The current HTML working group charter was issued on 7 March 2007. The group is chartered to continue its work through 31 December 2010.

The HTML Working Group charter also mandated creation of a Forms Task Force with members from the HTML Working Group and the Forms Working Group. The charter for the Forms Task Force extends through July 2008.

See also W3C Relaunches HTML Activity press release and Architectural vision behind the HTML/XHTML2/Forms Chartering as well as pre-charter discussion such as Reinventing HTML: Update and HTML and Forms Activities Proposals (Call for Review) to W3C Members.


The HTML 5 draft specification, HTML 5: A vocabulary and associated APIs for HTML and XHTML was published as a First Public Working Draft on 23 January 2008.

The current editor’s draft of the HTML 5 specification is available from the W3C site and in a multi-page annotated format at the editor’s site.

If you’re interested in tracking changes to the editor’s draft, a variety of mechanisms are available:


The Working Group Schedule of Milestones is:

  1. 2007-05 HTML5 and Web Forms 2.0 specs adopted as basis for review
  2. 2007-11 HTML Design Principles First Public Working Draft
  3. 2008-02 HTML5 First Public Working Draft
  4. 2009-03* HTML5 Last Call Working Draft

    * editor's estimate is 2009-10

  5. 2009-06 HTML5 Candidate Recommendation
  6. 2010-06 HTML5 Proposed Recommendation
  7. 2010-09 HTML5 Recommendation

Note: The future dates in the above list are estimates based on the schedule in the charter and are subject to change.

Membership and Participation

The HTML working group encourages active participation from a diverse community, including content authors and content providers, web developers, implementors (of browsers, authoring tools, conformance checkers, etc.) and anyone interested in helping to evolve the HTML language. A full list of participants is available. A number of HTML working-group members answered a background experience and expertise survey.

By charter, we operate primarily by email (see public-html archive), supplemented by web-based surveys, occasional teleconferences and up to two in-person meetings per year.

An issue-tracking task force is appointed by the chairs.

Phone Meetings

Teleconferences are scheduled for Thursdays at 12noon Boston time. An agenda is due to public-html-wg-announce 24 hours in advance; we make heavy use of tracker's agenda page. Minutes are less formal than those of groups that regularly make binding technical decisions in teleconferences; they should be sent to public-html-wg-announce within a day or two. Before the announce mailing list was established, we held teleconferences 2 Aug, 16 Aug, 30 Aug 19 Jul, and 26 April.

See Scribe 101 for conventional W3C idioms and tools for using IRC to record meetings.

Face-to-Face Meetings

See also Face to face meeting call for interest concluded, results (80 answers)


Some participants supplement public-html mailing-list discussions with IRC discussion in the #html-wg channel on (port 6665 or port 80), with public logs and an informal directory with names and timezones.

How to join

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy. The goal of this policy is to assure that Recommendations produced under this policy can be implemented on a Royalty-Free (RF) basis.

In order to carry out the Royalty Free policy, joining the HTML Working Group involves more than typical email subscription:

When you join, you will be subscribed to public-html, the publicly archived mailing-list for the group. Please use the tasks survey to let us know a little bit about yourself and which tasks you're most interested to help with.

This process is somewhat new and novel, and the discussion around it led us to develop Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Public Invited Experts in the W3C HTML Working Group. For example: I want to participate as an individual in the HTML Working Group but I work for a W3C Member. Why can't I join as an Invited Expert?

Patent Disclosures

W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent.