Open source release from MS Open Tech: Pointer Events initial prototype for WebKit


Adalberto Foresti, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.
Scott Blomquist, Senior Development Engineer, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

It’s great to see that the W3C Pointer Events Working Group has expanded its membership and published the first working draft last week in the process to standardize a single input model across all types of devices. To further contribute to the technical discussions, today Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., published an early open source HTML5 Labs Pointer Events prototype of the W3C Working Draft for WebKit. We want to work with the WebKit developer community to enhance this prototype. Over time, we want this prototype to implement all the features that will be defined by the W3C Working Group’s Pointer Events specification. The prototype will help with interoperability testing with Internet Explorer.

The Web today is fragmented into sites designed for only one type of input. The goal of a Pointer Events standard is to help Web developers to only need to code to one pointer input model across all types of devices and to have that code work across multiple browsers. Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia and Zynga are among the industry members working to solve this problem in the W3C Pointer Events WG.

Microsoft submitted the Pointer Events specification to the W3C just three months ago. The working group is using Microsoft’s Member submission as a starting point for the specification, which is based on the APIs available today in IE10 on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

Our team developed this Pointer Events prototype of the W3C Working Draft for WebKit as a starting point for testing interoperability between Internet Explorer and WebKit in this space. As we have done in the past on HTML5 Labs, the prototype intends to inform discussions and provide information grounded on implementation experience. Please provide feedback on this initial implementation in the comments of this blog and in the WebKit mailing lists. We also would love to get some advice on how/when to submit this patch to the main WebKit trunk.

Overall, we believe that we are on a solid path forward in this standardization process. In a short time, we have a productive working group, a first W3C Working Draft specification, and an early proof of concept for WebKit that should provide valuable insights. We’re looking forward to working closely with the community to develop this open source code in WebKit so we can start testing interoperability with Internet Explorer.