HyperText Markup Language (HTML) Charter

26 July 1994
This is totally draft and provisional, for discussion atthe HTML BOF.
Tim Berners-Lee

Mailing list information

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Working and Background Material

This material is all online in order to reduce list traffic.

Desccription of working group

The HTML working group is chartered firstly to describe, and secondly to develop, the HyperText Markup Language HTML. The group's work is to be based on existing prctice on the Internet, and will make due reference to the SGML standard.

The group will build upon a working specification originally written by Tim Berners-Lee, much work done by Dan Connolly in editing and testing, the recent editing of Karen Muldrow, and the HTMLPlus specification edited by Dave Raggett. The working group takes over the work of the informal HTML Implementors Group which met at the WWW94 conference in Geneva, the HTML workshop at that conference, and an informal meeting and an IETF BOF in Toronto in July 94.

The HTML standard will provide a format for hypertext files of wide applicability, and particularly as a mandatory common format for all World-Wide Web applications.

The standard will specify the relationships between HTML and other standards and practices such as URIs, HTTP, MIME and SGML.


The working group will work in two stages.
Descriptive specification
The first priority will be to complete the specfication of existing practice on the Internet, defining it in terms which make development of new features as straightforward as possible. This specification will cover HTML up to that which has been called level 2, i.e. including basic features, highlighting, images and forms.
Once the descriptive specification is submitted to the standards process, the group will work on development of HTML, taking on the work known as HTMLPlus. This work will include formats for tables, figures, and mathematical formulae.
In the absence of other proposals, the working group will terminate having produced the milestones below and the RFCs having achieved standards status.


December 94 before IETF
Submission of draft standards track descriptive specification.
December 94 before IETF
Submission of text/html MIME type
End IETF December 94
Outline requirements list for HTML levels 3 and above, with development priority, as Internet Draft.
June 1995
Individual IDs for new feature sets for HTML levels 3 and above.
Before IETF meeting July1995
Submission of draft standards track RFC for HTML levels 3 and above.

Editorial procedures

Editing will initially be coordinated by Daniel Connolly of Hal Software Systems. Dave Raggett of HP Labs is currently editing the HTMLPlus document. Background and working material will be kept and made available by the W3 teams at CERN and MIT.