W3C W3C Member Submission

Submission request to W3C

Pointer Events Submission Request to W3C

Submitted Materials

We, W3C Member

hereby submit to the Consortium the following specification, comprising the following document attached hereto:

which collectively are referred to as "the Submission". We request the Submission be known as the Pointer Events Submission.


Today, most web content is used with and/or designed for mouse input. Those that handle input in a custom manner typically code to DOM Level 3 Mouse Events. Newer computing devices today, however, incorporate other forms of input, like touchscreens or pen input. Event types have been proposed for handling each of these forms of input individually. However, that approach requires a step function in opportunity cost to authors when adding support for a new input type. This often creates a compatibility problem when content is written with only one device type in mind. Additionally, for compatibility with existing mouse-based content, most user agents fire Mouse Events for all input types. This makes it ambiguous whether a Mouse Event represents an actual mouse device or is being produced from another input type for compatibility, which makes it hard to code to both device types simultaneously.

To reduce the cost of coding to multiple input types and also to help with the above described ambiguity with Mouse Events, the Pointer Events specifications defines a more abstract form of input, called a pointer. A pointer can be any point of contact on the screen made by a mouse cursor, pen, touch (including multi-touch), or other pointing input device. This model makes it easy to write sites and applications that work well no matter what hardware the user has.

Intellectual Property Statements


Microsoft Corporation hereby grants to the W3C a perpetual, nonexclusive, royalty-free, world-wide right and license under any Microsoft Corporation copyrights on this contribution, to copy, publish and distribute the contribution under the W3C document licenses.

Additionally, should the Submission be used as a contribution towards a W3C Activity, Microsoft Corporation grants a right and license of the same scope to any derivative works prepared by the W3C and based on, or incorporating all or part of, the contribution. Microsoft Corporation further agrees that any derivative works of this contribution prepared by the W3C shall be solely owned by the W3C.

Should the Submission not be used as a contribution towards a W3C Activity, change control of the Submission shall remain with the Submitters/Authors.


The organization I represent on the W3C Advisory Committee agrees to offer licenses according to the W3C Royalty-Free licensing requirements described in section 5 of the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy for any portion of the Submission that is subsequently incorporated in a W3C Recommendation.

Suggested action

We suggest that the Consortium start a Working Group whose mission is to produce a W3C Recommendation for Pointer Events by refining the Submission, addressing implementation experience and interoperability feedback from the Submission.


To help with this work, we expect to be able to provide assistance as needed to the Consortium.


Inquiries from the public or press about this Submission should be directed to: Robin Ginn (rginn@microsoft.com)


this 7th day of September, 2012,

Microsoft Corporation, Michael Champion