TPAC 2007 – HTML Working Group holds first face-to-face meeting

The time has come for the much anticipated HTML Working Group face to face meeting, at the W3C Technical Plenary / Advisory Committee Meetings Week in Cambridge, MA (USA).

The HTML WG has 488 participants, by far the largest Working Group at W3C, with 69 participants from 26 organizations and 419 Public Invited Experts (as of 8 November).

The meeting was quiet for about 15 minutes, but after Dan Connolly introduced everybody and a did a brief presentation about the W3C process using Hixie’s drawing, Aron Leventhal did an ARIA intro and presented some demos, and the discussion started.

As I write this, there are about 40 people in the room, 20+ on IRC, and Dan Connolly is playing the guitar and introducing Ben Millard who will be presenting the topic of data tables.

Maciej Stachowiak presents an extension to CSS that does transition and effect but still degrades gracefully (as stated by Olivier).

Still playing the guitar, the chair introduces an interesting and democratic way of deciding the topics of a number of “unconference” sessions. Participants with an idea come to the front of the room, and get 2 minutes to pitch their topic. Among them, “HTML for authors” gets the popularity vote, but others, such as versioning, test cases management or hacking, data tables or media elements, get a lot of attention.

The group is discussing about the social impact and needs of having a video element in the HTML specification. In terms of usability and given the numbers of video web services, it seems natural to create one. Then the cascading issue is how do we define the video element, which attributes, how much it should be compatible with video elements in other markup languages such as SMIL for example. Then there is an issue about codecs. Shall we recommend one, and which one? An issue has been opened as well as an entry in the wiki to define the scope of this media element.

Something truly collaborative is going on. Hixie just did a brief presentation on how to make test cases, and then everybody started testing different parts of the HTML5 spec … nice! Hixie is going around the tables answering some questions and discussing topics that are coming out from the tests.

It’s past six and the meeting has been adjourned until tomorrow morning. It was a great day for W3C.

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