Imagining what the Web might (not) have become without standards, and you will understand why we all must support an open web platform for the future.
Today marks a significant milestone for a great many of my colleagues around the world with whom I have had the privilege of working within the W3C HTML Working Group. Several of us have taken on new roles and responsibilities, changed companies, launched new businesses, or become parents – or in my case, a grandparent - since I joined the W3C HTML Working Group as a co-chair in 2009. Yet we continued to work as a community to produce the W3C Recommendation announced today for the HTML 5.0 open standard.
As a Co-Chair of the W3C HTML Working Group, I have seen firsthand the remarkable commitment that people and organizations from all over the world have contributed to this effort. It has been an open and intensely collaborative process, encompassing a great many passionate and brilliant minds.
Although many of the HTML5 features standardized today were sketched out several years ago, it took a lot of hard work to get the details right. Since 2007, the Working Group has resolved more than 4,000 errors, ambiguities, and controversies recorded in the WG bug lists. The email archive at http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/ shows that it took over 45,000 messages since March 2007 to get the job done!
Microsoft, other browser developers and the W3C community at large have not only produced an outstanding outcome, but we have also created a process to facilitate future collaboration. We learned many lessons about how an open community can succeed on big, hard challenges. There is more we can learn from other open source and standards community as we go further in that direction in future iterations of web platform standards.
HTML 5.0 now serves as the cornerstone of the W3C Open Web Platform. This is a remarkable achievement for all of us who contributed to this piece of W3C’s legacy. We at Microsoft Open Technologies and the Internet Explorer teams, will continue to support this very important work into the future to ensure that HTML 5.0 and its successors may have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of our children and grandchildren.
Paul Cotton, Director of Standards, Assisting Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (Microsoft Canada)
W3C HTML Working Group co-chair