PROPOSED Pointer Events Working Group Charter

The mission of the Pointer Events Working Group is to provide methods to enable simple device-independent input from pointing devices such as mouse, pen, and multi-touch screen.

Join the Pointer Events Working Group.

This proposed charter is available on GitHub. Feel free to raise issues.

Start date [dd monthname yyyy] (date of the "Call for Participation", when the charter is approved)
End date (Start date + 2 years)
Charter extension See Change History.
Chairs Patrick Lauke (TetraLogical)
Team Contacts Philippe Le Hégaret (0.01 FTE)
Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: topic-specific calls may be held
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, usually no more than 3 per year.


Web browsers can receive input in a variety of ways including mouse, touch, and pen input. A “pointer” is an abstract form of input that can be any point of contact on a input surface made by a mouse cursor, pen, finger, or multiple fingers.

Pointer Events provide support for handling mouse, touch, and pen input for web sites and web applications through DOM Events. For example, a web application developer using Pointer Events would only have use a single model, rather than separate code paths for mouse events, touch events, and pen-tablet events, developing web applications using pointers much more efficient and inclusive.

This Working Group seeks to enhance the features delivered in the Pointer Events Recommendation by exploring changes, such as:

Out of Scope

The following features are out of scope, and will not be addressed by this Working Group.

  • Gestures. Examples of out-of-scope gesture functionality and APIs include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Comparisons between multiple pointers to determine an action (e.g., panning for scrollable regions, pinch for zooming, press-and-hold for a mouse right-click).
    • Comparisons between time stamps of pointers to determine an action.
    • Comparisons between combinations of pointers and/or their time stamps to determine an action.
    • Determining an action based on comparison to a threshold (e.g., scroll speed based on a pressure threshold, panning based on distance threshold, press-and-hold based on a timing threshold).
    • APIs or functionality processing data that is indicative of a confidence level that a pointer is associated with a gesture.
  • Higher level APIs used to convey user intent.
    • High-level representational events.
  • Input targeting methods and disambiguation.
    • The algorithms and underlying systems used to determine target elements and pointer location.
    • Algorithms to determine unintended input (e.g. palm rejection).
  • Equipment used to detect input events.
    • Sensors, algorithms, and systems used to detect physical interactions and convert them into input events.
  • Ink and handwriting APIs.


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 Working Group will deliver the following W3C normative specifications:

Pointer Events (Level 3)

This specification builds upon the Pointer Events specification. This specification defines a unified interface for web applications to access event information related to pointing devices. This includes mouse, pen, multi-touch screen, and related input mechanisms. While device-specific information such as pressure or contact geometry might be included in the events, web developers can program against the events without needing to know what type of device created them.

Draft state: Working Draft

Expected completion: Q4 2021

Adopted Draft: Pointer Events (Level 3), 1 October 2020

Exclusion Draft: Pointer Events (Level 3), 12 December 2020
associated Call for Exclusion on 12-Dec-2019 ended on 10-May-2020

Other Charter:

Other Deliverables

Other non-normative documents may be created such as:

  • Use case and requirement documents;
  • Test suite and implementation report for the specification;
  • Primer or Best Practice documents to support web developers when designing applications.

Success Criteria

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

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

There should be testing plans for each specification, starting from the earliest drafts.

Each specification should contain a section on accessibility that describes the benefits and impacts, including ways specification features can be used to address them, and recommendations for maximising accessibility in implementations.

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


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. The Working Group is encouraged to engage collaboratively with the horizontal review groups throughout development of each specification. The Working Group is advised to seek a review at least 3 months before first entering CR and is encouraged to proactively notify the horizontal review groups when major changes occur in a specification following a review.

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

W3C Groups

Devices and Sensors Working Group
The mission of the Devices and Sensors Working Group (DAS WG) is to create secure and privacy-preserving client-side APIs that enable the development of web applications that interact with device capabilities. Mitigating of fingerprinting risks should be coordinated with this Group.
Touch Events Community Group
The Touch Events community group was formed by members of the Web Events Working Group (closed in 2013 after producing the Touch Events specification) and the Pointer Events Working Group (responsible for the Pointer Events spec). The group's focus is to determine differences in touch event behavior between browsers and maintain the Touch Events specification, which is still available on mobile devices. To support both touch and mouse across all types of devices, use pointer events instead.
Web Application Working Group
This Group provides specifications that enable improved client-side application development on the Web, including application programming interfaces (APIs) for client-side development and markup vocabularies for describing and controlling client-side application behavior.
Accessible Platform Architectures (APA) Working Group
The mission of the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group (APA WG) is to ensure W3C specifications provide support for accessibility to people with disabilities.

External Organizations



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 working 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 upon their agreement to the terms of the W3C Patent Policy.

Participants in the group are required (by the W3C Process) to follow the W3C Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.


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 Pointer Events Working Group home page.

Most Pointer Events 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 issues. The public is invited to review, discuss and contribute to this work. Additional discussion is conducted on the public mailing list (archive).

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 and 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, GitHub issue or web-based survey), with a response period of one week, depending on the chair's evaluation of the group consensus on the issue. If no objections are raised 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 (Version of 15 September 2020). 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 09 November 2012 09 November 2014
Charter Extension 24 September 2014 09 May 2015 none
Charter Extension 30 April 2015 09 November 2015 none
Charter Extension 3 February 2015 31 March 2016 Added link to Pointer Events Recommendation. Changed name of Web Pointer Events to Pointer Events. Patrick H. Lauke appointed as chair.
Rechartered 15 March 2016 31 January 2018

Added Pointer Events Level 2 deliverable.

Charter Extension 30 January 2018 31 July 2018 Updated end date, marked PLH as staff contact instead of Schepers.
Charter Extension 1 August 2018 31 December 2018 Updated end date.
Rechartered 13 December 2018 31 December 2020

Added Pointer Events Level 3 deliverable and future revisions.

Charter Extension 1 January 2021 31 March 2021 Updated end date.
Proposed TBD TBD + 2 years Updated end date.
Rechartered TBD 2021 TBD 2021 + 2 years

No change.