Open Media Web: Standardization Roadmap

From W3C Wiki

This document summarizes the various technologies developed in W3C, and related to the converged delivery of multimedia content and services, as of January 2011.


Standardization in general and Web standards in particular are getting increasingly important for participants in the ICT program. Most notably, both areas are explicitly mentioned in the Digital Agenda for Europe (see Pillar II: Interoperability and Standards and Action 54: Develop a new generation of web-based applications and services).

Despite considerable general outreach on explaining the benefits and mechanics of standardization (see e.g. the Interactive Standardisation Guidelines co-developed by W3C within the Copras project), standardization is often still a challenge for projects funded under the ICT program.

Fig. 1 gives a general overview of the different ways that ICT projects can contribute to standardization for web-based applications and services within the W3C.

Fig. 1: Opportunities for Contributions to W3C Standardization for ICT projects along Standards lifecycle

From bottom to top, the figure shows the lifecycle of the W3C standardization process, often starting with a workshop or an "incubator group" and leading towards a final Web standards document.

On the right hand side, the figure shows how organizations participating in an ICT project that are also W3C members can contribute to W3C's work. W3C currently has more than 320 members (see full list ), many of them from Europe and many from the research community (e.g. CWI, DFKI, INRIA, Fraunhofer, University of Oxford, University of Manchester, Universidad de Oviedo, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya...).

However, an organization participating in an ICT project does not have to be a W3C member to be able to contribute to W3C's work. On the left hand side, Fig. 1 shows how organizations that are not currently W3C members can contribute to W3C's work.

While a full description of Fig. 1 is beyond the scope of this document, it should be noted that there are many ways for ICT projects to contribute to W3C standardization. Contribution is not necessarily limited to taking technical project results and bringing those for standardization to W3C. Other contribution opportunities for ICT projects include

  • reviewing working drafts, providing feedback on the functionality, possible "bugs" etc.
  • using and implementing a W3C standard in the project, thereby helping with adoption of the standard
  • participating in the development of the standard by joining a working group, workshop etc.

Fig. 1 clarifies the various ways in which ICT projects can contribute to W3C work on the organizational level. To be able to make concrete contributions, ICT projects also need orientation on a technical level to answer questions such as:

  • What are ongoing standardization activities relevant for my project?
  • When is an appropriate time to contribute?

The aim of this roadmap is to help answer these technical questions for ICT projects within the “Networked Media and 3D Internet” topic of the EU commission's ICT program. While projects in this topic are often familiar with standardization efforts in bodies such as ITU, DVB Forum or ETSI (see FutureNEM Updated inventory of relevant standards for the networked media field for an overview), they are less familiar today with standardization for web-based applications and services within W3C. This roadmap provides the orientation required, given the rapidly increasing importance of the Web and W3C standardization for Networked Media.

With HTML5 and related technologies of W3C’s Open Web Platform, open, royalty-free Web technologies are seen by many as the future way to create, distribute and access audiovisual media in the broadest sense. The Open Web Platform will not only allow access to music and videos, but also support more advanced applications such as integration with TV content and services, augmented reality and audio/video conferencing.

While W3C is currently working on standardizing many media-related aspects of the Open Web Platform, information about these standardization projects is currently spread over many parts of the W3C website, and the work itself is spread over various W3C working groups.

This roadmap gives a comprehensive and structured view of the ongoing work, facilitating access to the information, increasing its usability and visibility thereby making it more accessible to "Networked Media" ICT projects interested in contributing to W3C standardization.

To achieve this, this document maps ongoing W3C standardization activities onto target outcomes outlined in the ICT funding program for "Networked Media", namely

  • Technologies for converged delivery of multimedia content and services
  • Networked Search

Using this roadmap, an ICT project interested in contributing to standardization for a new generation of web-based applications can easily determine which W3C standardization activities are relevant to the project's target outcome and contribute to those or even potentially suggest new standardization activities should there be important omissions in W3C's current standardization work.

For each W3C standardization activity relevant to one of the target outcomes, this roadmap identifies

  • the relevant specification or section of a specification, including a direct link, enabling an interested ICT project to directly find the relevant information
  • the next milestone (where known), enabling an ICT project to plan its potential contributions to the W3C standardization effort. (for explanation of terms like "Candidate Recommendation" etc. see maturity levels in the W3C Process Document)
  • the relevant WG with a direct link, enabling an ICT project to find out more about who participates in the effort, ongoing WG discussions and other related standardization work items handled by the WG

The development status of the Open Web Platform is quite dynamic, with new efforts starting almost monthly, while some other efforts stall or are dropped. Consequently, this roadmap is a "living document", created and maintained as a Wiki page that can be updated by anybody with a public W3C account. The aim is to achieve a higher level of accuracy of the information through potential updates by users, people involved in relevant W3C standardisation efforts and others. For quality control, all changes are being monitored and reviewed for correctness by the main editor of this document via a Wiki RSS feed.

Technologies for Converged Delivery of Multimedia Content and Services

HTML5 Video

HTML Audio/Video Input

Media Fragments






Media APIs

Camera/Microphone API

Media Gallery API

Audio API


Web and TV

Networked Search

Augmented Reality

Points of Interest


Media Annotations

Philipp Hoschka 21:51, 6 January 2011 (UTC)