This is a snapshot of an early working draft and has therefore been superseded by the HTML standard.

This document will not be further updated.


Call For Comments — 27 October 2007

1.1. Scope

This section is non-normative.

This specification is limited to providing a semantic-level markup language and associated semantic-level scripting APIs for authoring accessible pages on the Web ranging from static documents to dynamic applications.

The scope of this specification does not include addressing presentation concerns (although default rendering rules for Web browsers are included at the end of this specification).

The scope of this specification does not include documenting every HTML or DOM feature supported by Web browsers. Browsers support many features that are considered to be very bad for accessibility or that are otherwise inappropriate. For example, the blink element is clearly presentational and authors wishing to cause text to blink should instead use CSS.

The scope of this specification is not to describe an entire operating system. In particular, hardware configuration software, image manipulation tools, and applications that users would be expected to use with high-end workstations on a daily basis are out of scope. In terms of applications, this specification is targeted specifically at applications that would be expected to be used by users on an occasional basis, or regularly but from disparate locations, with low CPU requirements. For instance online purchasing systems, searching systems, games (especially multiplayer online games), public telephone books or address books, communications software (e-mail clients, instant messaging clients, discussion software), document editing software, etc.

For sophisticated cross-platform applications, there already exist several proprietary solutions (such as Mozilla's XUL and Macromedia's Flash). These solutions are evolving faster than any standards process could follow, and the requirements are evolving even faster. These systems are also significantly more complicated to specify, and are orders of magnitude more difficult to achieve interoperability with, than the solutions described in this document. Platform-specific solutions for such sophisticated applications (for example the MacOS X Core APIs) are even further ahead.

1.1.1. Relationship to HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.1, DOM2 HTML

This section is non-normative.

This specification represents a new version of HTML4 and XHTML1, along with a new version of the associated DOM2 HTML API. Migration from HTML4 or XHTML1 to the format and APIs described in this specification should in most cases be straightforward, as care has been taken to ensure that backwards-compatibility is retained.

This specification will eventually supplant Web Forms 2.0 as well. [WF2]

1.1.2. Relationship to XHTML2

This section is non-normative.

XHTML2 [XHTML2] defines a new HTML vocabulary with better features for hyperlinks, multimedia content, annotating document edits, rich metadata, declarative interactive forms, and describing the semantics of human literary works such as poems and scientific papers.

However, it lacks elements to express the semantics of many of the non-document types of content often seen on the Web. For instance, forum sites, auction sites, search engines, online shops, and the like, do not fit the document metaphor well, and are not covered by XHTML2.

This specification aims to extend HTML so that it is also suitable in these contexts.

XHTML2 and this specification use different namespaces and therefore can both be implemented in the same XML processor.

1.1.3. Relationship to XUL, Flash, Silverlight, and other proprietary UI languages

This section is non-normative.

This specification is independent of the various proprietary UI languages that various vendors provide. As an open, vender-neutral language, HTML provides for a solution to the same problems without the risk of vendor lock-in.