W3C HTML Working Group Publishes First Draft of Design Principles

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the language of the World Wide Web but it’s been a while since it’s been updated to where the world is today. At the W3C, there is a working group which is looking at the future of HTML.

As we move forward, there needs to be a set of principles which guides the decisions we make. This is why the HTML Working Group published a first public working draft of the HTML Design Principles.

Here’s my summary and translation…

  1. Be backwards compatible. Don’t break existing Web content.
  2. When a new feature isn’t supported by a browser, degrade gracefully.
  3. Consider what already exists before trying to make something new
  4. Look at what current best practices already exist
  5. It’s better to evolve a standard because then you don’t have to reteach and redo everything.
  6. Don’t do something for the sake of doing it.
  7. Don’t make the Web insecure
  8. Have HTML elements behave in ways that authors can depend on
  9. Be simple in creating a solution
  10. The Web is filled with tag soup.  Show how to deal with those errors.
  11. HTML should work across devices, environments, and platforms.
  12. Be publishable in the world’s languages
  13. Be accessible to people with disabilities.

Was anything missed?  The HTML Working Group needs your feedback.

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