Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla aren’t interesting in the W3C’s DOM 4.1 specification

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the organization that has been advancing network technology standards, has recently encountered a dilemma: Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla, the four major browser makers, have expressed their opposition to the DOM 4.1 specification proposed by the W3C.

By Birger Eriksson [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, the top four browser manufacturers expressed their dissatisfaction with the W3C’s DOM 4.1 specification, which defined the Document Object Model. There are various new features related to describing Web documents.

Let’s take a look at how things have gone through (thanks to the Reddit ‘s summary):


  • W3C forked the WHATWG DOM Living Standard and called it DOM 4.1
  • W3C made incompatible changes
  • W3C presented the fork as authoritative, even though all the real work happens on the WHATWG version
  • W3C CEO swooped in, dismissed everyone’s objections, and pushed the proposal to Candidate Recommendation (even though the CEO is not a member)
  • Nobody has implemented (or even plans to implement) the specification as it is incompatible with the DOM Living Standard, so it can’t even graduate from CR status anyway

As you can see, the DOM 4.1 specification cannot be implemented due to incompatible conflicts with the DOM Living Standard.

Note: The WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) is an organization established to promote the Web HTML 5 standard. In 2004, it was composed of browser vendors such as Opera, Mozilla Foundation, and Apple.

If Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla are all reluctant to implement this specification, then this specification is actually meaningless.

For the W3C, if the four browser makers act together, the technology they support becomes the de facto standard; the technologies they ignore are at a disadvantage. This is where the W3C’s DOM 4.1 specification is now in trouble.

Unlike the W3C, the WHATWG puts more emphasis on technical accuracy. An editor of the WHATWG specification, Ian Hickson, once said: “the W3C is an organization supported by large annual fees from large companies, and its primary organizational goal is to ensure these companies remain as paying members.”

Finally, take a look at the opposition statements of the four major browser vendors:

Source: theregister