W3C specifies many of the key web standards including:
- HTML: http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/
- CSS: http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-cascade/ and other pages
- DOM: http://www.w3.org/TR/dom/
- XML: http://www.w3.org/TR/xml/
W3C has many important member organizations including companies, universities and others such as Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Adobe.
Maturity levels of standards
W3C has several levels of endorsement for standards. They are described on the “Process” document: http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/tr.html#maturity-levels.
ED (Editor’s Draft): recent version the editor is working on. No formal endorsement, updated often. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6692762/what-is-the-difference-between-a-w3c-working-draft-and-an-editors-draft
WD (Working Draft): lowest level of endorsement of material available to the public
CR (Candidate Recommendation): higher
PR (Proposed Recommendation): higher
REC (Recommendation): highest level, for stable and widely accepted features
Working group note: TODO
NOTES: make small revisions to a standard
retired: standards that have been deprecated
Like any decent document, W3C standards are have versions, and it is possible to link either to a branch or specific version of the document.
The initial paragraph of the documents always contains links to:
- latest stable version:
- bleeding edge version, AKA “editor’s draft”:
- specific versions:
Link to the one that makes most sense.
Specs group, split from W3C because they disagreed: http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/FAQ#WHATWG_and_the_W3C_HTML_WG
Started by Mozilla, Apple and Safari. http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/FAQ#What_is_the_WHATWG.3F
Claim to be more practical oriented.
W3C tries to keep in touch, e.g. HTML5 has on WHATWG editor.
Internet Engineering Task Force.
IETF standards are not covered here, since they are “lower level networking stuff”. See instead: https://github.com/cirosantilli/net This includes in particular HTTP.