[PROPOSED] HTML Working Group Charter

The mission of the HTML Working Group, part of the HTML Activity, is to continue the development of the HTML language, as well as the development of HTML-specific APIs for interacting with in-memory representations of resources that use the HTML language, and to define normative requirements for browsers and other user agents which process HTML resources, along with defining normative document-conformance requirements for HTML documents.

End date 30 June 2015
Confidentiality Proceedings are Public
Chairs Sam Ruby, IBM
Paul Cotton, Microsoft
Maciej Stachowiak, Apple
Team Contacts Michael[tm] Smith, W3C/Keio (0.5 FTE),
Robin Berjon, W3C/MIT (Editor, 1.0 FTE)
Up to one teleconference per week for general HTML Working Group business, and up to one teleconference per week each for any task forces or subteams, or for topic-specific discussions (for example, for the Testing Task Force, the Accessibility Task Force, or for discussions of the HTML Media Extensions proposals).
Face-to-face meetings
A two-day meeting during the W3C's annual Technical Plenary week; other additional F2F meetings for general HTML Working Group business may be scheduled (up to 2 per year).
IRC discussion
The #html-wg channel on irc.w3.org


The HTML Working Group will:

Consistent with the W3C’s Principles of Design, the HTML Working Group will use a greater reliance on modularity as a key part of the development of the HTML language, allowing extension specifications to define new elements, new attributes, new values for attributes that accept defined sets of keywords, and new APIs. Those extension specifications may be achieved within the HTML Working Group or other Groups.

Success Criteria

The HTML Working Group’s work will be considered a success if there are multiple independent complete and interoperable implementations of its deliverables that are widely used.


The HTML Working Group will complete work on the following existing deliverables of the group:

The HTML Working Group will deliver an HTML 5.1 specification which updates the HTML5 specification, and which, like the HTML5 specification:

The updated HTML specification may be modularized into separate documents. When extensions to the HTML 5.0 or 5.1 specifications are needed, separate extension specifications can be written.

Some examples of features that would be in scope for the updated HTML specification:

Note: It is anticipated that work on the next-generation specification for offline Web applications will not be done by the HTML Working Group but will instead be done by the Web Applications Working Group.

Other Deliverables

The HTML Working Group will create a comprehensive test suite for the updated HTML5 specification to satisfy the CR Exit Criteria. Is is expected that the final test suite will be available no later than 3 months before moving to Proposed Recommendation.


Note: The group will document significant changes from this initial schedule on the group’s publication status page.
Specification FPWD LC CR PR Rec
HTML5 N/A 2011 Q2 2012 Q4 2014 Q4 2014 Q4
HTML 5.1 2012 Q4 2014 Q3 2015 Q1 2016 Q4 2016 Q4
HTML Canvas 2D Context N/A 2011 Q2 2012 Q4 2013 Q3 2013 Q4
HTML Microdata N/A 2011 Q2 2013 Q1 2013 Q3 2013 Q4
Media Source Extensions N/A 2013 Q4 2014 Q2 2015 Q1 2015 Q1

Dependencies and Liaisons


The HTML5 specification has normative dependencies on ARIA, SVG, MathML, and CSS specifications, and on a number for specifications that are deliverables of the Web Applications Working Group, including but not necessarily limited to the following:

  • DOM4
  • DOM3 Events
  • WebIDL
  • XMLHttpRequest
  • DOM Parsing and Serialization
  • Web Components: Shadow DOM, HTML Templates, Custom Elements

The HTML Working Group is expecting reviews from the following working groups:

SVG Working Group
The HTML markup language includes support for embedding SVG content and provides support for graphics API, such as the 2D Context API.
Internationalization Working Group
The i18n Working Group looks at issues encompassing a broad array of cultural, linguistic, technical and accessibility concerns.
MultilingualWeb-LT Working Group
The HTML markup language provides support for the translate attribute.
Math Working Group
The HTML markup language includes support for embedding MathML content.
Web Applications Working Group
The HTML5 specification relies on several specifications from the Web Applications Working Group.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group
The most common application of CSS is to style web pages written in the HTML language.
Web Application Security Working Group
The HTML5 specification is documenting some security policies mechanisms.
Protocols and Formats Working Group
PFWG develops the WAI-ARIA specification, of which the HTML5 specification has included some portions by mutual agreement. In addition, PFWG reviews W3C specifications while under development to ensure that they provide support for accessibility for people with disabilities.
RDFa Working Group
One deliverable of the RDFa Working Group is a specification that defines rules and guidelines for using RDFa in HTML documents.
Privacy Interest Group
The HTML specification defines features that have potential impact on user privacy.


The HTML Working Group should maintain a liaison with the following groups:

The HTML Working Group will consider proposals for future specifications from Community Groups, encourage open participation from Community Group members, and keep coordination with relevant Community Groups, all within the bounds of the W3C patent policy and available resources.

External Groups

The following is a list of external bodies the HTML Working Group should collaborate with:

ECMA Technical Committee 39 (TC39)
The HTML Working Group should ensure that its work related to any APIs implemented in JavaScript/ECMAScript is aligned as much as is practical and reasonable with the work of TC39.
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
The HTML Working Group should ensure that its work related to Web protocols is aligned as much as is practical and reasonable with IETF RFCs and BCPs.


The Chairs, specification editors, and test-suite maintainers are expected to contribute one to two days per week towards the HTML Working Group. There are no minimum requirements for other participants, and in particular no minimum requirements for “good standing”.


The group may hold teleconferences and face-to-face meetings, but note the Decision Policy requirements with regard to synchronous meetings.

Most of the technical work of the group will be done through discussions on the group’s public mailing lists and through bug discussions for bugs filed against the HTMLWG component in the W3C bugzilla service.

The following existing mailing lists are available for the HTML Working Group to use for discussions:

The group may also decide to add additional mailing lists, or to drop or repurpose existing ones. A complete list for current mailing lists is available.

Decision Policy

As explained in the W3C Process Document (section 3.3), the HTML Working Group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus and with due process. The expectation is that typically, an editor or other participant makes an initial proposal, which is then refined in discussion with members of the group and other reviewers, and consensus emerges with little formal polling being required.

However, if a decision about an issue is necessary but consensus is not achieved after careful consideration of the range of views presented, the Chairs should put a question out to the group, poll the members of the group for responses (allowing for remote asynchronous participation—using, for example, mailing-list discussion and/or Web-based survey techniques), and record a decision, along with any objections. In evaluation of responses, all members of the group will have equal footing; responses will be evaluated on the basis of their objective merit, and not on the basis of which particular members made the responses.

The group must not record any final decisions without first allowing for remote asynchronous participation in the decision—using, for example, mailing-list discussion and/or Web-based survey techniques. Specifically, the group must not record final decisions during synchronous meetings (telephone conferences or face-to-face meetings).

After the group has recorded a decision on an issue, the issue should then be considered resolved unless and until new information becomes available.

The group has been maintaining a detailed “HTML Working Group Decision Policy”. This continues to evolve based on the WGs experience over time, and may continue to do so to enhance the WGs operations in support of the principles of fairness, responsiveness, and progress of the W3C.

This charter is written in accordance with Section 3.4, Votes of the W3C Process Document and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

Document License

The HTML 5.0 and HTML 5.1 specifications produced by the HTML Working Group are licensed under the W3C Document License. The Working Group may decide to use the W3C Open Document License for an extension specification if no objection is received at the first publication opportunity, or earlier if the Chairs call the question.

Individuals may propose to use the W3C Document License or the W3C Open Document License when submitting an extension specification to the Working Group. Extension specifications may republish materials that have been dropped from the HTML 5.0 and HTML 5.1 specifications but must not duplicate material included in these specifications.

The W3C Open Document License is the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY) or a later version, unless W3C designates an alternate license or licenses that would address all the HTML use cases listed in III. Use Cases. Copyright attribution should be given to W3C (MIT, ERCIM, Keio, Beihang), and should include a link to the original W3C document.

About this Charter

This charter for the HTML Working Group has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

The previous version of this charter is available.

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