Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group Launches Mailing List

Friday June 4th, 2004

Ian Hickson writes: "Some of you may be interested to hear that people from Opera and Mozilla have set up an open mailing list for discussing Web Forms 2 and other new specs that have been discussed in various places over the last few months."

The list is the public forum of the newly-formed Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group, an organisation made of contributors from several major Web browser development teams. Current invited members are Brendan Eich, David Baron, David Hyatt, Håkon Wium Lie, Ian Hickson, Johnny Stenback and Maciej Stachowiak.

The group is working on specifications for Web Forms 2.0, Web Apps 1.0, Web Controls 1.0 and a CSS object rendering model. This work will be largely done outside of the World Wide Web Consortium, though finalised versions of the specs are expected to be submitted for formal standardisation. While the decision to operate independently of the W3C may be seen as controversial, many feel that formal standards bodies move too slowly to react to proprietary technologies such as Microsoft's forthcoming XAML. In addition, many in the W3C are pushing for Web applications standards based on technologies such as XForms and Scalable Vector Graphics, whereas the members of the WHATWG favour backwards-compatible HTML-based solutions, which they believe would be easier to implement and more likely to be adopted by Web developers.


by mielke

Saturday June 5th, 2004 2:27 AM

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Is that announcement the end of a short love affair between mozilla and SVG (<…ozilla-futures/build.html>) that started with Brendan's future development talk? Yes, I know we have SVG for a long time but it seemed to me that it got some more drive with Brendan's talk. Hixie's blog entry (<>) seems to point in the same direction. It looks to me that the companies that drive SVG are primarily interested in getting rid of the browser itself. At least requiring your own socket implementation and making it incompatible with CSS is a big step in this direction.

Reading the comments, that Robert got from his mailing to the SVG mailing list indicates that the companies that drive SVG would like to see a closed autarkic standing standard. I can understand their motives, if you plan to develop for mobile phones proprietary content, where people need to pay for the content, this is the way to go.

The idea of vendor driven fast development of web-technologies seems to me appealing. At least browser vendors should know by now what their customers would like to see or where they expect the market will go. It looks to me like browser vendors are trying to get their "freedom to innovate" back from a standards body. I believe this is good. It will put a stop sign on a way where people create unimplementable specs, remove attributes only by "political" reasons (see how the XHTML people did try to remove the style attribute") and are in general slow. But this is what MS is saying for years now.