HyperText Markup Language (html) Charter

NOTE: This charter is accurate as of the 32nd IETF Meeting in Danvers. It may now be out-of-date. (Consider this a "snapshot" of the working group from that meeting.) Up-to-date charters for all active working groups can be found elsewhere in this Web server.


Applications Area Director(s):

Area Advisor

Mailing List Information

Description of Working Group

Note on Mailing Lists

General discussion about HTML is normally carried out on the `www-html' list, which should be used for anything which is not the work of this group.

Address: www-html@info.cern.ch

To subscribe: listserv@info.cern.ch

In body: SUBSCRIBE WWW-HTML your full name

Archive: http://gummo.stanford.edu/html/hypermail/www-html-1994q2.index.html


The HTML Working Group is chartered firstly to describe, and secondly to develop, the HyperText Markup Language (HTML). The group's work is to be based on existing practice on the Internet, and will make due reference to the SGML standard.

The group will build upon a working specification originally written by Tim Berners-Lee, much work done by Dan Connolly in editing and testing, the recent editing of Karen Muldrow, and the HTMLPlus specification edited by Dave Raggett. The working group takes over the work of the informal HTML Implementors Group which met at the WWW94 conference in Geneva, the HTML workshop at that conference, and an informal meeting and an IETF BOF in Toronto in July 94.

The HTML standard will provide a format for hypertext files of wide applicability, and particularly as a mandatory common format for all WorldWide Web applications.

The standard will specify the relationships between HTML and other standards and practices such as URIs, HTTP, MIME and SGML.


The working group will have a strong focus to:

o Describe existing features before developing new features

o Base specification on existing practice

o Express the relationship of HTML to URIs, MIME, SGML, HyTime and HTTP

o Define conformance levels

o Define transition possibilities and compatibilities between versions and levels

The working group will work in two stages.

Descriptive specification

The first priority will be to complete the specfication of existing practice on the Internet, defining it in terms which make development of new features as straightforward as possible. This specification will cover HTML up to that which has been called level 2 (i.e., including basic features, highlighting, images and forms). During this period discussion of new features should not be carried out on the working group mailing list.


Once the descriptive specification is submitted to the standards process, the group will work on development of HTML, taking on the work known as HTMLPlus. This work will include formats for tables, figures and mathematical formulae.

In the absence of other proposals, the working group will terminate having produced its milestones and the RFCs having achieved standards status.

Goals and Milestones

Submit descriptive specification as Internet-Draft.
Dec 94
Submit the text/html MIME type as an Internet-Draft.
Dec 94
Outline the requirements list for HTML above the HTML features deployed today, with development priority, and submit as an Internet-Draft.
Jan 95
Submit Internet-Drafts for new feature sets for HTML levels 3 and above. Each of these should cover a specific feature set, and be based on adoption of existing conventions or standards and/or experience with demonstrable working code.
May 95
Complete repeated revision of `new feature sets' Internet-Drafts based on e-mail and meeting discussion.
Jul 95
Submit the descriptive specification for Proposed Standard.

Current Internet-Drafts

No Request for Comments