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"Shaping the Future of HTML"

W3C Workshop: Call for Participation

Monday 4th May and Tuesday 5th May 1998
San Francisco Airport Hyatt Regency, California.

Registration Extended To:
5pm EST Friday, April 24, 1998
(Hotel Discount Rate Expires April 10, 1998)

Registration | Organization | Venue | Hotel Information Alternative Hotels

All participants must fill in the registration form!

Workshop Scope

Is HTML 4.0 the last HTML? Does XML mean the end of HTML? Has W3C given up on HTML?

Rest assured, W3C's answer to all three questions is "no". HTML, in conjunction with style sheets, promises to be a vital part of the Web for years to come as the ubiquitous format for global hypertext. Millions of people have learned HTML and have documented vast amounts of information with it, ensuring its future role.

What is that role? How will HTML co-exist with XML, RDF, SMIL, and other languages? W3C has ideas but we need your help.

You are invited to help shape the future by voicing your particular outlooks, needs, and criticisms at a workshop on the future of HTML. Participants will have a chance to discuss their views directly with the designers of HTML. The workshop will help W3C Members and Staff evaluate issues and challenges to be met by future versions of HTML.

The two-day workshop will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame California, close to San Francisco Airport. Participants will represent a wide range of organizations involved in either the use of HTML or the development of tools for processing it. This includes Web site designers, application developers, tool vendors and end-user organizations. Attendance is limited to 100 people. There is no registration fee for participants from W3C member organizations. Others will have to pay a fee of $250 to help cover W3C's expenses in running the workshop. Position papers are especially welcome.

A list of possible topic areas is given below. W3C welcomes comments and suggestions for additional topics. Papers are particularly welcome and submission details are given below.

Database Applications

HTML is increasingly being used as a core component in the creation of Web-based applications involving databases. What features would help in this respect? For instance: a wider range of forms controls, special support for dates and currency values, integration of database query and report generators.


HTML lacks support for languages, such as Japanese, where text is set out vertically rather than horizontally. What features are needed for this? Another feature currently lacking is support for "Ruby". These are annotations which indicate how particular Kanji characters should be spoken.


What additional features or conventions are needed to improve the quality of searching? HTML 4.0 made a start in this direction with recommendations for using META, but what further steps should be taken?


HTML 4.0 includes many features for improved accessibility for people with disabilities. For instance, labels for form fields, rich descriptions for images and ways to associate table data with headers for use with speech-based browsers and Braille readers. What additional features would further improve accessibility? How would these also benefit other users? What is the impact on editing tools?

Aural and Multimodal browsers; Small devices

As computing devices shrink, QWERTY keyboards and graphical displays need to be supplemented by other means to interact with browsers. Will voice recognition, speech synthesis and recorded sound usher in a wave of new devices such as browsers the size of today's pagers and cellular phones? What about accessing the Web from your car or truck?

How will such devices affect the Web? What new demands will there be on HTML, scripting and style sheets? What should W3C being doing about proposals for HDML and Compact HTML?

Better UI: standard ways to navigate pages; relevance to small devices

All touch-tone telephones share the same set of standard buttons. All video recorders share the same set of buttons for play, record, stop, winding backwards and forwards. Is it time the Web came up with its own small set? This would allow people to operate Web browsers whether on Windows, cellular phones, pagers or automobiles.

Television Sets as Browsers

Televisions have been used for information services for over 20 years. Recently, set-top boxes have added new capabilities. For example, when watching TV being offered the opportunity to follow or bookmark links to relevant information. To be able to view this information on-screen at the same time. To be able to use your TV to browse any Web content on any Web site.

Is there a need for changes to HTML to fully exploit the opportunities presented by television? How does this impact work by W3C on style sheets and multimedia presentations?

More flexible forms of hypertext links

For instance, pop-up links that offer you a menu of choices. This may be feasible via scripting, but should features like this be institutionalized in HTML itself? What about indirect links? What about providing information of alternative ways to find a linked resource, in different formats or from different locations?

RDF conventions for HTML

W3C's work on the resource description format (RDF) provides a foundation for representing meta-data. What conventions should W3C be working on for HTML pages? For instance, how to specify page collections or sequences? How to represent copyright and licensing conditions (whether you are allowed to print a page etc.)? Embedding pricing/payment information for traversing hypertext links? How to represent alternative media for links?

Embedding XML in HTML

This is critical to embedding RDF (an application of XML). It would also provide a way for developers to extend HTML with application specific tags. There are a number of ways of extending HTML to support this. One way would be to use an element such as META to declare XML elements, another would be an XML wrapper element, yet another, to use a special attribute to indicate that an element uses XML conventions. How would such XML tags be bound to style sheets or other processing software? Is there value to a scheme which binds the tags to Internet content types?

Support for embedding Mathematical Expressions

The W3C Math working group has been working on ways to represent mathematical expressions. How should this be integrated into HTML? Is it time for the math tags to be part of HTML?

Validation and Cleanup

The Web is being held back by sloppy markup. What is the role for validation services? How much can be done to automate fixup of bad markup? What roles should ISPs, Content providers, vendors of editing tools, and W3C take?

Test suites

Interoperability is paramount. Test suites can help to ensure that HTML implementations conform to W3C's HTML recommendations. Is this sufficient or should the test suites go further? For instance, to examine whether and in what ways browsers are sensitive to variations in white space and the presence or absence of optional end tags?.

Guidelines for implementors of editing tools

What can be done to improve the quality of markup produced by HTML editing tools? How can these tools support authors in producing HTML that is accessible to people with disabilities?

Guidelines for authors

What guidelines are appropriate, and how should these be promulgated? Should HTML browsers and editors include these guidelines in their help systems?

Expected audience

These are some of the people who may be able to contribute:

Criteria for success

The Workshop will be used to determine how much need there is for a new version of HTML. One possible outcome is the formation of a new HTML Working Group within W3C.

Deliverables to be produced:

Information To Contributors

There will be a limit of 100 attendees. Participants who do not belong to a W3C member organization are required to pay a registration fee of $250 before May 1, 1998, to help cover W3C's costs in running the workshop.  Checks should be made payable to MIT/W3C for the sum of two hundred and fifty US Dollars.  Please mail your payment to:
           Susan Hardy            
           MIT/Laboratory for Computer Science
           World Wide Web Consortium
           545 Technology Square
           Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

All checks must be received before May 1, 1998

If you would like to attend the workshop, please fill out the registration form before April 24th, 1998. Registration is required!

Position paper are welcomed, preferably around 1 to 5 pages. Please indicate whether you are willing to present. The position papers are intended to create a basis for the discussion at the workshop. The program Committee will select the most relevant papers for presentation at the workshop. Position papers should be sent via email to the chairs. Allowed formats for submissions are a URL to the position paper, HTML, and ASCII.

Important Dates

As soon as possible
Please register using the registration form.
Friday, April 10, 1998 5:00 pm PST Discount Rate Expired
Hotel Discount Rate Available until this date
5pm EST Friday, April 24
Deadline for registration
4-5 May, 1998
The Workshop itself.

Workshop Organization

Workshop chair:

Steven Pemberton (CWI)

email: Steven.Pemberton@cwi.nl
tel:+31 20 592 4138
address: CWI Kruislaan 413 P.O. Box 94079
1090 GB Amsterdam, The Netherlands

W3C contact and co-chair:

Dave Raggett (W3C/HP)

email: dsr@w3.org
tel.: +44 122 578 2521
address: 73b Ground Corner, Holt,
Wiltshire BA14 6RT, United Kingdom

W3C Meeting Planner:

Susan Hardy (W3C)

email: susan@w3.org
tel.: +1 617 253 2613
address: World Wide Web Consortium
545 Technology Square, Cambridge MA 02139

Program Committee:

Others are welcome! (contact the chairs)

hotel photo


Hyatt Regency
San Francisco Airport
1333 Bayshore Highway
Burlingame, CA 94010 USA
Telephone: +1-650-347-1234 or
Fax: +1-650-696-2669


The Hyatt Regency is one of California’s largest airport hotels, situated 2 miles south of San Francisco International Airport. A courtesy shuttle is available for travellers arriving at San Francisco Airport. For folks arriving by car, you can take the off-ramp from US 101 to N BAYSHORE BLVD. Turn left on N BAYSHORE BLVD heading northeast for 0.3 miles to 1333 Bayshore Hwy.

Hotel Room Rates

Discount Room Rate: $149 + tax. This rate will be available from: May 2nd through May 5, 1998. You must book before Friday, April 10, 1998 5:00 pm PST to get this rate. Note that you need to book your hotel room with directly with the hotel mentioning that you are participating in the MIT/W3C HTML Workshop on May 4th and 5th. The registration form is only for the workshop.

Alternative Hotels

Seating Arrangements: The meeting room will be arranged classroom style and will accommodate 100 attendees.

Resource Statement

W3C Resource Commitment

Running the workshop involves W3C staff spending time to set up the venue, the call for participation, the registration procedure, reviewing papers, making them available on the W3C website, emailing acknowledgements and chairing the meeting. Our goal is to do this with the minimum resources necessary.

Over the period of six weeks, this activity will consume 10% of the time of one W3C staff member for chairing the workshop, 10% of the time of one W3C staff member to handle local organization, 5% of the time of one W3C staff member for managing the workshop website, and 10% of five staff members for coordinating with W3C current activities. The workshop falls under the W3C HTML activity, which is managed as part of the User Interface domain.

Alternative Hotels

A list of hotels with room rates under $150 has been provided for budget conscious attendees.  Note that the hotels listed below may have fewer services than some of the larger or three star hotels.  Please be sure to ask appropriate questions regarding your needs if you plan to stay at one of the hotels below.

The Holiday Inn at the Airport
245 South Airport Boulevard
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Tel: 650-873-3550
Contact: Michele
10 rooms available.
Rate: $139.00 plus tax / single
Confirmation number: 68471469

Ramada Inn San Francisco Airport North
245 South Airport Boulevard
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Tel: 650-589-7200
Contact: Eileen
10 rooms available.
Rate: $109.00 plus tax / single or double
Confirmation numbers: 385-893, -894, -895, -896, -897, -898, -899, -900,-901, -902

Best Western Grovenor
380 South Airport Drive
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Tel: 800-722-7141
Contact: Patti
Rate: $94.00 s/d
Confirmation number: none

La Quinta Inn
20 Airport Boulevard
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Tel: 650-583-2223
Contact: Sam
    $125.00 regular daily rate
Confirmation number: 65913538

Last modified: $Date: 1998/04/02 18:36:41 $ by $Author: fillault $