Major vendors of browsers, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla won from the world wide web Consortium (W3C) the right to develop technological standards for the Internet.

In 2004, the aforementioned company has established a working group WHATWG in response to the reluctance of the W3C to develop the HTML standard and the consortium plans to move to XHTML with XML-like structure, with which the vendors at the time didn’t agree. According to vendors, the W3C leadership did not act in the interests of the community of web developers, so they decided to create an alternative standard, later adopted as HTML 5.

Within a few years the W3C and WHATWG worked, however, new standards were mainly developed in WHATWG and then adopted by the consortium as official. In many cases, the standards were implemented in Chrome and Safari even before their formal adoption by the W3C. In other words, the vendors perceived endorsement by the W3C as a mere formality, almost does not affect the developed WHATWG standards.

Both organizations formally broke off the collaboration in April 2018, when all the participants rejected the WHATWG DOM version 4.1. Although the W3C includes hundreds of members, the DOM standard 4.1 was not implemented in any browser. Since then, both organizations worked on their own standards separately.

Now, it seems, the W3C and WHATWG still managed to negotiate. On Tuesday, may 28, they signed a “Memorandum of understanding” in which W3C abandons the development of future versions of HTML and the DOM and passes it right to WHATWG. From now on, the consortium will issue only “recommendations” regarding future standards with a list of desired features, but the final decision what to add to their products, and what is not, will be taken by the vendors.

The official HTML version will now be developed WHATWG HTML Living Standard, and for the DOM — the DOM Living Standard.

The world wide web consortium (World Wide Web Consortium, W3C) — the organization that develops and implements technological standards for the world wide web.

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