Not Part of the Technology Stack

At XTech 2006, I got a W3C brochure entitled Leading the Web to its Full Potential that had a diagram visualizing the W3C technology stack(s). It visualized a transition from “Initial Web” to “One Web”.

“Initial Web” had only HTML over URL and HTTP over Internet. “One Web” retained only HTTP and Internet. It replaced URL with URI/IRI and HTML with six side-by-side stacks none of which included HTML. Yes, that’s six side-by-side stacks for One Web.

At the time, I observed that JavaScript was not part of any of the stacks. I figured that perhaps it was because JavaScript is not W3C technology.

Yesterday, I happened to run across a PR page showing the W3C Technology Stack (last updated in January 2008). It turns out that it’s the same graphic as in the 2006 brochure, except the part about “Initial Web” and HTML has been cropped out entirely, although it is still mentioned on the page, and XSL has been placed side-by-side with CSS and GRDDL and RDFa have been added. Now, I noticed that none of the six stacks is labeled documents.

The graphic (by Ivan Herman) quoted here for review and critique (textual description on the W3C site):

One Web consists of six stacks labeled: Web Applications, Mobile, Voice, Web Services, Semantic Web and Privacy, Security

It is interesting how little the graphic has in common with a stack one might draw for a contemporary Web browser rendering a Web document (such as this one) or a Web application.

The main boxes one would expect to see are HTTP, HTML, DOM, JavaScript, CSS and, nowadays, XMLHttpRequest. Yet, HTML, JavaScript and XHR are missing from the W3C graphic. Moreover, the graphic has a lot of boxes that have nothing to do with browsing the Web.

Even now that HTML5 and XHR have been brought from the WHATWG to the W3C, they still aren’t part of the Technology Stack.

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