June 10, 2005 The Ever-Expanding World of Web Technology
- Attending the W3C AC Meeting -

Taku Fujita
Digital Contents Group

No doubt many of you know the name Cannes; a town in the south of France that overlooks the Mediterranean and is home to the Cannes Film Festival, where a number of Japanese films have won awards. Mandelieu, situated on the outskirts of Cannes, hosted this year's W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) AC Meeting, of which Mitsue-Links is a member. I was fortunate enough to attend, amidst the crisp, pleasant climate of one of Europe's best known resorts. It was such an enjoyable experience that I didn't feel a trace of jetlag due to the time difference, neither during the meeting nor out of hours.

Established in 1994, the W3C is now in its tenth year. Web-related technology has expanded dramatically over the course of those ten years. HTML, which you could call the impetus behind the web, is switching to XML and the range of devices we use has diversified to include PDAs, cell phones and consumer electronics. The W3C's slogan is gleading the Web to its full potential, and true to its word, it has continued to produce a great many recommendations based on the current situation and future possibilities.

If we take a look at the here and now, we see that notions about web technology that we had always taken for granted are gradually becoming obsolete. Until fairly recently we always thought that web applications were weak at the interface operational stages. By combining XHTML, CSS, JavaScript and Servers however, failings such as these have been eliminated thanks to the reduced number of cognitive stages needed to achieve the desired results. Indeed, via the exchange of XML data, it is now possible to develop powerful applications with an in-built suggestive stance. It has also become possible to implement the likes of vector graphics and SVG using XML and we are starting to see such technology being incorporated into cell phones.

This year's AC Meeting included talk of ghere-and-now technology such as this, as well as active discussion of the Semantic Web, which is likely to play an increasingly prominent role in society in the future. With the contents of recent releases relating to matters such as the establishment of the Mobile Web Initiative (MWI) covering cell phone web technology also being discussed, the W3C's activities look set to continue to expand in the future. Attending a forum like this gave me the chance to reexamine our stance with regard to both the here and now and our direction in the future, making it a truly significant event.

Of the services we provide, the two that involve elements particularly associated with the W3C are our “WCAG Compliance Service”, which is designed to help users implement WCAG accessibility guidelines put forward as part of the W3C WAI initiative, and our “Web Standards Compliance Service”, which is designed to code websites in accordance with W3C recommendations by redesigning HTML document structure and controlling visual design without affecting this using CSS. It gives us great pleasure to be able to help the spread of guidelines recommended by the W3C by offering services such as these. As we pay attention to W3C's other technology, we also hope to become even more actively involved in the W3C's activities in the future.

This was the second time I was able to attend the W3C AC Meeting. It has been well planned and smoothly executed and has been a great help on both occasions, enabling participants to concentrate on the Meeting's topics of discussion. I would like to take this opportunity to offer our heartfelt thanks to the W3C staff for organizing meetings such as these and providing additional operational support, particularly to the Keio W3C staff, who take special care and attention to communicate with us and assist with a range of settings.

For more information on our services, timeframes and estimates, as well as examples of our work, please feel free to be in touch.