W3C Process Document

5 Activities

This section describes the mechanisms for establishing consensus within the areas of Web development the Consortium chooses to pursue. An Activity organizes the work necessary for the development or evolution of a Web technology.

W3C starts an Activity based on interest from the Members and Team. W3C Members build interest around new work through discussions among Advisory Committee representatives, Chairs, and Team, and through the Submission process. The Team tracks Web developments inside and outside W3C, manages liaisons, and organizes workshops.

Based on input from the Team and Members about the structure and scope of an Activity, the Team sends an Activity Proposal to the Advisory Committee. This is a proposal to dedicate Team and Member resources to a particular area of Web technology or policy, and when there is consensus about the motivation, scope, and structure of the proposed work, W3C starts a new Activity.

Each Activity has its own structure that generally includes Working Groups, Interest Groups, and Coordination Groups. Within the framework of an Activity, these groups produce technical reports, review the work of other groups, and develop sample code or test suites.

The progress of each Activity is documented in an Activity Statement. Activity Statements describe the goals of the Activity, completed and unfinished deliverables, changing perspectives based on experience, and future plans. At least before each Advisory Committee meeting, the Team SHOULD revise the Activity Statement for each Activity that has not been closed.

Refer to the list of W3C Activities [PUB9]. Note: This list MAY include some Activities that began prior to the formalization in 1997 of the Activity creation process.

5.1 Activity Proposal Development

The Team MUST notify the Advisory Committee when a proposal for a new or modified Activity is in development. This is intended to raise awareness, even if no formal proposal is yet available. Advisory Committee representatives MAY express their general support on the Advisory Committee discussion list. The Team MAY incorporate discussion points into an Activity Proposal. Refer to additional tips on getting to Recommendation faster [PUB27].

5.2 Advisory Committee Review of an Activity Proposal

The Director MUST solicit Advisory Committee Review of every proposal to create, substantively modify, or extend an Activity.

After a Call for Review from the Director, the Advisory Committee reviews and comments on the proposal. The review period MUST be at least four weeks. During the review period, Advisory Committee representatives disclose knowledge of relevant IPR claims, according to the W3C IPR policy.

The Director announces to the Advisory Committee whether there is consensus within W3C to create or modify the Activity (possibly with changes suggested during the review). For a new Activity, this announcement officially creates the Activity. This announcement MAY include a Call for Participation in any groups created as part of the Activity.

If there was dissent, Advisory Committee representatives MAY appeal a decision to create, modify, or extend the Activity. Note: There is no appeal of a decision not to create an Activity; in general, drafting a new Activity Proposal will be simpler than following the appeal process.

5.3 Modification of an Activity

Activities are intended to be flexible. W3C expects participants to be able to adapt in the face of new ideas (e.g., Member Submission requests) and increased understanding of goals and context, while remaining true to the intent of the original Activity Proposal. If it becomes necessary to make substantive changes to an Activity (e.g., because significant additional resources are necessary or because the Activity's scope has clearly changed from the original proposal), then the Director MUST solicit Advisory Committee Review of a complete Activity Proposal, including rationale for the changes.

5.4 Extension of an Activity

When the Director solicits Advisory Committee review of a proposal to extend the duration of an Activity with no other substantive modifications to the composition of the Activity, the proposal MUST indicate the new duration and include rationale for the extension. The Director is NOT REQUIRED to submit a complete Activity Proposal.

5.5 Activity Closure

An Activity Proposal specifies a duration for the Activity. The Director, subject to appeal by Advisory Committee representatives, MAY close an Activity prior to the date specified in the proposal in any of the following circumstances:

The Director closes an Activity by announcement to the Advisory Committee.

5.6 Activity Proposals

An Activity Proposal defines the initial scope and structure of an Activity. The proposal MUST include or reference the following information: