So we now have a real new HTML WG focusing on a successor to HTML 4. That's the result of a long fight. Yeah, "fight" is a rather strong word, but given the fact we started advocating for that more than five years ago, and have always wanted to add missing features to HTML 4 since 1998, it's factual.

The WG will be co-chaired by Chris Wilson from Microsoft, and I think everyone knows my opinion about a major browser vendor chairing this very visible working group, and Dan Connolly from W3C. Chris Wilson is the IE god. His name is probably in the code of all IE distributions. He's also a CSS champion and CSS would not be where it is today without the help IE provided implementing CSS 1. He's a DOM champion too and and and. Can't list them all. Dan Connolly was also there at a time "Web" only meant a sunglasses brand to the masses. He chaired the HTML WG during the HTML 4 era. He's involved in so many web standards that listing them here is pointless. Oh, and he plays guitar.

The HTML WG charter was updated a lot. It matches more or less the wishes of everyone. I only very deeply regret the WHAT-WG folks could not express their opinion officially on this new charter before the creation of the group : because of the confidential W3C process, they were not in the loop. Honestly, that's bad.

I am still very skeptical about the time schedule : a full test suite will take a VERY long time and the deadlines seem to me unrealistic. I also VERY deeply regret - and that's probably Dan who refused it - profiles for HTML in email and HTML editing were not explicitely added to the charter. This seems to me a big mistake. I am also very skeptical about the Forms Task Force, to say the least. You'll find all my comments on the new - and final - charter here. Overall, I have the feeling, like a lot of people I discussed that with, that the process of creation of this group was done behind locked doors ; I understand it's a very important topic and rumors are always bad.

Disruptive Innovations is going to join that Working Group, as I always said. And of course, I have my Nvu/Composer hat on. I sincerely hope it's going to be successful, that we are really going to raise again ducks and ducklings, but that's not proven yet. There are a number of traps on the way, and it's going to be hard to avoid them all.

The mailing-list is PUBLIC so please consider joining if you want to help, want to provide technical insight on the lingua franca of the Web. But please keep in mind it's not the place for "how do I do this ?", it's the place where we discuss the new standard-to-be.

On a side note, BetaNews has another article on this topic.