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W3C Incubator Activity

Incubator Activity > About XGs


The W3C Incubator is flexible and broad. The scope of Incubator Groups (XGs) is expected to be:

  1. New, potentially foundational technologies. This includes ideas for technologies with the potential for broad use to support the infrastructure of the Web. However, these ideas are not ready for Recommendation Track development. Some characteristics of relevant foundational concepts include, but are not limited to:
    • Innovative and/or highly speculative ideas that may or may not be entirely consistent with the current Web architecture or with other work at W3C and elsewhere.
    • Functions for which the design is not yet well-enough developed or for which there are many possible solutions.
    • Functions for which there is not yet sufficient consensus in the community.
  2. Web-Based Applications built upon the infrastructure of the Web. Some characteristics of such applications include, but are not limited to:
    • Work that builds upon W3C's foundational work, as a means of helping to test that foundation.
    • Work needed to support the efforts of particular user communities to leverage Web technologies, and thus provide additional practical experience on use of those technologies.
    • Work with very broad application across multiple user communities.
    • Open source software that builds upon Web technologies.

Because of the ease of starting an XG, and the breadth of the possible scope of work, it is possible that work within an XG could overlap in functional objective with work underway elsewhere within the W3C or within other organizations. It is desirable to take ideas related to specific technology solutions that are already being worked on elsewhere (within or outside of the W3C) back to the place in which the work is taking place. However, work on solutions that are competing within the same function space, and that provide alternative solutions relative to other options in the same space, will not be discouraged.


The Incubator Activity Lead provides oversight, guidance, resolution of issues, and assessment of the proposals and Incubator experiment. The Activity Lead also receives systems and administrative support.

Sufficient Member resources must be supplied to carry out all of the required and desired elements of an XG's Charter. In general, the W3C Team does not plan to participate in XGs. No Team Contact will be assigned to an XG. The Team will notify the Membership in the case of a decision to have long-term Team participation in an XG.


Dependencies of an Incubator XG on work elsewhere in the W3C or in other standards bodies (and vice versa) will vary, depending upon the area of work. XGs should identify dependencies in the proposed XG Charter if dependencies are understood, or later on the XG Web site as understanding of dependencies becomes more clear.

Coralie Mercier, Incubator Activity Lead
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