W3C Statements about TAG Nominees for 2013 Election

Form for AC to vote | TAG home

This is the list of nominees for the 2013 election to the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG). Each person has been nominated by at least one W3C Member according to the TAG election process.

The W3C Membership elects the TAG. For this election W3C will fill two seats. W3C will announce the results the second week of January 2014.

Note: The deadline for votes is 23:59 ET, 8 January 2014.

The following statements were sent about the nominees (in alphabetical order by nominee family name):

  1. Daniel Austin (eBay)
  2. Domenic Denicola (Lab49), nominated by jQuery Foundation
  3. David Herman (Mozilla)
  4. Frederick Hirsch (Nokia)

Daniel Austin (eBay)

It's my honor to nominate Dr. Daniel Austin, Chief Architect at PayPal, Inc. for the W3C Technical Architecture Group. Daniel's experience in systems architecture and standards creation make him ideally suited to the TAG. His ability to grasp complex ideas and propose workable solutions makes the hard things buildable; his ability to forge consensus and gain agreement among many overlapping interests is one of the keys to his success. Daniel says his mission is to 'make the Web faster and smarter'.

Daniel has been involved in making W3C standards since 1996, when he first joined the HTML Working Group, where he's the longest-serving member. He's been a member of 14 other W3C working groups as well, including XML Core, XSLT, Web Services Architecture and others. He's contributed to multiple W3C Recommendations, and was the lead editor for XHTML Modularization 1.1. Daniel has also been involved in many other standards activities, at the IETF and elsewhere.

Daniel's current technology interests include delay-tolerant networking for mobile devices; new methods of authentication and connected identity; gesture-based UX design, and ubiquitous computing. He's also busy writing a book for O'Reilly on Web Performance.

Domenic Denicola (Lab49)

Nominated by jQuery Foundation.

The W3C Technical Architecture Group has made immeasurable progress this year since the original wave of reformist thought swept through it last election season. The extensible web agenda, which I've spoken about previously, has been adopted into their vision for the web's foundations and informed recent spec work across the W3C. The TAG even moved its deliverables onto GitHub, allowing better collaboration with and transparency to developers.

But there's always more to do. The web is slowly but surely coming into its own as a serious modern development platform—one which can compete with native apps across the board. New APIs, new primitives, and new tools are very much necessary to make our open platform as attractive to developers and users as it could be. To lure them away from the walled gardens of closed app stores and vendor-proprietary development platforms, we must provide something better.

The TAG is in a unique position to oversee these efforts, with its charter to steward the evolution of web architecture and coordinate with other relevant groups like Ecma TC39 and the IETF. As such, I'm excited to be running for TAG membership in this newest election cycle.

Over the last year of my increasing involvement in web standards, I've found two things to be paramount: _developer involvement_, and _a focus on solid low-level primitives_. Independent of any formal role in the process, I have and will continue to champion these causes. My nomination by the jQuery Foundation to serve on the TAG only allows me to advocate them in a more formal role.

As a web developer myself, I experience the joys and disappointments of our platform every day. Some of you might think it's all disappointments—and I can certainly sympathize, given our day-to-day frustrations. But one of the more eye-opening experiences of the last few months has been working alongside an experienced Java developer, new to the web platform, and seeing his almost childlike glee at how _easy_ it is to produce complex, interactive, and robust UIs. More generally, when I think on what I actually do for a living at Lab49—produce complex financial trading and analysis systems, built on the open web platform—it's hard not to be amazed. We've come a long way from the time when only desktop apps were considered for serious work. Now all our clients want cross-browser and cross-device web applications, that they can access from any computer at any time, with shareable URLs and responsive experiences and all the other things that come with the web.

To enable developers to build such increasingly powerful experiences, we need to listen to them. That's why I spend a lot of time speaking at and traveling to developer conferences, or being involved on Twitter, on IRC, and on GitHub, with the community. I recently gave a talk specifically on [how to get involved in web standards], and have been working constantly to get developer feedback on missing features or in-progress specs since then.

Developers are a tricky bunch, as many have been trained to ignore standards bodies and simply hack together their own solutions. They're used to being ignored. But times are changing. The extensible web manifesto guides us to supply the web with the low-level features developers need, and then to listen to them and roll what they build back into the platform. The TAG's role is helping to guide this overall process, and I hope to bring along my experience listening to and learning from the developer community.

You may have noticed I kept saying "developers" above, and never "web developers." That's because I strongly believe we need to look outside our own community for inspiration. There are lessons to be learned everywhere across the software development landscape, from other UI frameworks and standard libraries, to other languages whose features we need in our platform's _lingua franca_ of JavaScript. Perhaps most importantly, I maintain strong ties with and involvement in the Node.js community. They provide an excellent source of inspiration and advice, as a platform that takes JavaScript far beyond where many of us would have envisioned it only a few years ago.

Which brings us to the issue of low-level primitives. Node's great success comes in a large part from its focus on providing such primitives: things like standard patterns for binary data, for asynchrony, or for streaming. On top of these they've built a standard library that should be the envy of any platform in both its small size and in its power.

Of course, the web platform must by necessity evolve via consensus, and so more slowly than Node. But this gives us the benefit of watching them run out ahead of us, make mistakes, and then come back with field reports on how it went. As such we are getting typed arrays instead of buffers; promises instead of error-first callbacks; and intelligently-designed streams instead of backward-compatible evolved ones. And it's no coincidence that I've been involved in both the promises and streams efforts, as I'm very passionate about ensuring that these foundational pieces of the platform are solid enough to build on and have learned from experiences implementing them elsewhere.

But we're still in our infancy when it comes to building on these primitives. We need to tie them together with the rest of the web platform. In short, we need to get to the day when this example is not just a dream, but is reality:

```js
http.get("http://example.com/video.mp4")
 .pipe(videoProcessingWebWorker)
 .pipe(document.query("video"))
```

In my view, it's the TAG's job to get us there. The cross-group coordination issues necessary to make visions like this a reality are a large part of the TAG's charter. We can provide a high-level vision, fueled by our interaction with the developer community, for extending the web forward. And all the while, I'll be down in the trenches, both gathering feedback to help shape this vision, and working on specifications and interfacing with implementers to make it happen.

If this sounds like progress to you, I'd appreciate your organization's vote.

David Herman (Mozilla)

I am the author of Effective JavaScript, a long-time member of the TC39 JavaScript standards committee, and a member of Mozilla Research, a team pushing the boundaries of what the Web platform can do. I'm a co-creator of asm.js, an extremely optimizable subset of JavaScript that can be used to safely port native apps to the Web. I work with the Servo team, who are building a next-generation parallel browser engine. I'm the lead designer of the ES6 module system, which I believe will be a leap forward in Web's development ecosystem, enabling more frictionless sharing of JavaScript libraries and components.

Why I'm running for TAG. My passion is for improving the experience of Web developers. I believe that we can and must do better to make our platform more cohesive and well-integrated. This is one reason why I'm a co-signer of the Extensible Web Manifesto, to provide a counterbalance to the natural pressure to pile up special cases in the platform. My experience has been that building better foundations pays dividends by empowering our communities to solve their problems faster and better than any standards body can. To achieve this, we need people tasked with keeping an eye on the long-term health and viability of the platform. Thanks especially to recent reforms, the TAG is well-positioned to drive a better designed Web, and I believe I have both the standards experience and the architecture and design skills to make that happen.

Frederick Hirsch (Nokia)

Frederick Hirsch would like to join the TAG to contribute on the Trust architecture of the Web including security, privacy and accountability. He can bring his editing skills to this activity.

He is a Senior Architect at Nokia and has participated in numerous groups working on identity and security including the W3C XKMS group, OASIS DSS and SAML, WS-I Security, Liberty Alliance and OMA. He has worked to raise awareness of privacy issues in the W3C Device APIs WG, including editing a privacy best practices Note.

Frederick has been active in the W3C over ten years, working to build consensus chairing the XML Security working group (and earlier the XML Security Specifications Maintenance WG), as well as the Device APIs Working Group. He has also been an editor in the XML Security WG and the WS-Policy WG. He is also Vice-Chair of the OASIS Board of Directors.


Ian Jacobs
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