HTML Fundamentals  © 2005 Banumathy sridharan


Appendix to Chapter 1:

W3C Standards

Introduction to W3C

W3C Stands for the World Wide Web Consortium. It was created in October 1994, by Tim Berners-Lee who is the Inventor of the Web. W3C is organized as a Member Organization. It creates and maintains WWW Standards, called W3C Recommendations.
The World Wide Web (WWW) began as a project at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), where Tim Berners-Lee developed a vision of the World Wide Web.
Tim Berners-Lee is now the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
W3C was created in 1994 as a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), with support from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and the European Commission.

Web Standards

W3C is working to make the Web accessible to all users. It also coordinates its work with many other standards organizations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Wireless Application Protocols (WAP) Forum and the Unicode Consortium.
W3C is hosted by three universities:
? Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S.
? The French National Research Institute in Europe
? Keio University in Japan

W3C Members

Because the Web is so important it was felt that no single organization should have control over its future. So W3C functions as a member organization. The member organizations includes a variety of software vendors, content providers, corporate users, telecommunications companies, academic institutions, research laboratories, standards bodies, and governments.
Some of its well known members are:
? Microsoft
? America Online
? Apple
? Adobe
? Macromedia
? Sun Microsystems
The most important work done by the W3C is the development of Web specifications (called "Recommendations") that describe communication protocols (like HTML and XML) and other building blocks of the Web.

How standards evolve

When W3C is publishing a new Web standard, the following processes are involved:
? W3C receives a Submission
? W3C publishes a Note
? W3C creates a Working Group
? W3C publishes a Working Draft
? W3C publishes a Candidate Recommendation
? W3C publishes a Proposed Recommendation
? W3C publishes a Recommendation
Any W3C member can submit a suggestion for a Web standard to the consortium.
Often a submission to the W3C becomes a Note. A Note is a description of a suggestion, edited by the member that submitted the Note. A Note is made available by the W3C for discussion only.
When a submission is acknowledged by the W3C, a Working Group consisting of members and other interested parties is formed. The Working Group will normally define a time schedule and issue a Working Draft of the proposed standard, describing the work in progress.
W3C Working Drafts are normally posted on the W3C Web site, along with an invitation for public comments.
Some specifications are more complex than others, and might require more input, more time, and more testing from members and software vendors. Sometimes these specifications are published as Candidate Recommendations.
A Proposed Recommendation represents the final stage of the work in the Working Group. Most often a Proposed Recommendation is close to the final Recommendation both in content and in time.
W3C Recommendations have been reviewed by the W3C members, and have the W3C's director's stamp of approval. A W3C Recommendation is considered a stable document and may be used as reference material.

How is this significant in the evolution of HTML standards?

HTML 2.0 was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force HTML Working Group in 1996.
HTML 3.2 was released as a W3C Recommendation in January, 1997. HTML 3.2 added features such as fonts, tables, applets, text-flow around images, superscripts and subscripts, to the existing HTML 2.0 Standard.
HTML 4.0 was released as a W3C Recommendation in December, 1997. A second release was issued in April 1998 with some editorial corrections. The most important feature of HTML 4.0 is the introduction of style sheets (CSS).
HTML 4.01 was released as a W3C Recommendation in December 1999. This is a minor update of corrections and bug fixes in HTML 4.0.
XHTML 1.0 is the latest version of HTML. It reformulates HTML 4.01 in XML.

For more information on W3C, please visit :

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