Notice: The WebPlatform project, supported by various stewards between 2012 and 2015, has been discontinued. This site is now available on github.

Pointing Toward the Future

The Pointer Events specification is now in Last Call! This is your chance to try out this important new technology, and to give feedback to the working group on how well it works for you.

What is Last Call?

On Tuesday Feb. 19th 2013 the W3C Pointer Events Working Group published the Pointer Events specification as a Last Call working draft after only a few short months, highlighting its momentum amongst browser vendors and web developers. “Last Call Working Draft” means that members of the working group, including representatives from Google, jQuery Foundation, KAIST, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, Opera, Zynga, and others, consider that this specification has satisfied all the technical requirements outlined in the Working Group Charter. Now the working group will take final feedback on the specification, and once any outstanding issues have been resolved, we intend to advance the specification to “Candidate Recommendation”, where we will finalize tests and do our implementation report in preparation for full W3C Recommendation status.

What are Pointer Events?

Pointer Events builds on the DOM event model to offer a new way to handle input on the web, enabling developers to build touch-first experiences that work with mouse, pen, and other pointing devices as well. You can write to a set of events that have the familiarity and simplicity of mouse events, while taking advantage of new device capabilities like multi-touch or pen pressure sensitivity. Like using Media Queries to design adaptive layout for various screen sizes, Pointer Events offer the ability to have adaptive input-handling, allowing more users of more device types to immerse themselves in your site or webapp. They are also designed from the ground up to allow modern browsers to accelerate the touch-surface performance, leading to a smoother user experience.

W3Conf Presentation

Jacob Rossi, Program Manager at Microsoft and editor of the Pointer Events specification, gave a great talk on Pointer Events at W3Conf 2013 in San Francisco. Watch his archived video to see what Pointer Events means for your own development experience.

Why Web Platform?

Web Platform Docs is increasingly seen by the community as the right place to share, discuss, and contribute to fundamental initiatives that advance the open web. Here we don't document only the past and the present of the web, but also its future.

With an emerging standard like Pointer Events, Web Platform Docs can not only serve to outline the APIs but also offer tutorials to onramp developers to building compelling new web experiences, and to provide a channel for feedback into the specification itself.

Rob Dolin, Program Manager from Microsoft Open Technologies, recently authored a primer for Pointer Events on Web Platform Docs, and Erika Doyle Navara, Writer at Microsoft's IE Developer Content team and one of the editors of the HTML5 specification, contributed 25 Pointer Events reference pages. These articles walk you through the basics of using pointer events, give example code to get you started, drill down into technical details, and link to real world examples to get you inspired.

Like all content on Web Platform Docs, the community can offer their contributions as well. Concepts can be further clarified, new examples given, browser support tables updated, etc. We invite you to check out the pointer event docs, try out the functionality (available in IE10 and a prototype Chromium build), and give back to these open docs with tips you discover or fun examples you build.

Act Now!

Try these features out, and give feedback to the W3C Pointer Events Working Group at on what works well and what could be improved. This is your web, and your documentation site, so help us shape it.