W3C Launches Web Platform Docs

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced the release of Web Platform Docs, a new community-driven site that will be a source for Web developer documentation.

The W3C, in collaboration with Adobe, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, Opera and others, has announced today the alpha release of Web Platform Docs (docs.webplatform.org).

Web Platform Docs is a new community-driven site that aims to become a comprehensive and authoritative source for Web developer documentation. In the past, developers who use HTML5, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and other technologies of the Open Web Platform have had to consult multiple sites to understand how to use these technologies in a way that works across browsers, operating systems and devices. This was time-consuming and in many cases increased development costs, W3C officials said.

"People in the Web community—including browser makers, authoring tool makers and leading-edge developers and designers—have tremendous experience and practical knowledge about the Web," Tim Berners-Lee, W3C director, said in a statement. "Web Platform Docs is an ambitious project where all of us who are passionate about the Web can share knowledge and help one another."

With Web Platform Docs, Web professionals will save time and resources by consulting with confidence a single site for current, cross-browser and cross-device coding best practices, including how to use each feature of the Open Web Platform, with syntax and examples; the interoperability of various technologies across platforms and devices; the standardization status of each technology specification; and the stability and implementation status of features.

Anyone can contribute content to Web Platform Docs. The organizations above, collectively known as the stewards, have launched this new site with initial documents contributed as raw material for the community to shape. The W3C will serve as the site’s convener. As the Open Web Platform evolves, the entire community, including the original stewards and new stewards, will help maintain and improve the content. All materials on the site will be freely available and licensed to foster sharing and reuse.

“We have needed a site like Web Platform Docs for years. Web developers often struggle to find decent information on all the newest technologies that they need to know about; having a single site to turn to that they can trust will save them a lot of time,” said Lars Erik Bolstrad, vice president of core technology at Opera Software, in a statement.

“We are excited about the Web Platform Docs project because it aligns with Mozilla’s mission to promote openness and innovation on the Web,” said Stormy Peters, director of Websites and developer engagement at Mozilla, in a statement. “By involving the broader Web community as well as organizations, we can help make sure more developers have access to up-to-date, comprehensive and practical information.”

Linus Upson, vice president of engineering at Google, said, “Google has always believed that an open, standards-based community is best-suited to drive the Web forward. We support Web Platform Docs because it builds upon the long tradition of cooperation that has helped make the Web what it is today. It's one step forward for the Web and a huge step forward for Web developers.”

Also, Tobie Langel, Facebook’s W3C advisory committee representative, added, “A community-driven documentation center that spawns the entire open Web platform is a needed and welcome resource for developers. Facebook is proud to contribute to this initiative and we are looking forward to see where the community takes it.”

The W3C and the stewards envision webplatform.org as the home of future collaboration with developers and designers. Those interested in contributing to this effort as a steward or as an editor can visit docs.webplatform.org

Meanwhile, on the design front, Arno Goudrol, senior director for the Web Platform for Adobe, said, “The Web platform has become the medium of creative expression for Web developers and designers, and it continues to evolve and to become ever more expressive. Having a reliable source of information for modern, up-to-date best practices is a huge time-saver for creative professionals and will allow them to focus on what they do best: creating.”