The Open Web Platform’s Future Hinges on Standards Innovation & Collaboration

Posted on November 18th, 2015

As Internet technologies pour forth at a dizzying pace, keeping the Open Web at the forefront of innovation is an enormous challenge — and W3C is seeking to address it.

Image: Shutterstock, Minerva Studio

How is the current generation of Internet technologies advancing the Open Web Platform? This is the question that W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) contributor Philippe le Hegaret recently sought to address in his Web Applications column. According to Hegaret, tremendous work is being done to advance the Web Platform but there are many fronts that are still in need of sustained development. Among them, Hegaret suggests, are persistent background processing, frame rate performance data, and metadata associated with a web application or mitigating cross-site attacks, just to name a few. The deployment of HTML5 has been a tremendous boon for the Open Web Platform, but Hegaret insists that “it’s not quite there yet.”

Clearly, as Internet technologies continue to pour forth at a dizzying pace, keeping the Open Web at the forefront of innovation is an undeniably enormous challenge. The key to doing so successfully, Hegaret maintains, is putting the tools for Open Web development in the hands of the developers. HTML5 has gone significant lengths to do just that, providing open standards for the many web utilities that were previously developed using proprietary solutions, such as streaming video and embedded tool sets. Standards Development Organizations, such as the W3C (an affirming partner of the OpenStand Principles) have been contributing to the development of HTML libraries to give Web developers the tools they need to build out their own HTML elements. The idea here is that if the tools are open, extensible, and stable, developers won’t opt for proprietary plug-ins to deliver outstanding functionality to their users.

Two W3C development units, the Web Applications Working Group and the HTML Working Group, have found that their respective briefs have drifted closer and closer together over the years. This signifies HTML’s ability to evolve and adapt to the needs of the application developers to deliver outstanding functionality to their users. Regarding the convergence of the two W3C working groups, Hegaret said:

[W]e’re proposing the Web Platform Working Group as an interim group while discussion is ongoing regarding the proper modularization of HTML and its APIs. It enables the ongoing specifications to continue to move forward over the next 12 months. The second proposed group will [be] the Timed Media Working Group. The Web is increasingly used to share and consume timed media, especially video and audio, and we need to enhance these experiences by providing a good Web foundation to those uses, by supporting the work of the Audio and Web Real-Time Communications Working Groups.

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