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W3C Delivers Web Architecture Overview

After three years of work, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today issued a comprehensive set of principles detailing the architecture that makes the Web work well.

The formal recommendation is important to software developers because it puts best practices in a single, coherent document that has been vetted by industry experts.

The "Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One" was written by the W3C's Technical Architecture Group (TAG), whose members have been involved in resolving technical issues over the last 10 years.

TAG group members hail from the W3C, as well as HP , IBM , Microsoft and Sun Microsystems , among others.

"In the architecture document, [TAG participants] emphasize what characteristics of the Web must be preserved when inventing new technology," said Tim Berners-Lee, the Web's creator who now serves as W3C director and co-chair of the TAG." They notice where the current systems don't work well, and, as a result, show weakness. This document is a pithy summary of the wisdom of the community."

The TAG conducted its work on an active, public mailing list, which helped ensure that its description of the Web reflected developers' concerns.

As the "Volume One" designation suggests, there will be additional documentation from the TAG. Its members are tracking principles that are currently being tested in emerging areas.

Future TAG publications will build on Volume One with lessons learned from integrating Web services, the next-generation Semantic Web and mobile Web, the W3C said.