W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2001

Re: W3C

From: Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 16:39:26 +0100 (MET)
To: <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <14966.55022.378519.372186@lanalana.inria.fr>
Bruno writes:
> This is what I don't understand so please explain it to me:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/
> W3C Technical Reports and Publications
> What is:
> - Recent Recommendations
> - Proposed Recommendations
> - Candidate Recommendations
> - Recent Working Drafts
> - Recent Notes
> - Recommendations
> >From all this what I need is where I can find final version of some standard
> that is used in browsers?
> Which "Title" would that be?

That would be "Recommendations."

The bottom of that page gives brief explanations of the various
categories. Paraphrased:

1. Forget the titles with "recent" in their name, those are redundant.
They are meant to help people who visit the page every week, so they
know what is new.

2. "Recommendations" are the highest category W3C has. A specification
that is a W3C Recommendation has been reviewed by the collective W3C
members and found to be OK in all respects. It used to be the case
that serious implementations started *after* a spec became
Recommendation, but recently (last year) we changed that, by creating
a new category "Candidate Recommendation." Something cannot become a
Recommendation now before there are implementations.

3. "Proposed Recommendation" is a very temporary state, usually 4
weeks, between "Candidate Recommendation" and "Recommendation." It
means that there is currently a review going on among the W3C members
to see if the spec is ready to become Recommendation.

4. "Candidate Recommendation" is a spec that is theoretically ready,
but that has not yet been implemented sufficiently to know whether it
works in practice. A spec can remain in this state for a long time,
until either it becomes clear that there will never be
implementations, or that there is enough implementation experience to
make it a Recommendation. In the former case the spec is dropped or
changed back to a Working Draft to be modified.

5. A "Working Draft" is a specification that is still changing. The
goal is to update a draft every three months, whether or not something
changed, but in practice we are often behind. A working draft will
evolve until eventually it becomes a Candidate Recommendation or a Note
(see below), or is dropped completely.

5a. When a Working Draft is about to become a Candidate
Recommendation, the working group issues a warning, called a "last
call [for comments]," with a definite deadline by which comments have
to be received.

6. Finally, a "Note" is every other document that is somehow
considered interesting enough to publish on this page. Notes may hold
interesting ideas, guidelines, best practice, analyses, submissions
from W3C members, etc.

In summary, the only thing that can be called a "standard" is a
"Recommendation", but W3C encourages implementations of both
Recommendations and Candidate Recommendations.

But, as somebody else already remarked, the documents on this page are
specifications. They are what W3C and its members think that
implementers *should* implement. To see what bugs and extensions a
certain implementation has you'll have to look elsewhere.

  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C ) http://www.w3.org/
  http://www.w3.org/people/bos/                              W3C/INRIA
  bert@w3.org                             2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 (0)4 92 38 76 92            06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Tuesday, 30 January 2001 10:39:34 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Monday, 2 May 2016 14:26:56 UTC