Apple has joined leading Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) standards body, the HTML Working Group.

An entry on the Surfin' Safari blog notes that three lead Safari developers have joined the group, including lead Apple Safari and WebKit developer, Dave Hyatt.

The HTML Working Group is working to design the next version of HTML, ensuring the new standard is backward-compatible and consistent with current practice.

Apple is also stepping up its participation in other W3C working groups and other standards bodies related to web technology, the item confirms.

The HTML Working Group was set up in March 2007 and anticipates delivering a new specification by 2010.

The group has an open process, meaning anyone involved in WebKit development, browser development, building web authoring tools and content developers can take part, as noted here.

Announcing the group earlier this month Sir Tim Berners-Lee said: "HTML started simply, with structured mark-up, no licensing requirements, and the ability to link to anything. More than anything, this simplicity and openness has led to its tremendous and continued success."

He added: "It's time to revisit the standard and see what we can do to meet the current community needs, and to do so effectively with commitments from browser manufacturers in a visible and open way."