The W3 Consortium Takes Leadership Role in the Development of HTML

For Immediate Release

Contact: Hazel Kochocki
The Weber Group

CAMBRIDGE, USA -- March 4, 1996 -- The World Wide Web Consortium at MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science and INRIA has reached agreement with market leaders to establish interoperability standards for HTML features such as multimedia objects, style sheets, forms, scripting, tables, high quality printing, and improved access for the visually impaired.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has brought together experts from companies including IBM, Microsoft, Netscape Communications Corporation, Novell, Spyglass, and SoftQuad for joint work on these activities. Recently anounced work includes methods of embedding active objects within HTML, for which there had previously been many divergent proposals.

The technical team forming the W3C's HTML editorial review board (HTML-ERB) expects to define new versions of HTML in the next few months. Specifications, once in a suitably complete form, will be made available for public review, including by the Internet Engineering Task Force. Draft documents describing work in progress are available from the Consortium's web site, http://www.w3.org/

The original HTML specification was written by Tim Berners-Lee, now director of W3C, while he was at CERN. Innovations from NCSA and other contributors were reviewed under the auspices of the Internet Engineering Task Force, and published as the HTML 2.0 specification, RFC 1866, edited by Dan Connolly, now at W3C. Design work on HTML draws from sources such as the HTML+ and HTML 3.0 drafts by Dave Raggett of Hewlett Packard Laboratories, and extensions proposed by W3C member companies.

Dr. Raggett, now visiting scientist at W3C, is the lead architect of W3C's HTML activity. He works closely with member organizations and recognized experts in development, testing, and refinement of HTML.

W3C specifications incorporate significant breadth and depth of technical expertise and industry experience. In addition to the open forums from which the Web was born, they draw on W3C member organizations, which span a wide range of industries, from computer hardware and software to publishing, banking, and manufacturing.

"The W3C has taken key steps toward the development of future WWW technology. Netscape is looking forward to continuing to work with the W3C and its members to create a common vision of the future of the Web." said Jeff Treuhaft, senior product manager at Netscape.

"We're pleasantly surprised at how well working with W3C has turned out." says John Ludwig, Vice President of Microsoft's Internet Platform Division.

"Hewlett Packard strongly supports W3C's efforts to improve the quality of printing from the Web." says Tim Campbell of HP's Business LaserJet Division.

"SoftQuad is excited about continuing its role in the design and development of HTML. Tim Berners-Lee, Dan Connolly and Dave Raggett have brought together a very diverse and effective team at W3C and through collaboration with industry partners." said SoftQuad Product Manager, Murray Maloney.

The Consortium has a close working relationship with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet. The World Wide Web Consortium will continue to work with the IETF to standardize accepted practise and to ensure the widest possible review of proposed standards.

The W3C was created to develop common standards for the evolution of the World Wide Web. It is an industry consortium run by MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science and INRIA. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users; a reference code implementation to embody and promote standards; and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, the Consortium comprises more than 120 organizations.

Now in its third decade, MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) is dedicated to the invention, development and understanding of information technologies expected to drive substantial technical and socio-economic change. The LCS has helped information technology grow from a mere curiosity to 10 percent of the industrial worlds economies by its pioneering efforts in interactive computing, computer networking, distributed systems and public key cryptography. LCS members and alumni have started some thirty companies and have pioneered the Nubus, the X-Window System, the RSA algorithm, the Ethernet and spreadsheets.

INRIA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control is a French public-sector scientific institute. INRIA is made up of five Research Units located at Rocquencourt (near Paris), Rennes, Sophia Antipolis, Nancy and Grenoble. The transfer of research results is one of INRIA's main assignments, in addition to its fundamental and applied research in information processing, control and scientific computation.

Further information on the World Wide Web Consortium is available via the Web at URL http://www.w3.org/

For further information, please contact Dave Raggett, dsr@w3.org.
Last updated 04 March 1996