World Wide Web Consortium Issues Modularization of XHTML as a W3C Recommendation

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XHTML Modules Bring the Web to More Devices Today

Testimonials -- 10 April 2001 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today announced the publication of Modularization of XHTML as a W3C Recommendation. This specification defines a method for separating XHTML 1.0 into a collection of modules, each enabling a group of familiar and related HTML functionalities, such as lists, forms, tables, and images. This gives product and specification developers standard building blocks for creating content, and standard methods for specifying which blocks are used.

A W3C Recommendation indicates that a specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C Membership, who are in favor of supporting its adoption by academic, industry, and research communities.

Diverse Devices Demand Web Access

As the Web has grown, so has the variety of devices people use to collect and create information. Hand-held computers, mobile phones, television devices and fixed appliances each have different requirements and constraints for creating and receiving Web content. Users now expect all of these devices to give them access to the entire Web.

Modularization of XHTML Gives Designers Control and Choice

To meet the needs of millions of users, in addition to Web developers and designers, W3C's HTML Working Group has developed Modularization of XHTML. Modules provide the means for both subsetting and extending XHTML, which make it suitable for use on many types of devices, large or small. "Modularization of XHTML gives content developers the ability to choose modules, either alone or in combination with others, which are all components of the XHTML family, ensuring interoperability," explained Steven Pemberton, Chair of the HTML Working Group. "By using standardized modules in clearly specified ways, we are able to use automated tools to transform content to suit various devices, so content developers can focus on what they do best."

XHTML Family Grows in Stability, Utility, Extensibility

This is the third Recommendation the W3C HTML Working Group has produced in the past 15 months, building from XHTML 1.0 in January 2000, and XHTML Basic in December 2000.

In recent news, many companies have committed to implement XHTML as the language of choice for mobile products, content and services. Further, XHTML Basic, the first implementation of Modularization, is already endorsed by the mobile telecommunications industry. The lessons learned in creating XHTML Basic provided the experience necessary to prove the principles and methods described in Modularization of XHTML.

The W3C HTML Working Group consists of key industry leaders and experts, including Applied Testing and Technology, CWI, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic), Microsoft, Mozquito Technologies, Netscape/AOL, Openwave Systems, Opera Software, Philips Electronics, Quark Inc., Sun Microsystems, and WebGeek, Inc.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 500 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see


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Testimonials for Modularization of XHTML

AOL/Netscape | Applied Testing and Technology, Inc. | ATSC | Ericsson | IBM | Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. | Mozquito Technologies | Nokia | Openwave Systems Inc. | Quark, Inc. | WebGeek, Inc. | ZOT Group


The XHTML Modularization Specification will make it possible to more easily adapt documents and data to a variety of applications, platforms, and devices. This will give consumers the freedom to access web content using the means of their choosing. Netscape will continue to work within the W3C to define innovative standards such as the Modularization Specification and, through the open source development initiative at, to support these standards in Netscape 6.

-- Jim Hamerly, Vice-President of Client Product Development, Netscape Communications Corporation, a subsidiary of America Online, Inc.


Applied Testing and Technology, Inc. has invested considerable resources and expertise in the production of XHTML Modularization and its related specifications. We are very excited to see that the center-piece of this work is now a W3C Recommendation. We expect rapid adoption of the technology represented by this Recommendation both within our organization and throughout the community. We currently plan to use this Recommendation as the basis of several testing-related document types, and also to support it through the creation of general purpose content testing and validation tools that rely upon the Modularization framework. Finally, as we work with our clients, we plan to encourage them to use Modularization-based DTDs in their web content.

-- Shane P. McCarron, Managing Director, Applied Testing and Technology, Inc.


The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) develops voluntary standards for digital television. The ATSC has found the W3C work on XHTML Modularization particularly valuable in assisting with the development and promulgation of advanced interactive television platforms which support declarative content. In its current work underway on a DTV Application Software Environment (DASE) Standard, the ATSC makes normative reference to the W3C XHTML Modularization specification.

-- Mark S. Richer, Executive Director, Advanced Television Systems Committee


Modularization of XHTML provides a standard way of customizing markup languages based on XHTML. It makes them more suitable for different types of Web clients such as mobile phones, and lets us include the best features from different markup languages in XHTML. We are plannig using modularisation of XHTML to extend XHTML Basic with WML markup, to combine the best of the new Web and the best of WAP.

-- Martin Jönsson, Strategic Product Manager, Ericsson


Modularization is a key technology to allow mature W3C grammars like HTML to grow and embrace the flexibility inherent in XML. It allows authors to work with well defined subsets of HTML like XHTML-Basic and it allows cell phone manufacturers to converge their telephony standards with the lingua franca of the web, HTML. Furthermore, IBM will exploit the power of Modularization in forthcoming editions of WebSphere Transcoding Publisher.

-- Bob Sutor, Director of e-Business Standards Strategy, IBM Corporation


Panasonic is very pleased that the "Modularization of XHTML" specification has been approved as a W3C Recommendation.

"Modularization of XHTML" provides us a formal/systematic means for subsetting and extending XHTML.

"Modularization" is a very important technique for applying Web technologies to digital home appliances, such as digital TV sets or mobile phones because sometimes there are resource limitations or device specific features on such devices; and "Modularization" allows us to have an specification which best fits to each platform in a systematic way.

As one of the leading companies for digital home appliances, Panasonic highly expects that "Modularization of XHTML" will become the foundation for a wide variety of Web appliances.

-- Yasunori Tanaka, General Manager, Core Software Development Center, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.


Mozquito Technologies really appreciates this quantum leap in Web technology. With the Modularization of XHTML, the "X" in "XML" becomes a reality, and the worlds of Web design and XML technology converge. We are very happy to see the extensibility of XML unfold, and we will soon announce a product that builds on this specification. is available.

-- Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer, CEO Mozquito Technologies AG


XHTML Modularization moves the state of Web standards further towards the very important goal of device independence. XML in general, and XHTML in particular (especially when paired with CSS), make it possible to develop common content for a wide range of devices, including mobile phones. These technologies will deliver the important "human readable" part of the Semantic Web of the future.

-- Ora Lassila, Research Fellow, Nokia Research Center and Chief Scientist, Nokia Venture Partners, LP


Openwave's contribution to XHTML Modularization and XHTML Basic demonstrates our dedication to open standards, innovation, and delivering Internet-based communications anywhere, anytime, over any device. XHTML Modularization provides a set of tools that enable the application of a common family of markup languages to many types of devices, from PCs to televisions to mobile phones. The ability to support constrained devices, and the ability to add domain-specific modules for industry-specific needs, is an important milestone in the development of the web.

-- Bruce Martin, Vice President, Technology, Openwave Systems Inc.


Quark sees great promise in XHTML Modularization as a way to help our customers achieve the level of flexibility they need to thrive in today's multiple-media publishing environment. XHTML Modularization could greatly aid the realization of our vision for media-independent publishing. We plan to use this technology as a tool to help our customers deliver content anywhere it needs to go.

-- Juergen Kurz, Director of Product Management, Quark, Inc.


WebGeek, Inc. is delighted to see the advancement of XHTML Modularization to Recommendation at the W3C. Having been involved in the development of this technology for more than a year, we've developed modules, DTDs, and documents for use within our company based on XHTML Modularization techniques. These internal processes have lead to significant improvements in delivery of content and DTD development for our clients, increasing our productivity and adding value for the client, while decreasing our required production time.

-- Ann Navarro, CEO WebGeek, Inc.


At last -- an open solution that meets the requirements of emerging platforms to enable data transfer across multiple channels, without compromising presentation integrity or functionality. We welcome W3C's Recommendation for Modularization of XHTML, the latest member of the XHTML family of specifications, with much enthusiasm. Coupling Modularization of XHTML with other W3C Recommendations such as CSS and XSLT allows for rapid deployment of new services easily and efficiently -- anytime, anywhere and on any device. Initially adopted to serve a dire need for Web applications on mobile devices, Modularization of XHTML ultimately benefits the Web community as a whole: by leveraging more than 12 months' implementation expertise and offering "mix and match" flexibility that results in an enhanced user experience, developers have no excuse to not embrace XHTML today.

-- Sally Khudairi, CEO, ZOT Group, and Steering Committee Member, The Web Standards Project

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