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Call For Participation:

Workshop on Quality Assurance at W3C

3-4 April 2001, Washington D.C. Area, USA - Hosted by NIST

Table of Content:


Universality and Interoperability are core to W3C's goals and operating principles. In order for specifications developed at W3C to permit full interoperability and access to all, it is very important that the quality of implementation of these standards be given as much attention as their development.

In 2000, the W3C Team suggested taking a new lead in improving the quality of implementation for W3C technologies and received strong support from the membership. We are considering a new Testing and Quality Assurance Activity and as a first step we've started gathering and formalizing existing QA efforts for the various languages and protocols we develop (see our QA matrix under development).

As the complexity of W3C specifications and their interdependencies increases, QA will become even more important to ensuring their acceptance and deployment in the market. The past experiences of HTML, CSS or more recently SMIL (all implemented with various degrees of conformance by vendors) are strong incentives to start this activity with due diligence.

A workshop is the natural W3C way of gathering interest and establishing a charter for a new activity, so we have decided to hold one in partnership with NIST, a leader in the development of conformance tests, in particular with W3C technologies.

Workshop Goal

The main objective of the workshop is to have W3C, its membership and the Web community involved in QA at large to share their understanding of the state of affairs for Web QA tools, technical and business practices and conformance activities at W3C or related to W3C specifications.

Furthermore, as we're planning the start of a new W3C activity, one of our goals is to get feedback on the best course of action within W3C that would improve the quality of W3C specifications implementation in the field over time (i.e. what will be in the charter of this activity). To that effect, a DRAFT Activity Proposal will be circulated prior to and discussed during the workshop.

The organization of this workshop is handled under the W3C process.

Scope of the Workshop

Besides the shape to give this new potential W3C QA activity, there are several areas of interest related to Quality Assurance and Conformance of W3C technologies that we would like to hear about at the workshop:

Position papers focused on general software or business QA practices (unrelated to W3C specifications or to the items above) are not in scope for this workshop.

Participants in this workshop should be familiar with the following W3C materials:

More QA background material available at:

W3C members with access the W3C member restricted mailing list archive may also read the following thread which originated our interest in QA at W3C:

Criteria for success

The workshop will be considered successful if:

Future W3C work in this area will vary depending on the workshop findings. It is important to identify how W3C can make a unique contribution, whether through its own development resource and/or liaison with other organizations.


As an accompanying measure for preparing discussions at the workshop, we invite discussions on the public mailing list. To subscribe, send mail to and put the word "subscribe" in the subject line. A public archive of this list is available at

The workshop is expected to result in the following deliverables:

These will be published on the workshop Web site.

Expected audience

We expect several communities to contribute to the workshop:

Registration and rules for participation

To facilitate workshop planning, anyone interested in participating should send a statement of interest to stating:


Position Papers

Position papers are the basis for the discussion at the workshop. A position paper is usually short, around 1 to 5 pages (there is a maximum of five pages) and summarizes:

Position papers will be published on the public Web pages of the workshop, so position papers and slides of presentations must be available for public dissemination. Submitting a position paper comprises a default recognition of these terms for publication. Allowed formats are valid HTML/XHTML or plain text. Papers in any other formats will be returned, with a request for correct formatting.

The Program Committee will ask the authors of particularly salient position papers to explicitly present their position at the workshop to foster discussion. Presenters will also make the slides of the presentation available on the workshop Web site.

Position papers must be submitted via email to the Workshop Chairs (<,>) no later than 16 March 2001.


Workshop organization

Preliminary program

See the DRAFT agenda page.


Program Committee

The Workshop final agenda will be developed by a Program Committee. The Committee will include, in addition to the chairs: Karl Dubost (, W3C), Karl Best (, OASIS), B.K. Delong (, WebStandard/ZOT Group), Lofton Henderson (, independent expert).

The program committee will publish their final agenda by March 22 2001.

Organizing committee

Please contact the chairs for any logistical question you may have. For local arrangements contact: Clare Lucey, ( 301-9753283.


NIST = National Institute on Standards and Technologies
100 Bureau Drive

Gaithersburg, MD 20899, U.S.A.

Getting There

NIST is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, just off Interstate Route 270, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the center of Washington, D.C.

NIST provides shuttle service from the Shady Grove Metro (subway) station. Visitor information about NIST including maps and travel directions is available at:

For example: from Dupont Circle in downtown D.C., it takes about 30 minutes - 15 on the metro and depending on how you get to NIST (taxi or NIST Shuttle) about 10 or 15 minutes.

The meeting will be held in Lecture Room B, in the Administration Building (building 101) on the NIST main campus. The Administration Building is the only high-rise building on the campus. Visitor parking is available opposite the building.



Driving Instructions

Important dates

Date Event
2 February 2001 Call for Participation released to W3C members and some other interest lists.
16 March 2001 Deadline for registration and position papers.
22 March 2001 Final program and agenda released and notification of acceptance.
3-4 April 2001 QA Workshop at NIST in D.C.

W3C Resource Statement

Over the period of ten weeks, this work will consume 30% of the time of one W3C Team member for committee work, organization, and for managing the workshop Web site.

Last updated: 2001/03/14 by danield