bullet Chatting or Danmaku whereby comments and annotations, which may be generated by users in real-time, get overlaid and animated on top of videos at specific points of the media timeline. The Media & Entertainment Interest Group explores possible interoperability requirements and technical gaps in that space.
Rendering of captions in VR/AR scenarios poses unique challenges on the rendering side (where to position these captions in 3D, whether to follow users head movements, how to indicate the source of a caption in a 360° video when the user is currently looking elsewhere) as well as on the distribution side (how to encode these captions interoperably in timed text files). The Immersive Web Community Group is exploring use cases for subtitles in 360° videos and requirements for subtitles and text in WebXR. In parallel, the Immersive Captions Community Group is investigating best practices for access, activation, and display settings for captions with different types of immersive media (AR, VR, Games).
The Media Working Group was created mid-2019 to develop and improve client-side media processing and playback features on the Web. This includes standardization of the following APIs:
The Media Working Group also develops a revision of the Media Source Extensions specification, notably to add a codec switching feature to improve support for ad insertion scenarios, and of the Encrypted Media Extensions specification, e.g. to add persistent usage record sessions.
Following work on use cases and requirements for Media Timed Events, incubation of a DataCue proposal datacue has started to bring support for timed metadata to the web platform, in particular for MPEG-DASH emsg in-band events.
The Second Screen Working Group started standardization work on the Open Screen Protocol, a suite of network protocols based on QUIC that allows web browsers and devices to implement the Presentation API and the Remote Playback API in an interoperable fashion. The Open Screen Protocol specifically supports browsers and displays that are connected via the same local area network. It allows a browser to present a URL, initiate remote playback of an HTML media element, and stream media data to another device.
There are complementing ways to reduce device fragmentation. One of them is to make sure that devices converge on a common definition of technologies that compose the Web platform at a point in time. Through the Web Media APIs Community Group, the CTA WAVE Project publishes annual snapshots of Web APIs that are supported across main browser codebases at the time of publication.
The Media & Entertainment Interest Group has also started to gather practical constraints on consumer electronic devices related to the integration of Web media APIs, such as playback behavior when hardware can only decode one video at a time.
Another approach to improving cross-device support in applications is to document and expose differences in capabilities. Media Capabilities and CSS Media Queries are good examples of specifications that expose practical device support for media related features such as codec support, video resolutions, and color spaces. The Web Performance Working Group also develops specifications that expose timing hooks to Web applications, to analyze the time spent doing various tasks. Although not specifically targeted at media scenarios, these specifications (such as Navigation Timing, Resource Timing, User Timing, Server Timing) make it possible to monitor the performance of running applications on actual devices, and thus to measure the quality of experience.
Hardware that enables Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications are now broadly available to consumers, offering an immersive computing platform with both new opportunities and challenges. The ability to interact directly with immersive hardware is critical to ensuring that the web is well equipped to operate as a first-class citizen in this environment.
The Immersive Web Working Group has been stabilizing the WebXR Device API. The group split the specification into separately managed modules (core API, AR module, gamepad module) based on the different speed of progress expected for different features. The companion Immersive Web Community Group incubates the next series of features identified as key for the future of the Immersive Web.
W3C held a workshop on Inclusive Design for Immersive Web standards in November 2019 to learn from existing approaches in making XR experiences accessible. The workshop highlighted the following aspects (see full report for details):
Work on underlying technologies spans various standardization groups and incubation activities in W3C and in the Khronos Group, such as the Immersive Web Working Group, the Timed Text Working Group, or the Khronos glTF Working Group.
3D is at the core of any immersive experience. The GPU for the Web Community Group incubates the WebGPU specification, a more modern API compared to WebGL that exposes the capabilities of GPU hardware for the Web, and efficiently abstracts away common native GPU APIs (Vulkan, Direct3D 12, and Metal).
The Web and Networks Interest Group, created in 2019, explores solutions for web applications to leverage network capabilities (such as new 5G features) in order to achieve better performance and resources allocation. The group is notably exploring network quality monitoring and prediction scenarios to allow web applications to create as smooth a media playback experience as possible.
W3C is also investigating and standardizing solutions to lower media distribution latency below the second. WebRTC is now stable and supported across web browsers, used in most video conferencing systems, and has been successfully applied to stream live media to client devices. Looking forward, the proposed WebTransport API, a Websocket-like API built on top of QUIC, would allow applications to create multiple streams, unidirectional streams, out-of-order delivery and unreliable transport. Coupled with the WebCodecs API proposal to expose media encoders/decoders to Web applications, these technologies may create a new efficient mechanism to stream live media on the Web.
The W3C Team sent an advance notice of work in progress on a WebTransport Working Group charter.
W3C discusses and standardizes other technologies, directly or indirectly related to media. For instance, the W3C Workshop on Web games (read the report), held in June 2019, explored areas that could also apply to media production and media streaming in realtime scenarios such as low-latency input processing, multi-threading support, etc. The Media Technologies for the Web roadmap lists Web technologies as they can be used to build media applications and services.
The Media & Entertainment Interest Group is the main forum at W3C for media-related technical discussions to track progress of media features on the Web. On top of topics mentioned above, the group has also started to explore use cases and requirements for Media Production on the Web.
The W3C Automotive Working Group is learning from real world experiences from its Vehicle Information Service Specification (VISS), a service in production vehicles now, and being used elsewhere, aiming to create a rich application ecosystem for vehicles.
The standard provides an access method to a common data model for all the signals information available on vehicles, engine temperature, fuel/charge level, range, tire pressure etc. Presently it encapsulates approximately a thousand different data elements and will be growing to accommodate the advances in automotive such as autonomous and driver assist technologies and electrification.
Applications run on the vehicles themselves on the "head unit" (where the car stereo resides) and other devices allowed to connect to the vehicle. Some envision using it in the cloud to provide in-direct access to vehicles.
Leveraging the underlying data model of the VIWI submission from Volkswagen, the group is working on a successor to VISS, as a more robust means of accessing vehicle signals information and the same paradigm for other automotive needs including location-based services, media, notifications and caching content. The group has an early prototype of the as yet unnamed "Gen2" successor.
The Automotive and Web Platform Business Group acts as an incubator for the W3C Automotive activity. It has been focusing on the opportunities and challenges of bringing vehicle information to the cloud and uses once there.
BMW and EURECOM have created an ontology (VSSo) on top of the data model used within the vehicle and besides enabling analytics, it also makes it possible to represent the vehicle as a thing within the W3C Web of Things (WoT) realm and proof of concept demos have been made in various venues. EURECOM has agreed to bring VSSo to the W3C Auto BG.
The Business Group has formed liaisons with the following groups:
Having formed a data-first approach to figure out what information is a major component within the broader transportation, the Business Group will be renamed and relaunched to reflect a wider view: W3C Automotive and Transportation Business Group. The group will focus on coordination on transportation ontologies, building on the vehicle signal ontology. The group will also work on best practices for in-vehicle applications, keeping a close eye on the Miniapps Community Group and create a showcase graph server demonstrating real world questions that can be answered with this vehicle data.
W3C's Web of Things work is designed to bridge disparate technology stacks to allow devices to work together and achieve scale, thus enabling the potential of the Internet of Things by eliminating fragmentation and fostering interoperability.
The Web of Things complements existing IoT ecosystems to reduce the cost and risk for suppliers and consumers of applications that create value by combining multiple devices and information services. There are many sectors that will benefit, e.g. smart homes, smart cities, smart industry, smart agriculture, smart healthcare and many more.
The group continues to expand the scope and depth of its work, such as onboarding of Things in a secure way; interoperability profiles for support of particular usage contexts and specific technologies; vocabulary support for new protocols and additional standard metadata such as location or device manufacturer; security schemes to support constantly evolving security mechanisms such as flows in OAuth2, support for PoP Tokens, support for ACE among others; links relation type specification to maximize interoperability; standardized discovery mechanisms so that devices self-describe directly rather than depending on a centralized infrastructure; and improvements to Thing Description Templates.
The Web of Things Interest Group explores ideas prior to standardization in collaboration with external standards development organizations and industry alliances. Such liaisons have already progressed in two critical areas:
The HTML Working Group moved the June 2019 snapshot of the DOM specification to Candidate Recommendation. This is the first fruit of the collaboration with the WHATWG. The group will remain on stand-by until the DOM transition concludes before it can move the HTML spec further to the wide review of August 2019.
The group expects a yearly adoption for DOM (based on June snapshots) and HTML (based on December snapshots).
CSS is a critical part of the Open Web Platform. The CSS Working Group gathers requirements from two large groups of CSS users: the publishing industry and application developers. The former requires better pagination support and advanced font handling, the latter needs intelligent (and fast!) scrolling and animations.
What we know as CSS is actually a collection of almost a hundred specifications, referred to as ‘modules’. The current state of CSS is defined by a snapshot, updated once a year. The group also publishes an index defining every term defined by CSS specifications.
Since the previous highlights document, the CSS Working Group published 13 documents (Working Drafts, Candidate Recommendations), including CSS Writing Modes Level 3 that became an official web standard, enabling text on the Web to be laid out horizontally or vertically, as well as setting the direction in which lines are stacked.
SVG is an important and widely-used part of the Open Web Platform. Yet, while the SVG Working Group has been addressing some SVG 2.0 issues, the group is lacking resources to push the specification to completion.
The Web Audio Working Group was recently rechartered to finish its work on the Web Audio API –which is substantially complete– and continue work on Web Audio API 2.0. New features are being incubated in the Audio Community Group, which has a monthly call with the Audio WG.
The first version of the specification, which is implemented in all browsers, enables synthesizing audio in the browser. Audio operations are performed with audio nodes, which are linked together to form a modular audio routing graph. Multiple sources — with different types of channel layout — are supported. This modular design provides the flexibility to create complex audio functions with dynamic effects.
The Web Performance Working Group's mission is to provide methods to observe and improve aspects of application performance of user agent features and APIs, and it works on 15 specifications simultaneously.
The group published the level 2 version of High Resolution Timing. A good amount of time is spent looking at proposals circulating in WICG intended to enhance performance, such as Scheduling API, or is-input-pending.
WebAssembly is a safe, portable, low-level format designed for efficient execution and compact representation of code on modern processors including in a web browser. At its core, WebAssembly is a virtual instruction set architecture that enables high-performance applications on the Web, and can be employed in many other environments. There are multiple implementations of WebAssembly, including browsers and stand-alone systems. WebAssembly can be used for applications like video and audio codecs, graphics and 3D, multi-media and games, cryptographic computations or portable language implementations.
The group and companion Community Group, where requirements gathering and language development take place, are already working on a range of features for future versions of the standard, including:
Browser testing plays a critical role in the growth of the Web by:
The Browser Testing and Tools Working Group published a First Public Working Draft of WebDriver version 2, a remote control interface that enables introspection and control of user agents that provides a platform- and language-neutral wire protocol as a way for out-of-process programs to remotely instruct the behavior of web browsers.
The group is working on specifying a standard bi-directional protocol for WebDriver; that protocol will share some characteristics with similar existing protocols, such as Chrome Devtools Protocol (aka CDP, aka Chrome Debugging Protocol).
Since 2014 W3C began work on this coordinated open-source effort to build a cross-browser test suite for the Web Platform, which WHATWG, and all major browsers adopted. Recent progress includes:
There have been several great success stories around the standardization of data on the web over the past year:
Data is increasingly important to society, especially with the rise of IoT and Big Data. W3C has a mature and extensive suite of standards relating to data that were developed over two decades of experience, with plans for further work on making it easier for developers to work with graph data and knowledge graphs, and for the industry to exploit advanced digital technologies and facilitate business by integrating horizontally along the supply and value chains, and vertically from the factory floor to the office floor.
Linked Data is about the use of URIs as names for things, the ability to dereference these URIs to get further information and to include links to other data. There are ever-increasing sources of open Linked Data on the Web, as well as data services that are restricted to the suppliers and consumers of those services. W3C is seeking Member input on priorities for future work on data-related standards and emerging opportunities for AI and machine learning. An upcoming W3C Workshop on the Web and Machine Learning will focus on enriching the Open Web Platform with better foundations for machine learning.
Traditional approaches to data have focused on tabular databases (SQL/RDBMS), Comma Separated Value (CSV) files, and data embedded in PDF documents and spreadsheets. We're now in midst of a major shift to graph data with nodes and labeled directed links between them. Graph data is:
W3C's approach is based upon RDF and there is extensive work at W3C and elsewhere on vocabularies for a wide variety of application domains. In the wake of the W3C Workshop on Graph Data (read the report), we are looking for support for launching a Graph Standardization Business Group to provide a business perspective with use cases and requirements, to coordinate technical standards work and liaisons with external organizations.
Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) and Verifiable Credentials are closely related: by their very nature of being cryptographically verifiable, DIDs are an ideal tool to identify the various actors in a Verifiable Credential, whose cryptographic integrity is one of its most important features. Both were incubated originally in the W3C Credentials Community Group. W3C may expect further specifications developed by that Community Group to be proposed as possible Working Groups in the future.
Credentials are a part of our daily lives: drivers’ licenses are used to assert that we are capable of operating a motor vehicle, university degrees can be used to assert our level of education, and government-issued passports enable us to travel between countries. Such credentials, specifically the digital versions thereof, are fundamentally important for a number of applications, user interactions, workflow, etc., that are happening on the Web. These digital credentials must be cryptographically secure and verifiable, privacy-respecting, and managed in a decentralized manner to ensure flexibility and long term sustainability of applications that depend on them.
The Verifiable Credentials Working Group (formerly known as Verifiable Claims Working Group) has published in the Fall of 2019 a W3C Recommendation of Verifiable Credentials Data Model 1.0 which provides the basis for the larger-scale deployment of digital credentials across many different applications, as well asVerifiable Credentials Use Cases.
Digital Identifiers are fundamental for the deployment of various services on the Web and beyond, both in terms of interactive applications and also as part of the deployment of a Web of Data. Considering the various types of applications, identifiers should be easy to create, decentralized, persistent, resolvable, and cryptographically verifiable. While a number of identification schemes (Web URLs, ISBNs, ORCID numbers, email addresses, UUIDs, etc.) fulfill some of these characteristics, none fulfill all.
The Decentralized Identifier Working Group aims at defining digital identifiers as specific URI schemes that have an associated DID document: a JSON document containing primarily cryptographic information that allows any agent to check entity integrity, exchange private information, and get services information; and that can be stored on various types of distributed ledgers, Web storage systems like github, or IPFS. The group has already published Working Drafts of DID Identifiers v 1.0, and DID Use Cases and Requirements.
This has been an active period for Privacy and Security activities, with the establishment of a Privacy Community Group and vital new activity in the Privacy Interest Group (PING) and Improving Web Advertising Business Group.
Privacy and security – integral to human rights and civil liberties – have long been important in the Web Consortium's agenda. For example, our work has been instrumental in improving Web security through the development of authentication technologies that can replace weak passwords and reduce the threats of phishing and other attacks. However, users rightly fear the misuse of their personal data and being tracked online, including browser fingerprinting, the spread of disinformation, and other online harms. These are difficult and urgent challenges. We have begun discussions about how to help users find trustworthy content on the Web without increasing censorship.
All Internationalization specifications • educational articles related to Internationalization • spec developers checklist • overview of language enablement work in progress • Internationalization Initiative
Only a fraction of the world's population of almost 8 billion speaks English, and yet over 50% of online content is written in that one language. Those whose voice and language are not included on the Web will be increasingly marginalized and excluded. They will not receive the economic, educational or democratic benefits of the Web and by not having their presence and participation, we lose the potential of the Web to reflect the full richness of the world.
The Web Consortium launched the Internationalization Activity (i18n) in 1998 to make the Web truly 'world wide'. For the Web to truly work for stakeholders all around the world engaging with content in various languages, there must be a collaboration of language experts, Web site designers, developers, and vendors who are active in moving the Web forward. The Web Consortium Internationalization Activity has developed a language matrix of International typography which is supported on the Web. We will only be able to connect all communities that share a language when the Web supports all the world's languages.
For an overview of current projects see the i18n radar.
The Internationalization initiative aims to increase participants and motivate sponsors to fund extra resources in i18n, beyond what is covered by the core membership funding. We are targeting contributors in three key areas: Language enablement, Developer support, and Author support.
Japanese and Chinese layout task forces continue to meet regularly and are actively working on their documents. We expect to very soon publish a new version of the Japanese Layout Requirements document (in English and Japanese), which incorporates errata and editorial changes. Work is also ongoing in the area of gap analysis.
Other groups include Arabic, Southeast Asian, and Indic task forces. We also have nascent networks for discussion of European and African languages. Over the next 4-5 months we hope to encourage more experts to become active in these groups, and would welcome any volunteers or support from the membership. Documents produced by those groups to date include gap analysis and requirements information for Arabic, Persian, Japanese, Chinese, Amharic, Tigriña, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Bengali, Punjabi, Lao, Khmer, Thai, Javanese, Georgian, Dutch, Hungarian, and more. For a summary of current status, see the language matrix.
Other recent news include:
The Internationalization Working Group has been active reviewing specifications and providing advice to other Working Groups, including CSS, WHATWG, Webplatform, WAI, and Web Publishing, Web of Things, JSON-LD, among others.
In 2006, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which reaffirmed that all persons with all types of disabilities should be able to enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Convention defined access to information, including web and digital content, as a human right. Digital accessibility, including web accessibility, is key for equal access, opportunity and participation for all.
When websites and Web tools are properly designed and coded, people with disabilities can use them, and individuals, businesses, and society all benefit. The Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), launched in 1997, develops technical specifications, guidelines, and techniques, as well as supporting resources such as outreach and training materials to promote awareness and implementation. WAI’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is regarded as the authoritative international standard for Web accessibility, and has been adopted or referenced by many governments around the world.
However, as the complexity of the Web increases, and as technologies as diverse as digital publishing and virtual reality converge onto the Web, the need for up-to-date accessibility support in advanced technologies is increasing exponentially. Without the Web Consortium's efforts, people with disabilities would be left further behind.
The Web Accessibility Initiative supports W3C's Web for All mission, and helps ensure a cohesive program of coordinated accessibility activities, distributed throughout the functional management areas of W3C, with additional support from WAI funders and sponsors. Recent achievements include:
The Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AG WG) recently:
WAI staff continue to promote standards harmonization and coordination around the world, including through the European Norm EN 301 549. Updates are completed to the Chinese National Accessibility Standard.
To foster the excellent feedback loop between Web Standards development and Web developers, and to grow participation from that diverse community, recent W3C Developer Relations activities include:
Many Web users rely on translations of documents developed at W3C whose official language is English. W3C is extremely grateful to the continuous efforts of its community in ensuring our various deliverables in general, and in our specifications in particular, are made available in other languages, for free, ensuring their exposure to a much more diverse set of readers. You may refer to the instructions in order to contribute to our translation efforts.
Liaisons and coordination with numerous organizations and Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) is crucial for W3C to: