W3C community groups for developers and businesspeople

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has a mission statement. OK, it’s an About Us paragraph, but you get the point. It reads as follows…

“The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community where Member organisations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop web standards. Led by web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and CEO Jeffrey Jaffe, W3C’s mission is to lead the web to its full potential.”

It’s a bit like a crisp sandwich isn’t it? I mean, lots of stuff that you like, but until you put the brown sauce on it there’s just not enough flavour.


In search of some spice, I spent some time this week looking at what the W3C is doing. It appears that the organisation has just launched a dedicated programme for developers and “other stakeholders” to develop specifications, hold discussions, develop test suites and connect with the organisation’s international community.

In a show of ebullient egalitarian laissez faire economics, the organisation says it wants the W3C Community Groups to “promote diverse participation” from any type of user.

Anyone can propose a group and groups start as soon as there is a small measure of peer support. There are no fees to participate, there are a set of usage guidelines/parameters to govern members and active groups may work indefinitely.

“Innovation and standardization build upon each other,” said Jeff Jaffe, W3C CEO. “The stable web platform provided by W3C has always encouraged innovation. As the pace of innovation accelerates and more industries embrace W3C’s Open Web Platform, our ‘Community Groups’ will accelerate incorporation of innovative technologies into the web.”

“W3C is now open for crowd-sourcing the development of web technology,” said Harry Halpin, community development lead. “Developers can propose ideas to the extensive W3C social network and in a matter of minutes start to build mindshare using W3C’s collaborative tools or their own. Creating a Community or Business Group doesn’t mean giving up an existing identity; it means having an easier time promoting community-driven work for future standardization.”

The first groups to launch reflect a varied set of interests. W3C announces eight Community Groups:

• Colloquial Web

• Declarative 3D for the Web Architecture

• ODRL Initiative

• Ontology-Lexica

• Semantic News

• Web Education

• Web Payments

• XML Performance

and one Business Group:

• Oil, Gas and Chemicals