FW: W3C and WAP Forum Establish "Formal Liaison Relationship"

Jim Whitehead (ejw@ics.uci.edu)
Wed, 8 Dec 1999 20:53:59 -0800

It sure seems like the WAP Forum wins big here, with no apparent gain for
the W3C. As a result, WAP standards gain significant credibility,
especially with the announcement that future versions of XHTML will include
WML features. In return for this trade, W3C has given away the stick it
could use to beat on the cruft in WML, and other WAP standards.

Since there is large overlap in membership between WAP Forum and W3C, W3C
really didn't have a choice here, and perhaps bowing to the inevitable,
rather than forcing vendors to take sides in a technical battle they'd
rather not fight, is a wise political choice. Still, adding all those WML
registers into XHTML, adding execution state to a, to date, stateless
specification, doesn't seem like a good long-term technical decision.

- Jim

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-news-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-news-request@w3.org]On Behalf
Of Janet Daly
Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 1999 7:17 AM
To: w3c-news@w3.org
Subject: News Release: World Wide Web Consortium and Wireless
Application Protocol Forum Establish Formal Liaison Relationship

World Wide Web Consortium and Wireless Application
Protocol Forum Establish Formal Liaison Relationship

Industry Bodies Work Together to Create Future Mobile-Friendly Web

W3C Contacts --
North America: Janet Daly, <janet@w3.org>, +1.617.253.5884
Europe: Josef Dietl, <jdietl@w3.org>, +
Asia: Yuko Watanabe, <yuko@w3.org>, +81.466.49.1170
WAP Forum Contacts --
Luisa Handem; WAP Forum Office <Luisahandem@msn.com>,
David Nieland, Group Manager <dnieland@bsmg.com>, +1.972.830.2663

This release, in English:

in Japanese:

http://www.w3.org/ -- 8 December 1999 -- The World Wide Web Consortium
(W3C) and the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum
(www.wapforum.org) today announced a formal liaison relationship to
define next-generation Web specifications that support the full
participation of wireless devices on the World Wide Web. The WAP Forum
and W3C are working together to develop a common process of producing
next-generation, XML-based Web specifications, define testing and
implementation processes, and promote these specifications to the
industry at large.

W3C develops open, interoperable specifications that reinforce and
extend the scalability, robustness and capability of the Web as a
universal communications medium. WAP is the de-facto global standard for
providing Internet communications and advanced telephony services on
digital mobile phones, pagers, personal digital assistants and other
wireless terminals. By working together, the WAP Forum and the W3C will
enable wireless devices to participate as full peers in the universal
information space of the Web, largely through the incorporation of WAP's
Wireless Markup Language (WML) features into the W3C's XHTML, the next
generation markup language for the Web.

Coordination between the two bodies began this week in Sydney,
Australia, in conjunction with the WAP Forum's members meeting. The
WAP/W3C coordination committee will meet on a regular basis to maintain
consistency between the specifications of the WAP Forum and the W3C, to
promote common specifications wherever possible, and to enable
cooperation between the working groups in both organizations. Work items
include the joint work on XHTML; compatibility with SMIL, the
Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language; ensuring user control over
privacy information, and CC/PP, a universal device profiling protocol
based on W3C's RDF Metadata technology. The two organizations are also
conducting a joint workshop in position-dependent information services,
to be held in February 2000 in Sophia-Antipolis, France.

Together, WAP Forum and W3C will face the technical challenge of mobile
access to information on the Web. The two organizations will coordinate
on the future development of XML applications; and in content adaptation
through the use of vector graphics and style sheets. Instead of
developing diverging sets of solutions, it is the intent of both
organizations to find common solutions that will address mobile

"The W3C regards the Web as a universal space, and device-independence
is a critical piece. Recognizing the needs of digital cellular phones
and other portable devices, and incorporating those considerations into
the development of Web specifications is critical for the Web's
success," says Tim Berners-Lee, Director of W3C. "Our liaison
relationship with the WAP Forum will work towards the seamless
integration of mobile devices and the Web."

"Our liaison relationship with the W3C represents the key to WAP's
convergence with the Internet of the future," says Greg Williams, board
chairman of the WAP Forum. "While the WAP Forum and the W3C have
different organizational goals, we share goals for the future of the
global information space, and we want to avoid unnecessary divergence
between the standards of the two organizations."

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing
common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its
interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run
by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the
National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA)
in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the
Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web
for developers and users, reference code implementations to embody and
promote standards, and various prototype and sample applications to
demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 370 organizations are
Members of the Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/

About the WAP Forum

The WAP Forum is an industry association that has developed the de-facto
world standard for wireless information and telephony services on
digital mobile phones and other wireless terminals. Handset
manufacturers representing 95 percent of the world market across all
technologies have committed to shipping WAP-enabled devices. Carriers
representing more than 100 million subscribers worldwide have joined
WAP. These commitments will put 10's of millions of WAP-browser-enabled
products in consumer hands by the end of 2000. WAP Forum membership is
open to all industry participants. For further details on the Forum and
its members, please visit the Forum's Web site at www.wapforum.org. The
Web site also includes a downloadable version of WAP V1.1.


World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

Janet Daly, Head of Public Relations MIT/LCS NE43-344 545 Technology Square Cambridge, MA 02139

voice: 617.253.5884 fax: 617.258.5999 http://www.w3.org/ janet@w3.org