Confrontation between W3C and WHATWG: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla object to DOM 4.1

    As everyone knows, there are two HTML specifications: W3C ( World Wide Web Consortium ) and WHATWG (Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla, de facto authors of the HTML5 standard). This week, an open conflict took place between the creators of the specifications.

    The situation developed as follows. It all started with the fact that the W3C forked the specifications of the living standard WHATWG DOM and named it DOM 4.1. Then W3C made incompatible changes to it and declared the fork an official specification, although in fact all the important work was done in the WHATWG version.

    Some time passed, and a month ago a public discussion began on the proposal of W3C to make the specification a candidate for recommendation (after it, significant changes are essentially no longer made, only design details are specified in PR, the recommendation is officially adopted). You can read this informative discussion on Github at .

    It is logical to assume that some W3C members have well-grounded objections to the incompatibility of the two versions of the DOM. Here the W3C CEO intervened in the matter, who entered into a dispute with them and rejected all their objections, moving the specification to Candidate Recommendation (CR) status and declaring a consensus call.

    Of course, the WHATWG members did not like this turn of events. After the W3C director refused to change the specifications, these companies a few days ago formally objected ( Formal Objection ) to DOM 4.1, promising W3C that no browser engine was going to implement this specification in its current form - since there were two incompatible versions of the DOM Neither developers nor users need it.

    In its objection, Google pointed out specific technical issues of incompatibility with the new W3C specification:
    Incorrect Web IDL (web interface definition language), Event Dispatch incompatibility, Shadow DOM integration, single element integration, Ranges, and DOM tree traversal
    As a result, W3C was forced to take a timeout and promised to first consider technical problems, and then return to the adoption of DOM 4.1.

    The question arises - why does all this W3C need? Allegedly , the fact is that in addition to the WHATWG members, the W3C organization also includes 450 more companies that do not have much influence on the browser world, but regularly bring W3C revenue in the form of contributions. Last year, the W3C performed a similar trick with DRM ( Encrypted Media Extensions ), which,According to Google engineer Jan Hickson , “it’s impossible to implement in practice” - in order to attract several companies to the consortium that until then had no reason to sponsor W3C.

    The long-suffering draft of W3C DOM 4.1 can be downloaded here . The very first version of the DOM specification was prepared by W3C almost twenty years ago - October 1, 1998. Links to objections: the Mozilla objection , Apple's objection , the Microsoft's objection , the Google objection .

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