updated 03:55 pm EDT, Thu August 27, 2009
Apple helps lead HTML spec
An Apple manager, Maciej Stachowiak, has been appointed co-chairman of the HTML standardization group, according to CNET News. The HTML Working Group, a division of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), had previously been chaired by Sam Ruby of IBM and Chris Wilson from Microsoft. Ruby will stay on board, while Stachowiak and Paul Cotton, another Microsoft employee, will serve as the additional co-chairs.
Stachowiak manages the WebKit WebApps team at Apple, while Cotton manages the web services standards team at Microsoft. The position potentially gives Apple a stronger voice in future development of web technology. Safari was one of the first browsers to integrate HTML 5 technology, despite the lack of support from the vast majority of current websites. The company also added HTML 5 support to the recent iPhone firmware v3.0 update.
"Clearly, there is a lot of work to do," said W3C director Tim Berners-Lee. "Sam, Paul, and Maciej bring particular skills to the job (whether it is Maciej's experience with WebKit or Paul's with Working Group processes)."
The HTML 4 standard ceased development in 1999 as the group pushed forward with the XHTML 2.0 standard, while the browser makers diverged from W3C's direction and created their own Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG). Aaron Boodman, known for his work with Google's Chrome browser, suggests the industry "get rid of the concepts of 'versions' altogether," including HTML 5. "Instead of insisting that a particular version of HTML is a monolithic unit that must be implemented in its entirety, we could have each feature (or logical group of features) spun off into its own small spec."