The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

Leading the Web to Its Full Potential...

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential. W3C is a forum for information, commerce, communication, and collective understanding. On this page, you'll find W3C news, links to W3C technologies and ways to get involved. New visitors can find help in Finding Your Way at W3C. We encourage organizations to learn more about W3C and about W3C Membership.


Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 is a Proposed Recommendation

2008-11-03: The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group has published the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 as a Proposed Recommendation, and published updated Working Drafts of Understanding WCAG 2.0, Techniques for WCAG 2.0, and How to Meet WCAG 2.0. WCAG defines how to make Web sites, Web applications, and other Web content accessible to people with disabilities. Comments are welcome through 2 December 2008. Read the announcement, Overview of WCAG 2.0 Documents, and about the Web Accessibility Initiative. (Permalink)

New Working Group to Refine Web Services Resource Access Specifications

2008-11-07: W3C today launched the Web Services Resource Access Working Group with a mission to produce W3C Recommendations for a set of Web Services specifications by refining the WS-Transfer, WS-ResourceTransfer, WS-Enumeration, WS-MetadataExchange and WS-Eventing Member Submissions. The group will address existing issues in those specifications, and review implementation experience and interoperability feedback from implementers and considering composition with other Web services standards. Learn more about the Web Services Activity. (Permalink)

W3C Invites Implementations of Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) Version 1.1 (Candidate Recommendation)

2008-11-07: The Voice Browser Working Group invites implementation of the Candidate Recommendation of Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) Version 1.1. The Speech Synthesis Markup Language Specification is designed to provide a rich, XML-based markup language for assisting the generation of synthetic speech in Web and other applications. The essential role of the markup language is to provide authors of synthesizable content a standard way to control aspects of speech such as pronunciation, volume, pitch, rate, etc. across different synthesis-capable platforms. See the implementation report plan and learn more about the Voice Browser Activity. (Permalink)

Note: Legacy extended IRIs for XML resource identification

2008-11-07: The XML Core Working Group has published the Group Note of Legacy extended IRIs for XML resource identification. For historic reasons, some formats have allowed variants of IRIs that are somewhat less restricted in syntax, for example XML system identifiers and W3C XML Schema anyURIs. This document provides a definition and a name (Legacy Extended IRI or LEIRI) for these variants for easy reference. These variants have to be used with care; they require further processing before being fully interchangeable as IRIs. New protocols and formats should not use Legacy Extended IRIs. Learn more about the Extensible Markup Language (XML) Activity. (Permalink)

Call for Review: W3C mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0 is a Proposed Recommendation

2008-11-03: The Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group has published the Proposed Recommendation of W3C mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0. This document defines the set of machine-verifiable tests that provide the basis for making a claim of W3C mobileOK Basic conformance and is based on W3C Mobile Web Best Practices. Content which passes the tests has taken some steps to provide a functional user experience for users of basic mobile devices whose capabilities at least match those of the Default Delivery Context. Comments are welcome through 1 December 2008. Learn more about the Mobile Web Initiative. (Permalink)

W3C Talks in November

2008-11-03: Browse W3C presentations and events also available as an RSS channel. (Permalink)

Incubator Group to Evaluate Research on Model-Based User Interfaces

2008-10-27: W3C is pleased to announce the creation of the Model-Based User Interfaces Incubator Group, sponsored by W3C Members Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, JustSystems, Siemens, Telefónica de España, and Université Catholique de Louvain. The group's mission is to evaluate research on model-based user interface design as a framework for authoring Web applications and with a view to proposing work on related standards. Read more about the Incubator Activity, an initiative to foster development of emerging Web-related technologies. Incubator Activity work is not on the W3C standards track. (Permalink)

Challenges for Future Web Bring Experts Together at W3C Global Plenary

Four Scenes from TPAC: sunrise, two hallway discussions, irc bots shown on Chairs T-shirt2008-10-21: All this week, the World Wide Web Consortium holds its annual Technical Plenary week near its European host site in France. More than 350 software engineers, developers, and other experts in a wide range of technologies such as HTML, XML, CSS, Mobile Web, Semantic Web, and Video in the Web, come together to address a variety of challenges in the development of Web standards. Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the Web, will open the 22 October plenary session with a keynote and discussion on the technical direction of W3C for the next several years and where Web applications, documents, and data come together. In the keynote, Berners-Lee will also share thoughts on the future of HTML in the browser and how HTML and XML communities can learn from each other. Slides and minutes from the plenary day will be publicly available. Read the press release for more information, including information for media wishing to cover the event. (Photo credit: Karl Dubost. Permalink)

Last Call: Media Queries

2008-10-16: The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group has published the Last Call Working Draft of Media Queries. HTML4 and CSS2 currently support media-dependent style sheets tailored for different media types. For example, a document may use sans-serif fonts when displayed on a screen and serif fonts when printed. 'screen' and 'print' are two media types that have been defined. Media queries extend the functionality of media types by allowing more precise labeling of style sheets. Comments are welcome through 21 November. Learn more about the Style Activity. (Permalink)

Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces Fifth Working Draft Published

2008-10-16: The Multimodal Interaction Working Group has published an updated Working Draft of Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces (MMI Architecture), which defines a loosely coupled architecture for multimodal user interfaces. The main change in this draft is the addition of the rules and guidelines which will allow modality experts to describe the features, capabilities and APIs for specific modality components in sufficient detail so that the components will be interoperable in implementations of the Multimodal Architecture. The architecture envisioned by the Working Group will provide a general and flexible framework providing interoperability among modality-specific components from different vendors - for example, speech recognition from one vendor and handwriting recognition from another. Learn more about W3C's Multimodal Interaction Activity. (Permalink)

RDFa in XHTML: Syntax and Processing Is a W3C Recommendation; RDFa Primer Updated

2008-10-15: The Semantic Web Deployment Working Group and the XHTML2 Working Group published the W3C Recommendation RDFa in XHTML: Syntax and Processing. This specification allows publishers to express structured data on the Web within XHTML. This allows tools to read it, enabling a new world of user functionality, allowing users to transfer structured data between applications and web sites, and allowing browsing applications to improve the user experience. For those looking for an introduction to the use of RDFa and some real-world examples, please consult the updated RDFa Primer. Learn more about the Semantic Web Activity and the HTML Activity. (Permalink)

Requirements of Japanese Text Layout Draft Published

2008-10-15: Participants from four W3C Groups CSS, Internationalization Core, SVG and XSL Working Groups as part of the Japanese Layout Task Force published an update of Requirements of Japanese Text Layout. This document describes requirements for general Japanese layout realized with technologies like CSS, SVG and XSL-FO. The document is mainly based on a standard for Japanese layout, JIS X 4051. However, it also addresses areas which are not covered by JIS X 4051. This draft contains most of the material which the task force intends to publish as a Group Note in December 2008. A Japanese version is also available. Learn more about W3C's Internationalization Activity. (Permalink)

W3C Invites Community to Explore Future of Social Networking in Workshop

2008-10-14: Social networking is a complex, rapidly expanding, and in some cases, disruptive sector of the information economy. For example, user-generated content is causing changes in the traditional content/media industry structure. In the future, community features may well become an integral part of all digital experiences from information/publishing to business and entertainment. Companies providing services for social media and social networking must anticipate barriers to industry growth and stability. W3C believes that now is the time for industry to gather to discuss their experience so far, and what barriers they foresee in the near- and medium-term. W3C therefore invites people to participate in a Workshop on the Future of Social Networking, to analyze risks and opportunities of the social networking industry, and to define plans for the future. The Workshop will be held 15-16 January 2009 in Barcelona (Spain) and is hosted by Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and ReadyPeople. Anyone may attend, but position papers are required and are due November 20. Instructions for Workshop registration/participation will be sent exclusively to authors of submitted position papers. Read more about the Workshop scope and sponsorship opportunities. (Permalink)

W3C Standard Simplifies Creation of Speech-Enabled Web Applications

2008-10-14: W3C published today a standard that will simplify the development of Web applications that speak and listen to users. The Pronunciation Lexicon Specification (PLS) 1.0 is the newest piece of W3C's Speech Interface Framework for creating Web applications driven by voice and speech. PLS can reduce the cost of developing these applications by allowing people to share and reuse pronunciation dictionaries. "There are 10 times as many phones in the world as connected PCs. Phones will become the major portal to the Web," said James A. Larson, co-Chair of the Voice Browser Working Group, which produced the new standard. Read the press release and testimonials, and learn more about the W3C Voice Browser Activity. (Permalink)

W3C Organizes Workshop on Speaker Biometrics and VoiceXML 3.0

2008-10-13: W3C invites people to participate in a Workshop on Speaker biometrics and VoiceXML 3.0 on 5-6 March 2009 in Menlo Park, California (USA), hosted by SRI International. Attendees will discuss directions for Speaker Identification and Verification (SIV) standards work, and in particular, requirements for SIV and SIV standards relevant to VoiceXML 3.0. The goal of the Workshop is to help the Voice Browser Working Group integrate existing and in-process standards with VoiceXML 3.0 specification and make the specification more useful in current and emerging markets. Position papers are due 18 December 2008. Read about Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) 3.0 Requirements, Voice Browser and learn more about W3C Workshops. (Permalink)

Seven OWL 2 Drafts Published

2008-10-09: The OWL Working Group published seven documents yesterday relating to the OWL 2 Web Ontology Language. OWL 2 extends OWL, a core standard of the Semantic Web, adding new features that users have requested and that software providers are prepared to implement. The documents are:

  1. Structural Specification and Functional-Style Syntax
  2. Direct Semantics
  3. RDF-Based Semantics (First Public Draft)
  4. Mapping to RDF Graphs
  5. XML Serialization
  6. Profiles
  7. Conformance and Test Cases (First Public Draft)

The first three documents form the technical core of OWL 2, which has both a traditional "direct" semantics (for OWL DL) and a new "RDF-based" semantics (for OWL Full). Documents 4 and 5 specify two different serializations for OWL ontologies, one based on RDF and one using XML more directly. Document 6 defines useful subsets of OWL which may be easier to implement or may better meet certain performance requirements. Finally, document 7 specifies conformance and will later enumerate the OWL 2 test cases. Five other documents are under development; but they are not yet ready for public review. Learn more about the Semantic Web Activity. (Permalink)

Widgets 1.0: Updates

2008-10-09: The Web Applications Working Group has published the First Public Working Draft of Widgets 1.0: Updates. This specification defines a model to allow a widget user agent to locate and replace a widget resource with a new or different version of a widget resource. The updates model is designed to work both over HTTP and from local storage. For updates performed via the Web, the model makes use a simple XML documents that authors place on a Web server to indicate, amongst other things, where the next most suitable version of a widget resource can be retrieved from. It also defines a mechanism that allows authors to be notified of installation errors or success. This specification also describes how to renegotiate security policies when widgets are updated. Learn more about the Rich Web Client Activity. (Permalink)

Schema Support Strengthens Toolkit in Updated XHTML Modularization Standard

2008-10-08: W3C updated its XHTML Modularization standard today with support for designing modular languages using XML Schema. The addition of schemas to XHTML Modularization 1.1 is an important step towards the XHTML2 Working Group's goal that XHTML support rich Web content and be extensible, while remaining interoperable. A modularization standard allows language designers to reuse elements defined by multiple parties (including other W3C standards such as SVG and MathML) and combine them into new formats to meet specific application needs. The standard allows people to use schema-enabled, off-the-shelf tools to immediately begin authoring and validating documents written in those new languages. The XHTML2 Working Group, which gained experience using Modularization 1.1 to build some modules and languages, now plans to add schema support to other XHTML standards. Learn more about the HTML Activity. (Permalink)

Past News

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