Over many years, many within the W3C and the W3C TAG have discussed a variety of issues relating to the evolution of Web standards. An early work plan for web evolution and the design requirements can be found in [Evolvability]: a 1998 design note by Tim Berners-Lee on a [keynote at WWW7].
The TAG has worked in the area of extensibility and evolution, and has produced a number of [findings] related to the topic:
- [Mapping between URIs and Internet Media Types]
- [Internet Media Type registration, consistency of use]
- [The Disposition of Names in an XML Namespace]
- [Authoritative Metadata]
- [The use of Metadata in URIs]
- [Associating Resources with Namespaces]
- [The Self-Describing Web]
In addition, the TAG (or individual TAG members) started (and subsequently abandoned) a number draft findings,not currently part of the major TAG products:
- [Architectural Considerations for Language Versioning for the Web]
- [URNs, Namespaces and Registries]
- [Extending and Versioning Languages: Terminology]
- [Extending and Versioning Languages: Compatibility Strategies]
- [Extending and Versioning Languages: XML Languages]
- [Dereferencing HTTP URIs]
- [Extending and Versioning Languages: Strategies]
While these issues are still in the TAG priorities:
- [ISSUE-41] What are good practices for designing extensible languages and for handling versioning
- [ISSUE-66] The role of MIME in the Web Architecture
Some of this material was originally organized to assist with action assignments:
- [ACTION-595] Create a report on MIME and the Web
- [ACTION-531] Draft document on architectural good practice related to registries
- [ACTION-350] Revise http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2009Oct/0075.html based on feedback on www-tag and the feedback from TAG f2f 2009-12-09 discussion
- [ACTION-241 Review TAG versioning situation and report back to TAG and HTML
and the TAG "product"
During the [December 8, 2011 teleconference], the TAG resolved:
RESOLUTION: The TAG, with Larry in the lead, will prepare a document (based on http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2011Dec/att-0037/draft-registries.txt), likely a finding, discussing architecture for extensibility points in specifications, including but not necessarily limited to registries. This will augment the soon-to-be published (short) work on MIME architecture.
Many of the perspectives in [Evolvability] -- written as a reaction to the HTML cycle -- were rejected. Rather, the HTML cycle has been retained, but in a modified form. The principles outlined -- use of namespaces, use of URIs to denote namespaces, "follow your nose" and other principles -- need to be reexamined in terms of this course correction.
This Wiki is intended to provide a perspective for bridging between the evolution of HTML and other components of the web space, and to rationalize the divergent perspectives [irreconcillable differences].
Originally from [Background].