This public report was first prepared for the Advisory Committee Meeting during TPAC 2014. See the accompanying W3C Fact Sheet - October 2014. For the previous edition, see the June 2014 W3C highlights. For future editions of this report, please consult the latest version.
- Application Foundations
- Innovation at the Edge
- Web Ecosystem
- Appendix: Group Details
The September to November period each year is a busy time for W3C. We invest months ramping up for the annual week of W3C-wide face-to-face meetings called "TPAC". TPAC 2014 takes place in Santa Clara, California 27-31 October. More than 500 people have registered, a new record. More groups have scheduled meetings than ever before. The breadth of the agenda is exhilarating: CSS, Audio, Geolocation, Near Field Communications, Social Web, Timed Text, Accessibility, Internationalization, Web and TV, Performance, Payments, Publishing, Privacy, SVG, Cryptography, Real-Time Communications, HTML, and more.
In addition, on 29 October, TPAC attendees and the general public will participate in W3C's 20th Anniversary Symposium and gala dinner. We will hear from speakers and panelists about making the Web more beautiful, more powerful, and more empowering of all people. Then we'll eat, drink, and ponder the future of the Web.
To top off this busy season, we anticipate announcing the completion of the HTML5 Recommendation in October. That achievement is the result of hard work from many individuals and groups inside and outside W3C. Thanks to their efforts over the years, the Open Web Platform is a the most interoperable platform in history for building distributed applications.
For all these reasons, we think it is a great time to be thinking about the future of the Web!
To seed TPAC and W3C20 conversations on the future of the Web, W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe published a blog to frame the discussion in mid-October: Application Foundations for the Open Web Platform. That proposal is essential background reading for this highlights document. In the post, Jaffe asks: now that the Open Web Platform (OWP) is widely deployed and we have published the HTML5 Recommendation, what should our priorities be as an organization? The blog post first sets as a goal that we make the OWP easier for developers to use. Jaffe then proposes a communications framework —called Application Foundations— that will help us identify priorities and organize the work necessary for success.
We use the eight categories described in the framework to organize the first part of this essay. In part two we look at recent and upcoming work in some of the industries whose new requirements for the Open Web Platform are driving some of the "innovation at the edge". We then discuss some of W3C's activities in the broader Web ecosystem and some highlights of organizational evolution.
Security and Privacy Foundation
Today's passwords are an obstacle to improved online security. Billions of passwords have been stolen this year alone. Superior authentication methods require strong cryptography as a foundation. That is why W3C is working on a Crypto API to bring basic cryptographic operations to Web applications, such as hashing, signature generation and verification, and encryption and decryption. The API is already being implemented in browsers and enables application level cryptography leading to more secure identity management and authentication.
The Crypto API is necessary but insufficient for improved Web security. Each site or app manages security differently, making security cumbersome for users who may therefore weaken it to work around usability issues. Single sign-ons are more convenient but they centralize identity management, which can create single points of failure.
To address these issues W3C broached the question of "what's next after the Crypto API?" at the September Workshop on Authentication, Hardware Tokens and Beyond. Participants discussed multi-factor authentication, the use of smartcards and other hardware tokens (dongles, SIM cards) with the Web Cryptography API, safe and secure private key storage, and more (see the agenda and submitted papers).
W3C is also looking to increase user confidence that content requested is content delivered. Content Security Policy (CSP) Level 2 advanced to Last Call in July. CSP provides protections against a broad class of content injection vulnerabilities, such as cross-site scripting. The Systems Applications Working Group organized a meeting on trust and permissions for Web applications in September and suggested plans for future work in this area.
Because it is unreasonable to expect end users to understand lengthy terms of conditions and privacy policies, W3C has organized a November Workshop on Privacy and User–Centric Controls to find ways to make privacy easier for users.
As part of pursuing end-to-end security, W3C is coordinating closely on these issues with the IETF, the FIDO Alliance and the Smartcard Alliance. At the IETF, W3C is also participating in the HTTP2 and TLS work to reduce threats of pervasive monitoring.
Core Web Design and Development Foundation
The Core Web Design and Development Foundation technologies revolve around front-end development: HTML, CSS, SVG, WOFF, and so on.
W3C's HTML5 focus for the past two years has been interoperability and testing. As a result, today's HTML test suite is 100,000 tests strong and growing; see Test the Web Forward for more information. As a sign of confidence in this test suite, Mozilla have announced W3C tests are being used in production for Gecko and Servo, and Google, Microsoft and Apple have also reported the value of the test suite to them. This interoperability should make it easier to deploy emerging technologies that rely directly on HTML5, including those that are directly enabled by HTML5 audio and video (e.g., WebRTC, Web Audio API, Media Source Extensions, and Media Fragments), those that depend on canvas (e.g., 2D context API and WebGL), and features for internationalization such as ruby and Internationalization Tag Set (ITS).
In addition, the collaboration between the Web and Mobile Interest Group and developers of the open source hybrid-applications framework Cordova is starting to show its first results, with the Cordova API aligning with W3C-specified APIs, as well as Cordova developers sending detailed feedback on these APIs to the relevant W3C Working Groups.
Device Interaction Foundation
As the number of connected devices proliferates around the globe, more and more APIs are needed for application control or to share data across the Web. Not surprisingly mobile devices continue to be the focus of various W3C groups resulting in both new specifications such as the Wake Lock API, as well as updates to existing specifications. Examples of this include Ambient Light Events and HTML Media Capture, both of which returned to Last Call in June to incorporate feedback from implementors.
The spread of mobiles, tablets and PCs, however, is likely to be dwarfed by the fast-paced growth in networked sensors, embedded technology and other connected devices. W3C groups are already looking at supporting these developments, for example with the existing Network Service Discovery API and a more recent alternative called Named Web Sockets, aiming to provide "dynamic binding, peer management and local service discovery for WebSockets". The Automotive and Web Platform Business Group has also updated its drafts of a Vehicle Information API and a Vehicle Data Interfaces proposal. See the Automotive section for more details.
The further development of APIs and data sharing capabilities is important but potentially daunting. The scale of the work ahead has resulted in more focussed groups being created, helped by the W3C Community Group structure which eases the path for individuals and organizations to set up and join groups. The Web Bluetooth Community Group is one example and was created to look at an in-browser API to interact with Bluetooth Low Energy devices. This could lead to greater discoverability and interaction through the Web with wearables, consumer and home appliances, and industrial equipment. On a wider scale, the Workshop on the Web of Things, which took place in June in Berlin (see report), has led to work on a charter for a Web of Things Interest Group. The goal of the group would be to gather use cases and establish requirements, which in turn could lead to best practice guidelines and valuable insight for related Working Groups.
Application Lifecycle Foundation
Asynchronous Service Workers have emerged as a tool for managing a number of scenarios that arise during the lifecycle of an application, including offline use, user notifications, data syncing, and geofencing.
For example, with the Push API (updated in October), a server can send a message to an application even if the application is not running. The message is delivered to the background Worker process, which can manage it in a variety of ways, such as storing the data or notifying the user (who might then choose to open the app). Below the Push API, developers will also need a cross-platform open protocol for event delivery; that work ("WEBPUSH") is now underway at the IETF.
Media and Real-Time Communications Foundation
The Web is expanding to support a greater variety of user experiences, including real-time communications and streaming media on a wide range of devices.
The promise of WebRTC is to make every single connected device with a Web browser a potential communications end point. This turns the browser into a one-stop solution for voice, video, chat, and screen sharing. The WebRTC Working Group is planning to publish the main WebRTC API as a Last Call draft by the end of 2014. Many additional features are under consideration as extensions, and the group expects to work toward integrating some of the ideas developed in the ORTC Community Group once the first version of WebRTC is ready.
The Open Web Platform is expanding to support a number of new streaming media experiences. Media Capture Depth Stream Extensions will enable 3D capture that can be used for games, augmented reality, and to improve accessibility. HTML Media Capture, published as a Candidate Recommendation in September, provides access to a camera or microphone, and is used in conjunction with WebRTC to add video chat functionality to a Web app. Media Source Extensions, published as a Candidate Recommendation in July, gives content providers fine-grain control over streaming media, enabling adaptive streaming, ad-insertion, time-shifting, and even video editing.
Performance and Tuning Foundation
The focus on this Foundation is to provide developers with tools to measure performance and tune apps for a variety of hardware and network conditions. We are also working more closely with browser makers, who make performance gains in the Web runtime on a continuous basis (such as recent iOS 8 changes).
In June, the Web Performance Working Group published the "Beacon" specification as a Last Call. Beacon enables developers to transfer HTTP data (such as performance data) asynchronously to the server. It addresses the needs of analytics and diagnostics code that typically attempt to send data to a server prior to unloading a document.
The Web Performance Working Group has begun to discuss several new topics:
- An API for more accurate information about frame rate and throughput, for example to determine whether an important animation is displayed properly.
- Hints from content authors to browsers for content preloading to improve display performance.
There are indications the Working Group will discontinue work on the Resource Priorities specification due to lack of traction in browsers.
Usability and Accessibility Foundation
W3C's commitment to ensuring the Web is usable and available to all is one of the important ways in which W3C demonstrates its stewardship of the Open Web Platform.
W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is increasing support for developers who want practical advice and tools to create sites and applications with a "Web for All" approach, including updated publications of Understanding WCAG 2.0 and Techniques for WCAG 2.0, and tutorials for Images and Tables, Forms, and Carousels. The Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force has been completing a gap analysis which may lead to additional techniques.
Mobile accessibility continues to be a hot topic, and WAI is developing mobile accessibility techniques through the Mobile Accessibility Task Force; and continuing to advance IndieUI: User Context and IndieUI: Events, which will streamline handling of accessibility information for mobile developers.
As more developers are using WCAG 2.0 there is also a demand for guidance on conformance evaluation. Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM), and a Developers' Guide to Features of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools help meet this need, and beta versions are available for a WCAG-EM Report Tool, Accessibility Support Database., and an updated Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List.
Early work on WAI-ARIA 1.1 and Core Accessibility API Mappings 1.1 followed quickly after the completion of WAI-ARIA 1.0. The HTML Accessibility Task Force has worked closely with the HTML WG to identify, resolve, and test accessibility issues in HTML 5.0 and HTML Canvas 2D Context, and to complete implementation testing of HTML Image Description Extension (longdesc). Testing is underway on the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and will begin soon on User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 2.0.
Interest in accessibility from other W3C working groups is leading to the creation of task forces in the areas of graphics and eBooks, including the joint SVG Accessibility Task Force, and a joint Digital Publishing Accessibility Task Force. Idenfication of user needs can be helpful for other W3C work as well, and WAI has provided use cases for Web and TV Interest Group, and requirements for accessibility of audio and video through an update of Media Accessibility User Requirements.
WAI continues to promote harmonization of Web accessibility standards internationally, including in China and Korea, supported by this expanding suite of technical and educational resources.
If the Web is to live up to the "World Wide" portion of its name, it must enable people around the world to express themselves in a variety of languages. The W3C Internationalization Activity pursues this goal in various ways, including coordination with other organizations, creation of educational materials, development of tests, coordination on the work of other W3C groups, and technical work itself on various topics. The Initiatives of W3C's Internationalization (I18N) Activity to gather requirements are very useful for informing specifications such as CSS, but they also enable W3C to better meet the needs of its stakeholders, by fostering participation in the W3C work around the world (e.g., we need more information for experts in Arabic scripts).
There has been a flurry of activity recently to provide greater support for the world's scripts. Picking up on the success of Requirements for Japanese Text Layout, work has started on Chinese layout requirements at the Chinese host, supported by the Internationalization Working Group. There is growing interest in working on Chinese minority scripts, such as Uighur, Mongolian and Tibetan. Work is also gathering momentum in the area of Indic layout requirements, led by a task force within the Internationalization Interest Group. The Internationalization Working Group is also following similar developments related to Latin script typographic requirements as part of the Digital Publishing Interest Group.
In the past year, there has been significant progress in the area of standards that will support automatic translation, such as the Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Version 2.0 Recommendation published one year ago. To ensure the availability of ITS 2.0 metadata in the whole multilingual content life cycle, the ITS Interest Group cooperated closely with the OASIS XLIFF TC to foster the adoption of ITS 2.0 within XLIFF 2.0, an XML-based format from OASIS created to standardize the way localizable data are passed between tools during a localization process.
With any platform, experience building applications exposes broadly useful services that must be designed efficiently and interoperably. The focus of this Foundation is a set of common services that are candidates for standardization and deeper platform integration. As of October 2014, W3C is focused on payments, annotations, social, and a Web of data.
E-commerce is thriving and predicted to reach $1.471 trillion this year, an increase of nearly 20% from last year. According to Forrester research, one third of those transactions will take place on a mobile device. And yet, a number of obstacles stand in the way of even stronger growth on those devices.
The first is usability. People shopping online add to their shopping carts, but they rarely complete their purchases. Small screens and small keyboards, combined with the usual requirement to create an account and share personal information with unknown merchants are some of the reasons that the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 97% on mobile devices.
A second reason is fraud. High-profile stories of massive credit card number theft have demonstrated both the inadequacy of today's approaches to sharing sensitive information and their high cost. The rate of fraud in "card not present" transactions (such as those common for transactions via Web sites) is 10 times higher than that when physical cards are used. These risks must be addressed if online commerce is to flourish.
To deepen our understanding of these challenges and integrate solutions into Open Web Platform, following a March Workshop on payments, W3C chartered a Web Payments Interest Group. Among the first topics the Interest Group will focus on, digital wallets will take an important place as many in industry consider them as an effective way to reduce fraud and improve privacy by having users share sensitive information only with payment providers, rather than merchants. In addition, wallets can simplify transactions from mobile devices and make it easier to integrate new payment innovations. Mobile use cases play an important role in this work, but the framework will encompass the full range of devices people use for online payments.
We annotate the Web in many ways, including comments on blog posts, footnotes, sticky notes, hot spots on images, timestamped notes on video or audio tracks, highlighted text passages in ebook readers, quotes and links on social media, geotagged pinpoints on maps, and even tagged bookmarks. Today there is no common or structured approach to annotation, so comments are siloed inside each blog (controlled by the original publisher), unavailable for syndication, difficult to find, and often obscured by trolling and spam.
Social networking among the general public is a global phenomenon, with reports estimating that in the US, more than 86% of adults engage in social media, 79% in Europe, and 93% in BRIC countries. The data for China indicate that 91% of the online population has a social media account.
Now, it is businesses that are turning increasingly to social applications. A recent study confirms that businesses that embrace social tools to share knowledge internally, collaborate with suppliers, and listen to their customers experience much greater growth than those that do not. In a modern organization that has diverse IT systems, BYOD policies, remote workers, and regional partnerships, crucial information about business process status can be lost in email or when different systems do not interoperate. Open standards are the key to scalable integration.
Interoperability needs extend naturally beyond the firewall. If two organizations wish to cooperate on a venture, they face the problem of securely collaborating via potentially very different access control and messaging systems. A system based on open standards that enables the federation of decentralized status updates and private groups can help two organizations communicate.
In July, W3C launched two groups to carry out these activities. The Social Web Working Group will define the technical standards and APIs to facilitate access to social functionality as part of the Open Web Platform. These include a common JSON-based syntax for social data, a client-side API, and a Web protocol for federating social information such as status updates. With these components anyone —business, government, non-profit, individuals— will be able to create interoperable social networking ecosystems of all sizes, for consumers or business. The standards will make it easier to create and integrate social applications, and give data producers greater control over their data.
At the same time, the Social Interest Group will coordinate messaging around social at the W3C and formulate a broad strategy to enable social business and federation. It will harvest use-cases and review specifications produced by technical working groups in the light of those use-cases.
This work is funded in part by the European Commission through the DCENT Project.
Web of Data
Data is the driving force behind many applications, and W3C has developed numerous data technologies over the years to publish, share, and integrate data (including XML, Semantic Web, RDFa, microdata, and the emerging Linked Data Platform). One year ago W3C launched a new data activity both to increase interoperability among loosely structured data, and to enhance on the mature Semantic Web stack as needed.
Some Semantic Web communities have requested data validation when mission-critical environments requires data to conform to specified patterns. While systems like this are built and maintained around the world today, their complexity often becomes a problem, especially when definitions span different domains (banking, clinical data, etc.). Not only are the systems expensive, but changing data fields and adding new applications can border on impossible. A standard to support data validation would help manage the complexity, greatly reducing the cost and complexity, by separating components while still allowing them to work together.
In September, the Director proposed to the Membership a charter for an RDF Data Shapes Working Group, to create a standard that will enable the definition of graph topologies for interface specification, code development, and data verification.
Innovation at the Edge
The telecommunications, digital publishing, entertainment, and automotive industries are actively expressing their use cases and requirements for the Open Web Platform in a variety of W3C groups.
Telecommunications and the Web have been converging for years. With 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, smartphones play a fundamental role in providing access to digital services. Mobile data traffic is predicted to grow 13-fold from 2012 to 2017. While this trajectory is good news for mobile operators who provide connectivity and distribute services and hardware, the same growth will create pressure on operators who have incurred additional costs from investments in new infrastructure. One reason is that traditional revenue sources from voice, messaging, and data services are declining steadily.
Fortunately, the Web is creating new opportunities in both services (e.g., in advertising, payments, identity management, preloads) and communications (e.g., voice, curation, reselling capacity). W3C is working with the telecommunications industry to create the standards that will enable them to provide these services to any device.
WebRTC is foremost among the current W3C activities relevant to telecommunications. WebRTC enables operators to bring their most important service —voice communication— to a whole new array of devices, while taking advantage of their infrastructure and experience to differentiate themselves from other players. See the Media and Real-Time Communications Foundation for a WebRTC status update.
The connected car market is showing strong growth in response to consumer demand for in-vehicle technology. Some have observed that in-vehicle services are already playing an important role in product differentiation. There is no doubt that car connectivity will only increase over the next decade —indeed it could be mandated in some places.
The Automotive and Web Business Group, with strong participation by the Genivi Alliance, sees the Open Web Platform as a scalable solution for apps in connected cars. Vehicle-specific application platforms have limited appeal to developers because the market size is small (compared to mobile devices, for example) and there is a high cost to learning and developing code for multiple platforms.
On the other hand, the Open Web Platform offers a number of advantages, including:
- Lower cost of developing applications for many different vehicles. This includes the ability to package hybrid apps that can run on native platforms.
- No installation and no software updates required. This particular Web benefit is valuable in the automotive context because applications changes more quickly than car development cycles.
- Widely adopted Royalty-Free standards and a global developer community lower developer costs and make it easier to interoperate with other systems and services that customers will demand.
- Because the Web is decentralized, vehicle manufacturers can maintain control over the environment for running applications and better nurture ongoing customer relations.
- The Web also offers unique abilities to connect arbitrary devices, facilitating interactions between cars, tables, and mobile devices.
In August, the Business Group called for industry review of two reports: Vehicle Information Access API and Vehicle Data. These reports define application programming interfaces (APIs) that will enable developers to create applications at lower cost that can run in any connected car. They define a common interface for developers to integrate passenger vehicle data into their applications, including vehicle identification information, acceleration and speed, tire pressure, battery status, airbag status, personalization information related to seat or mirror position, internal climate information, and more. Apps built with these APIs can run within in-vehicle systems or on mobile devices connected to the car.
W3C anticipates that once the Business Group has finalized these specifications, they will advance to the W3C Recommendation Track in a new Working Group; a draft charter for that group is already available for discussion.
The publishing industry now relies on the core of the Open Web Platform, for everything from e-readers to academic electronic text books to program material for universities. Yet the Open Web Platform must be improved to meet industry requirements for high quality typography, language-specific display, text and audio synchronization, page-based navigation, container formats, header and footer handling, advanced in-document linking, metadata for discovery, portable annotations. Furthermore, though the EPUB3 standard for e-books already relies on HTML, CSS, and SVG, the industry requires better integration of electronic books with "traditional" Web content, to help a number of application areas like scholarly or in-house publishing, but also helping traditional Web usage by bridging on-line and off-line access to the same content.
One year ago W3C launched the Digital Publishing Activity to build the bridges between W3C and the publishing community, including liaisons with organizations such as the IDPF, BISG, EDItEUR, IMS (as part of the EDUPUB initiative), BIC, and the MathML Consortium.
Today, the Digital Publishing Interest Group has organized its work into six task forces, currently focused on layout and styling (primarily via CSS), metadata, content and markup (for concepts like footnotes, index terms, and so on), annotations, accessibility, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
TV and Entertainment
Like telecommunications and digital publishing, television and the Web continue their convergence. Netflix and Amazon are producing content. Consumers want to view (or even binge-watch) their favorite shows whenever they want, on any device. Content providers are looking for new ways to capture audience attention, including hybrid TV (a mix of broadcast and HTML).
One increasingly common consumer expectation is to use a second screen while watching television; according to one report, "87% of U.S. entertainment consumers say they use at least one second-screen device while watching television." Native operating systems provide apps with access to these second screens over a wide range of connection technology (such as video ports like VGA, DisplayPort or HDMI, or wirelessly through Miracast, WiDi, or AirPlay). But there is no standard protocol today that allows a Web application to take advantage of these available secondary displays. In October W3C launched a Second Screen Presentation Working Group to define simple APIs that allow web applications to show and control web content on one or more secondary displays.
The TV Control API Community Group is defining an API layer to make it possible for a Web application to perform functions typically associated with a remote control: list TV programs and related guide information, interact with channels, and so on.
At the same time, the Web and TV Interest Group has launched discussion of new use cases including audio fingerprinting and watermarking, media playback adjustment, media stream synchronization, accessibility extensions, and more.
In this section we look at some of the ways in which we are evolving to handle greater participation and input from developers, industry, and our partners in the Internet ecosystem.
Technical Architecture Group (TAG) Priorities
The mission of W3C's Technical Architecture Group (TAG) is stewardship of Web architecture. To that end, they document and build consensus around principles of Web architecture and to interpret and clarify these principles when necessary; resolve issues involving general Web architecture brought to the TAG; and help coordinate cross-technology architecture developments inside and outside W3C.
As part of their coordination role, the TAG has recently reviewed a number of specifications, including Encrypted Media Extensions, Web Animations, the Push API and Web Audio work. The have followed work on HTTP2 (and the IETF's Mark Nottingham was elected to the TAG this year).
The TAG also publishes "findings" from time to time that may mature into architectural recommendations. Two are in development currently:
- Writing Promise-Using Specifications. Promises are now the Web platform’s paradigm for all "one and done" asynchronous operations. This document gives guidance to authors of specifications on how to write specifications that create, accept, or manipulate promises.
- Good Practices for Capability URLs. A "capability URL" is essentially one that is intentionally obscure, but that anyone who has that URL may access the identified resources. There are particular application design patterns for which this is useful as they remove the necessity for users to log in to a site and are easily delegated to others. But their use can open up some security issues. URLs are not generally kept secret, and there are various routes through which capability URLs can leak into unintended hands. This document provides some good practices for web developers who wish to incorporate capability URLs into their applications, to minimize these risks.
The TAG continues to organize conversations with developers about emerging standards and architectural approaches, most recently as the Extensible Web Summit - Berlin in September.
Test the Web Forward
Testing will play an increasing role in ensuring the interoperability and reliability of the Open Web Platform. In order to scale W3C's testing effort to meet this increasing demand, we continue to nurture the Test the Web Forward community, including an August event in Portland focus on security.
The W3C testing framework, while not finished, has matured enough to be very useful. It consists of:
- More than 270,000 tests and growing
- A server-side component, to make tests available via HTTP, and which runs the server-side code of those tests.
- A client-side component "auto-pilots the browser" to execute each test.
It is now easier to run tests and get results. There are new tools to automate more browser tests, including of comparing rendering. For example, we can now automate execution of the CSS test suite, a significant time saver.
The test suite is having a real impact on the Web. Mozilla is running the tests in production which is a reflection of confidence in the test suite. Ultimately we would like to see all browsers similarly integrating the test suite, but the tool is not just for browsers. W3C's Masahito Kawamori summarizes test suite updates on a regular basis on the email@example.com list.
In June Jeff Jaffe presented a proposal to connect W3C more closely with developers, called the "Webizen" program. In response to Member concerns about the proposal, W3C launched a task force in July to redesign the program.
In September, the task force launched a survey to find out what would most interest developers in such a program. A significant majority of the 205 respondents said we should have a program. 87 said "show me where to sign up" and another 62 said they would probably sign up. Based on survey feedback, Webizens will join the program for $100 (and lower rates in developing economies) and have the following initial benefits:
- Name listed on with other Webizens on w3.org (with number of years)
- Annual teleconference with the CEO
- Discount on some W3C service (e.g., training)
The task force also suggested that Webizens form communities of interest (e.g. front end developers, accessibility groups, users) to comment collectively on draft charters and specifications, and otherwise help shape the W3C agenda. Of survey respondents who wanted influence, over 70% felt that this would be adequate.
We are still looking for name suggestions other than "Webizen" and welcome community input.
The Membership will discuss these recommendations during TPAC at the end of October.
Developer Relations & Training
We also invite W3C Members either headquartered in France or running an office in France, to get in touch with our European host as W3C/ERCIM recently became an authorized French training center. We organize both intra-enterprise or inter-enterprise training sessions (following a b-learning model), targeting two types of audiences: managers and developers/designers. Find more details in the "Formation Professionnelle" page (in French) and contact Marie-Claire Forgue for additional information.
W3C has tentatively scheduled the third W3Conf (W3C's Developer Conference) for 13-14 April 2015 in North Carolina, USA. We welcome sponsorship offers and those interested should contact Doug Schepers for more information.
The Community and Business Groups program continues to expand to meet the needs of a growing community of Web stakeholders. Launched in August 2011, more than 4300 individuals are now participating. More than 200 Member organizations and nearly 1500 non-Member organizations have signed the W3C Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA) for to help ensure that new technology is available Royalty-Free, under a permissive copyright license.
The community has launched seven new groups since June: Character Description Language, Credentials, Open and Transparent W3C, Web Bluetooth, Linked Building Data, Human services, and URI Specification.
In September W3C announced the beta test of a new Community and Business Group site. The changes in the beta reflect several years experience with user interactions with the site, as well as moving toward a more contemporary design and implementation.
W3C engages in dozens of liaisons with standards bodies and other organizations to coordinate work and share our long-term vision for the Web. These contacts also make it easier for new stakeholders to discover and participate in W3C. In the past six months we started new liaisons with the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), the DASH Industry Forum (DASH-IF) and the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA).
We follow closely the evolution of Internet Governance through our participation in IGF, ICANN, OECD ITAC, etc. In August 2014, Tim Berners-Lee and Jeff Jaffe participated in the launch of the Net Mundial Initiative in Geneva. To reinforce our presence in this evolving ecosystem, former W3C Chairman Jean-François Abramatic has come on board to help reposition W3C's role as Open Web Standard provider in the new post-Snowden Internet Governance landscape.
W3C has been very active in the definition of the EC Information and Communications Technology (ICT) standardization Rolling Plan, listing technical areas for which new standards are needed to achieve upcoming EU Policy objectives such as privacy, accessibility, and smart cities. This work is about standard work items that the commission will need ICT SDOs to deliver in the future.
Two years ago, IEEE, the IAB/IETF, ISOC and W3C announced a set of principles for modern standards development under the banner OpenStand. At the two year-anniversary in August, we wrote a blog post comparing OpenStand principles with the UK Open Standards Principles published in 2012.
The primary organizational improvement in the past six months has been the revision of the Recommendation Track Process to support multiple specification development methodologies: maximize consensus about the content of stable technical reports; ensure high technical and editorial quality; promote consistency among specifications; facilitate royalty-free, interoperable implementations of Web Standards; and earn endorsement by W3C and the broader community.
- Identify work not destined for success
- Identify the most important priorities for the Web and W3C
- Improve W3C agility
- W3C Process Revision 2015
- Trademark Policy and Licensing
- Provenance of specification text (licensing issues)
- Advisory Board / TAG election Voting experiment
- W3C synchronization and consistency
- Improving how the Advisory Board represents the Advisory Committee
Other recent organizational changes include:
- A new Introductory Industry Membership level responsive to the growing number of industries that are adopting the Open Web Platform. The new program provides an on-ramp so that organizations interested in contributing use cases and requirements but that are not yet ready to participate in standardization activities can do so at lower cost than regular Membership. It also gives organizations unfamiliar with W3C the time to learn about our wide range of activities and how we work.
- A proposal for how to reliense W3C specifications under a permissive license, when work has ceased on those specifications.
- A new practice for Charter approvals: the Director will expect to receive reviews for Charter proposals from at least 5% of the Membership, and will generally not approve Charters without a margin of favorable reviews equal to 5% of the Membership.
The Web is the most interoperable platform in history, but there is more to be done to create a secure, robust, and powerful platform for distributed applications. That is why W3C is simultaneously working with developers to make the Open Web Platform easier to use, and reaching out to industries to understand potential new requirements for the Web. The organization is evolving to facilitate the flow from new ideas to stable foundations, and to encourage participation from more people (especially developers).
In this anniversary year, we thank you, the W3C community, for 20 years of Leading the Web to its Full Potential.
Appendix: Group Details
To learn more about recent achievements and upcoming work of all W3C Working and Interest Groups, we have prepared updates for all Activities. The Community Groups and Business Groups site provides access to the activities of those groups.
- Digital Publishing
- Mobile Web Initiative
- Multimodal Interaction