The World Wide Web Consortium has announced plans to create a new HTML standard and to enhance the XHTML specification. The W3C is issuing a call for participation in the working group that will oversee the new standard, including Apple, Mozilla, Opera and Microsoft. In fact, Chris Wilson, platform architect of the Internet Explorer platform at Microsoft, is the co-chair of the new working group. The W3C is also inviting application developers and content designers to help design the next version of HTML by participating in the new W3C HTML Working Group. "HTML started simply, with structured markup, no licensing requirements, and the ability to link to anything. More than anything, this simplicity and openness has led to its tremendous and continued success. It's time to revisit the standard and see what we can do to meet the current community needs, and to do so effectively with commitments from browser manufacturers in a visible and open way," said Tim Berners-Lee, W3C director and inventor of HTML.
W3C officials originally intended to turn HTML into an XML-based format (XHTML, Extensible HTML), because of the benefits of XML formats, but slow adoption by traditional browser vendors and content developers changed that. The HTML Working Group originally intended to resume development of HTML in a manner that unifies HTML 4 and XHTML 1 but now they will take up the effort to advance the technology instead. The Web developer and design communities have called for the W3C to renew its commitment to HTML by adding new features. W3C officials also noted that because XHTML has proved valuable in many markets and the need for it continues to grow, the group is working on XHTML 2.0, which will define an XML syntax for the new HTML in addition to the classic HTML syntax.