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|Motto||Maintaining and evolving HTML since 2004|
|Formation||4 June 2004|
|Ian "Hixie" Hickson|
The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) is a community of people interested in evolving HTML and related technologies. The WHATWG was founded by individuals from Apple Inc., the Mozilla Foundation and Opera Software, leading Web browser vendors, in 2004. Since then, the editor of the WHATWG specifications, Ian Hickson (originally with Opera), has moved to Google.
The central organizational membership and control of WHATWG today - its "Steering Group" - consists of Apple, Mozilla, Google, and Microsoft. WHATWG has a small, invitation-only oversight committee called "Members", which has the power to impeach the editor of the specifications. Anyone can participate as a "Contributor" by joining the WHATWG mailing list.
The WHATWG was formed in response to the slow development of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web standards and W3C's decision to abandon HTML in favor of XML-based technologies. The WHATWG mailing list was announced on 4 June 2004, two days after the initiatives of a joint Opera-Mozilla position paper had been voted down by the W3C members at the W3C Workshop on Web Applications and Compound Documents.
On 10 April 2007, the Mozilla Foundation, Apple, and Opera Software proposed that the new HTML working group of the W3C adopt the WHATWG's HTML5 as the starting point of its work and name its future deliverable as "HTML5" (though the WHATWG specification was later renamed HTML Living Standard). On 9 May 2007, the new HTML working group of the W3C resolved to do that. An Internet Explorer platform architect from Microsoft was invited but did not join, citing the lack of a patent policy to ensure all specifications can be implemented on a royalty-free basis.
The editor has significant control over the specification, but the community can influence the decisions of the editor. In one case, editor Ian Hickson proposed replacing the tag with a more generic tag, but the community disagreed and the change was reverted.
The WHATWG has been actively working on several documents.
Shortly thereafter, Apple, Mozilla, and Opera jointly announced their intent to continue working on the effort under the umbrella of a new venue called the WHATWG.
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