This material is a draft for discussion only. It may be altered at any time.
This is an interim process for use until such time as any new process may be created for use in its place.
The World Wide Web Consortium is chartered to work with its members to develop technical specifications.
This document describes a W3C working group, which is a group of experts convened to working individually and collectively toward the resolution of a particular well-defined technical issue.
The need for a W3C Working group may become evident at a W3C Workshop, a W3C Advisory Committee meeting, an informal meeting such as a "Birds of a Feather (BOF)" session at a conference, or some meeting whether or not under the W3C auspices on a related topic. Alternatively, the W3C staff may become aware of the need as a result of their work and communications with W3C members.
In many cases, an initial membership is suggested by those whose enthusiasm for the workshop prompted its formation. However, before a meeting or series of meetings may be referred to as a W3C working group, it should following the date of this document, go through the following process to help ensure that
The W3C staff should though the W3C newsletter or otherwise invite comments from the advisory committee membership on to what extent the workshop topic is worth the expenditure of W3C resources, and which people within member companies should b contacted if and when an initiative in the area is taken. (Several examples of calls for interest went out in the newsletter in early September 1996).
This information may be used to decide whether to go ahead and form the working group.Information appropriate to a such a call includes that about existing activities, alternative avenues to W3C activity (for example other standards bodies), existing requirements expressed by members, and offers of effort and other support from members.
A charter should be drawn up for the working group which explains
As situations vary very much between technical areas, it is up to those proposing the working group to decide on criteria for membership.
Typical citeria may be
Working groups are not intended as educational activities, and so those who are not sufficiently well versed in the field, or who do not have the available time (and commitment where necessary from their employer) to contribute meaningfully should not present themselves for membership.
If a call for interest has been made, and the response has indicated a significant group of contact people named as interested in pursuing the matter, the first meeting of the working group may be announced with at least a further four weeks notice, or less given a consensus on the date amongst those contact people named in responses from the call for interest.
If no call for interest has been made, the first meeting to be characterized as a W3C working group meeting should be announced to the W3C members electronically at least 12 weeks before the meeting except under exceptional circumstances such as timing with respect to events beyond the control of the Consortium.
If the idea, need, and initial membership of a proposed group has arisen from a meeting held under the auspices of the Consortium, open to participation of all members, and on a subject embracing that of the proposed group, then the initial investigations step may be deemed unnecessary. (For example, an ERB or working group for example cannot spin off a working group, but a W3C Workshop normally can)
For these groups, the announcement delay above may be reduced to 4 weeks.