W3C

W3C Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

All-day event brings together technical leaders and luminaries to reflect on past, inspire the future

Contact Americas and Australia --
Janet Daly, <janet@w3.org>, +1.617.253.5884
Contact Europe, Africa and Middle East --
Marie-Claire Forgue, <mcf@w3.org>, +33.492.38.75.94
Contact Asia --
Yasuyuki Hirakawa <chibao@w3.org>, +81.466.49.1170
(also available in French and Japanese)

http://www.w3.org/ -- 30 November 2004 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is marking its tenth anniversary with a day-long symposium on 1 December at the Fairmont Copley Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. W3C10 brings together Web and Internet technical leaders from around the globe to both remember the W3C's origins and look to the future of the Web and W3C's role in it.

The Web is 15; W3C is 10

In March of 1989 while employed at CERN (l'Organisation Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire), Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal that would become the basis for the World Wide Web. With approval from his supervisor, the late Mike Sendall, and support from colleagues including Robert Cailliau, Berners-Lee's invention grew from one server at CERN (1990), to millions and millions of servers today.

Yet even in those early days, Berners-Lee saw the potential for tremendous growth predicated on key features: openness of technologies, and agreed-upon standards and protocols. CERN agreed to make Tim's code available to all free of charge, but who would ensure that standards and protocols would be developed, disseminated and used, ensuring one Web for all users rather than fragmentation?

In October 1994, Berners-Lee, with help from the late Michael Dertouzos of the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Its earliest stated mission was to "Lead the Web to Its Full Potential." It has done so in at least two distinct ways. First, W3C has developed technical recommendations that industry embraces as Web standards such as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and Extensible Markup Language (XML), the last of which has given rise to new graphics and multimedia formats (SVG and SMIL) as well as applications for mobile devices, such as VoiceXML 2 and XHTML Basic. In addition to these formatting standards, W3C serves as the developmental center of the Semantic Web. The second way that W3C has impacted the Web is through the creation of policies and practices that encourage the extended applicability and growth of Web technologies to the broadest number of people, including W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative, its Internationalization Activity and its Patent Policy.

"W3C10" Program Looks Back, Looks Forward

To celebrate its tenth anniversary, W3C is organizing a one-day symposium on 1 December for its Members and invited guests to reflect on the impact of the Web, W3C's central role in its growth, and risks and opportunities facing the Web during W3C's second decade.

"This special anniversary brings the opportunity to acknowledge the impact of the Web and the W3C's stewardship role," said Tim Berners-Lee, W3C's Director. "I hope it will also inspire ever more collaboration, creativity, and understanding across the globe."

The event's emcee is Ethernet inventor and Internet pioneer Bob Metcalfe. The rich program includes equal parts reflection and projection. Sessions cover the early days of the Web and W3C's emergence, through the commercial and social impacts of the Web on the world we now experience. Others look at the impact of the Web, and of Web standards, with an eye towards new frontiers for Web technical development, and tensions that may require resolution.

"W3C10 is a celebration that brings together the people who are pioneering, standardizing, implementing and benefiting from Web technologies," explained Steve Bratt, W3C Chief Operating Officer. "We'll share stories from the W3C's past and dreams for the future of Web technology, making for a full and exciting day."

Sponsorship for W3C10 is International, Diverse

W3C10 enjoys generous sponsorship from both Members and outside organizations including Platinum sponsors MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), HP, and Microsoft Corporation; Gold sponsors Adobe Systems, Amadeus e-Travel, BEA Systems, Google, IBM, ILOG, and INRIA; and Silver sponsors Billiotek srl, CERN, Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), IONA Technologies, Inc., Intervoice, Inc., Nokia, Sogei, and Uncover the Net.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. More than 350 organizations are Members of W3C. To learn more, see http://www.w3.org/