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W3C Navigation Timing Reaches Candidate Recommendation

“Is this standard “Ready and Done”?”

Sometimes Web standards can converge quickly. The W3C standard for Navigation Timing started about six months ago in the newly chartered Web Performance Working Group. Navigation Timing is the first specification from this this W3C working group, and in only six months went from a Working Draft to Candidate Recommendation.

W3C Navigation Timing

Is this standard “Ready and Done”?

The community and representatives of Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Opera, and Facebook worked together in an agile way to deliver a standard that works in IE9 and Chrome and will likely come to other browsers soon.

The status Candidate Recommendation (CR) means that there is consensus agreement among participants at the W3C that the standard is “is stable and appropriate for implementation.” The W3C Directors can then call for implementations. The next step after the call for implementations is Proposed Recommendation, the final endorsement by the W3C.

Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate and Chrome 10 Beta both offer vendor-neutral implementations of Navigation Timing. This means that Navigation Timing is an interoperable API and is ready for use by Web-developers today. The third IE9 Platform Preview was the first implementation of Navigation Timing, and IE9 was the first full browser to implement the specification with a vendor prefix. While transitioning from Last Call to Candidate Recommendation in the W3C, IE9 and Chrome removed the prefix. Now, Web-developers have access to performance information about their Web sites in an interoperable way.

What’s Ahead

With two implementations available, moving towards Proposed Recommendation should not take very long. You can see the Navigation Timing interface in action on the IE9 Test Drive.

The working group has now turned the attention toward Resource Timing and User Timing, capabilities that enable developers to measure the performance of individual site resources and script. Microsoft expect these specifications to follow a similar implementation path over the next year.

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