At the 30th IETF in Toronto, on 26 July 1994, a BOF was held on the formation of a HyperText Markup Language (HTML) working group.

There were 58 attendees. Dan Connolly and David Ragget had expressed regret at not being able to attend.

Paper documents distributed at the meeting were the draft charter of the proposed working group, and the current (of July 21, dated July 31!) version of the HTML specification.


The chairman stateed that the purpose for which the meeting had been called was to consider the creation of a new working group to work on the HyperText MarkUp Language (HTML) specification. He elaborated:


Proposed Charter

This was to have a strong focus to:

Levels of HTML

The conclusion of the WWW94 workshop was that the features culd be grouped in levels such that software capable of implementing level N may reasonably be required to implement levels k<N. Therefore, a level number rather than a bit mask used to represent application capabilities. The levels proposed were as follows.
Level 0
Mandatory. Headings, lists, anchors, etc. (Provides the least differences in presentation between platforms.)
Level 1
Images, Emphasis (Can confuse if used for semantics not evident also from text)
Level 2
Forms. (Require greater implementation effort)
Level 3
Not existing practice. Tables, figures.(& other effects breaking normal text flow.)
Level 4
Mathematical formulae
Levels 0,1,2 have multiple implementations. Levels 3 and 4 are experimental as yet.


The following comments were made during the ensuing discussion. The BOF unanimously proposed that an IETF working group should be created under the charter as amended to reflect the comments made where appropriate.

Ed Levinson <> mentioned an effort underway to investigate the conventions for distributing SGML as a MIME type. It was pointed out that this involves resolution of identifieres used in references, and therefore has an impact on URIs. A mailing list exists for the discussion, and a BOF is proposed for the next IETF. To subscribe to list, mail

This report (with apologies for any lack of objectivity) by the chaiman, Tim Berners-Lee <>