Draft - Proposal


Draft URL Working Group Charter

The mission of the URL Working Group, part of the Rich Web Client Activity, is to provide one or more specifications that define Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), domains, IP addresses, the application/x-www-form-urlencoded format, and associated application programming interfaces (APIs).

Join the URL Working Group.

End date 31 December 2016
Confidentiality Proceedings are Public
Chairs TBD
Team Contacts
(FTE %: 30)
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: topic-specific calls may be held up to once per week
Face-to-face: we will meet during the W3C's annual Technical Plenary week; other additional F2F meetings may be scheduled (up to 2 per year)
IRC: active participants, particularly editors, regularly use the #whatwg freenode IRC channel


The URL Working Group will take over responsibility for the URL Technical Report from the Web Applications Working Group.

The scope of the URL Working Group covers the Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), domains, IP addresses, the application/x-www-form-urlencoded format, and associated application programming interfaces (APIs).

Success Criteria

The URL Working Group’s work will be considered a success if there are multiple independent complete and interoperable implementations of its deliverables that are widely used.


The working group will deliver at least the following:

This specification defines the syntax, process and error handling for resolving URL, a sequence of characters from the Universal Character Set, along with guidelines and security considerations for the use of URL on the Web. It also defines an API to work with the components of a URL.

All deliverables will be published in their entirety under the terms of the W3C Software Notice and License.

Each specification should contain a section detailing any known security implications for implementers, Web authors, and end users. The URL WG will actively seek security, privacy, internationalisation and accessibility review on all its specifications.

After a specification reaches Recommendation status the working group may begin work on, and deliver an updated version of the specification under this charter. Specifications may be moved to Recommendation and a subsequent version begun in order to facilitate the progress of other work which depends on a stable reference.

Other Deliverables

Other non-normative documents may be created such as:

  • Test suites for each specification
  • Reference Implementations for each specification
  • Primers for each specification
  • Non-normative group notes

A comprehensive test suite for all features of a specification is necessary to ensure the specification's robustness, consistency, and implementability, and to promote interoperability between User Agents. Therefore, each specification must have a companion test suite, which should be completed by the end of the Candidate Recommendation phase, and must be completed, with an implementation report, before transition to Proposed Recommendation. Additional tests may be added to the test suite at any stage of the Recommendation track, and the maintenance of a implementation report is encouraged.


The group's Specification Status document provides current data about all of the group's specifications, including Technical Report publication plans and testing status. Although group expects to progress all of its specifications during this charter period, the charter does not include detailed milestone data for each specification because such data is speculative and easily becomes out of date. Nevertheless, a Candidate Recommendation of the URL Specification is expected in 2015.

Dependencies and Liaisons


The URL specification depends on the DOM, Encoding, HTML, and Web IDL specifications.

The DOM and HTML specifications in the HTML Working Group depend upon the URL Specification.


The URL Working Group expects to maintain contacts with at least the following groups and Activities within W3C (in alphabetical order):

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) Working Group
To monitor the development of the HTML WG specifications (including DOM and HTML) as they complement the URL WG's specifications.
Internationalization Core Working Group
This group may provide advice or review to ensure that URL WG deliverables meet the needs of an international Web.
Technical Architecture Group
The URL WG will ask the Technical Architecture Group to review its set of specifications.

Furthermore, the URL Working Group expects to follow the following W3C Recommendations, Guidelines and Notes and, if necessary, to liaise with the communities behind the following documents:

External Groups

The following is a tentative list of external bodies the Working Group should collaborate with:

Internet Engineering Task Force
The IETF is responsible for defining RFC 3986 and RFC 3987, which define the concepts of URI and IRI respectively.
Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group
The WHATWG is where the URL Standard has been, and continues to be, developed.


To be successful, the URL Working Group is expected to have 5 or more active participants for its duration, and to have the participation of industry leaders in fields relevant to the specifications it produces.

For each specification the Working Group will name at least one Test Facilitator whose responsibility is to ensure that a Test Suite is made available.

The Chairs, specification Editors and test Facilitators are expected to contribute one to two days per week towards the Working Group. There is no minimum requirement for other Participants.

The URL Working Group welcomes participation, with agreement from each participant to the provisions of the W3C Patent Policy. Note: by the time this charter is approved, the 2015/01 version of the Invited Expert and Collaborator Agreement is expected to be in effect.


The working mode * of the group is described in detail. In general the group does not hold teleconferences, and may meets face to face at the TP/AC. It may hold more meetings. Note the Decision Policy below with regards to synchronous meetings.

Most of the technical work of the group will be using the following venues:

Editors within the group will use Github to maintain Editor's Draft of specifications. The group's action and issue tracking data * will also be public, as will the participant-approved minutes from all teleconferences.

There is also a Team-confidential mailing list for coordination between the Team and Chairs.

Up-to-date information about the group (for example, details about deliverables, issues, actions, status, participants) is available from the URL Working Group home page.

Decision Policy

As explained in the W3C Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus and with due process. The expectation is that typically, an editor or other participant makes an initial proposal, which is then refined in discussion with members of the group and other reviewers, and consensus emerges with little formal voting being required.

The only Calls for Consensus expected by the URL working group will be for process related items: e.g., decisions related to exit criteria and transition requests.

Any resolution taken in a face-to-face meeting or teleconference is to be considered provisional until 10 working days after the publication of the resolution in draft minutes sent to the working groups mailing list. If no objections are raised on the mailing list within that time, the resolution will be considered to have consensus as a resolution of the Working Group.

This charter is written in accordance with Section 3.4, Votes of the W3C Process Document and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the URL Working Group has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Sam Ruby, Editor

Date: 2015-February