The W3C today publicly announced that they are restarting an HTML specification effort. This is great news and a clear validation of the WHATWG effort, which has been leading the maintenance and development of HTML since 2004.
Surprisingly, the W3C never actually contacted the WHATWG during the chartering process. However, the WHATWG model has clearly had some influence on the creation of this group, and the charter says that the W3C will try to "actively pursue convergence with WHATWG". Hopefully they will get in contact soon.
In the meantime, apparently anyone can actually join the W3C effort. The instructions to join the group are as follows:
- Fill in the Public Access Request Form; in the "Reason" field, put: "To apply for participation in the HTML Working Group as an Invited Expert."
- Within about five minutes you'll receive a confirmation code by e-mail. Follow the instructions in that e-mail.
- You should get a reply back from that within two days, giving you a username and password. Fill in the W3C Invited Expert Application form. Under "Financial Support", if you're not going to attend any meetings or if you're going to attend meetings on your own dime, just put "Self-supported". Under "Possible W3C Membership", if you're employed but your employer doesn't know you're doing this, or doesn't care, just pick "My employer does not intend to join".
- E-mail Dan Connolly and
Karl Dubost(firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com) asking for approval. (Just say "Hi, I'd like to join the HTML working group. Thanks.")
- You should get a reply back within about ten days, at which point you can fill in the Joining the HTML Working Group form.
I would encourage everyone interested in working with the HTML working group to go through these steps as soon as possible, so that you will be a member of the group before the work starts.
Joining the group doesn't commit you to anything (e.g. you won't have to attend meetings or anything if you don't want to). The group's charter clearly says that all decisions will be made in ways that don't require attending meetings.
This post has been updated a few times to take into account new information about how to join the group.