New W3C HTML Working Group chaired by Microsoft
When Tim Berners-Lee announced in October last year that the W3C would charter a new HTML Working Group to reinvent HTML, there was plenty of discussion about what that would actually mean. For the Web, for the WHATWG, who have been working on HTML 5 a.k.a. Web Applications 1.0, for XHTML 2. So this move clearly interested many people.
The new W3C HTML Working Group has been chartered and obviously needs a leader. I haven’t really thought about who that person could be, or what organisation that person would represent. According to the HTML Working Group Charter, the initial chair will be Microsoft’s Chris Wilson. This is confirmed by Chris Wilson in You, me and the W3C (aka Reinventing HTML).
I’ve only met Chris Wilson once, and only exchanged a couple of words with him, so I don’t know him personally at all. From what I can tell about him from reading his blog posts and comments, and from reading what other people’s impressions of him are, I do think he would be a good chair. I have no objections to Chris as a person.
However, I am very uncomfortable with a Microsoft representative being the chair of what is possibly the most important Working Group of the W3C, and definitely the most visible one.
Like Daniel Glazman says in Future of the HTML WG, no employee of any major browser vendor should be allowed to chair this Working Group. In my personal opinion that is especially true for Microsoft, who time and time again has shown a total lack of respect for Web professionals and Web standards, and has no credibility whatsoever among the people who will be using the new HTML specification.
Or maybe I’m looking at it the wrong way. Instead of Microsoft using Chris to control the future of HTML, perhaps Chris can influence Microsoft to really work with the W3C on this, and actually implement the standard they are part of creating? Yes, that would be nice.
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