A variety of W3C groups enable W3C to pursue its mission through the creation of Web standards, guidelines, and supporting materials. Community and Business Groups offer more ways for innovators to bring work to W3C.
The mission of the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group (APA WG, formerly part of the Protocols and Formats Working Group) is to ensure W3C specifications provide support for accessibility to people with disabilities. The group advances this mission through review of W3C specifications, development of technical support materials, collaboration with other Working Groups, and coordination of harmonized accessibility strategies within W3C.
The mission of the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group (ARIA WG, formerly part of the Protocols and Formats Working Group) is to develop technologies that enhance accessibility of web content for people with disabilities. This includes continued development of the Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) suite of technologies and other technical specifications when needed to bridge known gaps.
The mission of the Audio Working Group is to define a client-side script API adding more advanced audio capabilities than are currently offered by audio elements. The API will support the features required by advanced interactive applications including the ability to process and synthesize audio streams directly in script.
The mission of the Data on the Web Best Practices Working Group is (1) to develop the open data ecosystem, facilitating better communication between developers and publishers; (2) to provide guidance to publishers that will improve consistency in the way data is managed, thus promoting the re-use of data; (3) to foster trust in the data among developers, whatever technology they choose to use, increasing the potential for genuine innovation.
The mission of the Device and Sensors Working Group is to create client-side APIs that enable the development of Web Applications that interact with device hardware, sensors, services and applications such as the camera, microphone, proximity sensors, native address books, calendars and native messaging applications.
The mission of the Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) is to develop strategies, and awareness and training resources, to educate a variety of audiences regarding the need for Web accessibility and approaches to implementing Web accessibility.
The mission of the Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG) is to develop techniques and resources to facilitate the evaluation and repair of Web sites with regard to their conformance to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, and to facilitate testing across all three WAI guidelines also including the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines and User Agent Accessibility Guidelines.
The mission of the Internationalization Core Working Group is to enable universal access to the World Wide Web by proposing and coordinating the adoption by the W3C of techniques, conventions, technologies, and designs that enable and enhance the use of W3C technology and the Web worldwide, with and between the various different languages, scripts, regions, and cultures.
The mission of the Multimodal Interaction Working Group is to develop open standards that extend the Web to allow multiple modes of interaction, e.g., GUI, speech, vision, pen, gestures and haptic interfaces, so that the Web becomes truly accessible for anyone via the user's preferred modes of interaction with services (=Web for Anyone, Anywhere, Any device and Any time).
The mission of the Permissions and Obligations Expression Working Group is to define a semantic data model for expressing permissions and obligations statements for digital content, and to define the technical elements to make it deployable across browsers and content systems.
The mission of the RDF Data Shapes Working Group is to produce a language for defining structural constraints on RDF graphs. In the same way that SPARQL made it possible to query RDF data, the product of the RDF Data Shapes WG will enable the definition of graph topologies for interface specification, code development, and data verification.
The mission of the Social Web Working Group, part of the Social Activity, is to define the techical protocols, vocabularies, and APIs to facilitate access to social functionality as part of the Open Web Platform. These technologies should allow communication between indepedent systems, federation (also called "decentralization") being part of the design.
The mission of the Spatial Data on the Web Working Group is to clarify and formalize the relevant standards landscape around spatial data on the Web. This includes: (1) to determine how spatial information can best be integrated with other data on the Web; (2) to determine how machines and people can discover that different facts in different datasets relate to the same place, especially when 'place' is expressed in different ways and at different levels of granularity; (3) to identify and assess existing methods and tools and then create a set of best practices for their use; (4) where desirable, to complete the standardization of informal technologies already in widespread use.
The mission of the Timed Text Working Group is to develop W3C Recommendations for media online captioning by developing and maintaining new versions of the Timed Text Markup Language (TTML) and WebVTT (Web Video Text Tracks) based on implementation experience and interoperability feedback, and the creation of semantic mappings between those languages.
The mission of the Tracking Protection Working Group is to improve user privacy and user control by defining mechanisms for expressing user preferences around Web tracking and for blocking or allowing Web tracking elements.
The mission of the Web Annotation Working Group, part of the Digital Publishing Activity, is to define a generic data model for Annotations, and define the basic infrastructural elements to make it deployable in browsers and reading systems through suitable user interfaces.
The mission of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group is to develop guidelines to make Web content accessible for people with disabilities. In particular, the group is responsible for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 as a W3C Recommendation.
The mission of this group is to define an API that lets developers implement secure application protocols on the level of Web applications, including message confidentiality and authentication services, by exposing trusted cryptographic primitives from the browser. Web application developers will no longer have to create their own or use untrusted third-party libraries for cryptographic primitives. This will improve security on the Web.
The mission of the Web Platform Working Group is to continue the development of the HTML language and provide specifications that enable improved client-side application development on the Web, including application programming interfaces (APIs) for client-side development and markup vocabularies for describing and controlling client-side application behavior.
The mission of the Web Real-Time Communications Working Group is to define client-side APIs to enable Real-Time Communications in Web browsers. These APIs should enable building applications that can be run inside a browser, requiring no extra downloads or plugins, that allow communication between parties using audio, video and supplementary real-time communication, without having to use intervening servers.
The mission of the Web Fonts Working Group is to develop specifications that allow the interoperable deployment of downloadable fonts on the Web. Existing specifications (CSS3 Fonts, SVG) explain how to describe and link to fonts, so the main focus will be the standardisation of font formats suited to the task, and a specification defining conformance (for fonts, authoring tools, viewers, etc.) all the technology required for WebFonts.
The mission of the XML Query Working Group is to provide flexible query facilities to extract data from XML and virtual documents, such as contents of databases or other persistent storage that are viewed as XML via a mapping mechanism, on the Web.
The mission of the XSL Working Group is to define and maintain a practical style and transformation language capable of supporting the transformation and presentation of, and interaction with, structured information (e.g., XML documents) for use on servers and clients. The language is designed to build transformations in support of browsing, printing, interactive editing, and transcoding of one XML vocabulary into another XML vocabulary. To enhance accessibility, XSL is able to present information both visually and non-visually. XSL is not intended to replace CSS, but will provide functionality beyond that defined by CSS, for example, element re-ordering.
The mission of the Digital Publishing Interest Group is to provide a forum for experts in the digital publishing ecosystem of electronic journals, magazines, news, or book publishing (authors, creators, publishers, news organizations, booksellers, accessibility and internationalization specialists, etc.) for technical discussions, gathering use cases and requirements to align the existing formats and technologies (e.g., for electronic books) with those used by the Open Web Platform. The goal is to ensure that the requirements of digital publishing can be answered, when in scope, by the Recommendations published by W3C. This group is not chartered to publish Recommendations; instead, the goal is to cooperate with the relevant W3C Working Groups to ensure that the requirements of this particular community are met.
The mission of the HTML5 Chinese Interest Group is to facilitate focused discussion in Chinese of the HTML5 specification and of specifications closely related to HTML5, to gather comments and questions in Chinese about those specifications, to collect information about specific use cases in Chinese speaking region for technologies defined in those specifications, and to report the results of its activities as a group back to the HTML Working Group, as well as to other relevant groups and to the W3C membership and community.
The mission of the Internationalization (I18n) Interest Group, part of the Internationalization Activity, is to help the Working Groups within the Internationalization Activity and provides a forum to discuss issues related to the internationalization of the Web.
The Patent and Standards Interest Group (PSIG) is a forum for W3C Members and Invited Experts to discuss policy issues regarding the implementation of the W3C Patent Policy as well as new Patent-related questions that arise which require action or attention from the W3C Membership. The PSIG has no authority to create new policy. However, input from the PSIG on the operation of the policy and areas that might require further policy development by a W3C Working Group is welcome.
The mission of the Privacy Interest Group, part of the Privacy Activity, is to improve the support of privacy in Web standards by monitoring ongoing privacy issues that affect the Web, investigating potential areas for new privacy work, and providing guidelines and advice for addressing privacy in standards development.
The mission of the Semantic Web Health Care and Life Sciences Interest Group is to develop, advocate for, and support the use of Semantic Web technologies for health care and life science, with focus on biological science and translational medicine. These domains stand to gain tremendous benefit by adoption of Semantic Web technologies, as they depend on the interoperability of information from many domains and processes for efficient decision support.
The Semantic Web Interest Group is a forum for W3C Members and non-Members to discuss innovative Semantic Web applications. The group will focus primarily on applications of the W3C Semantic Web technologies (RDF, OWL, SPARQL, etc), on potential future work items related to technologies, and the relationship of that work to other activities of W3C and to the broader social and legal context in which the Web is situated.
The mission of the Web Accessibility Initiative Interest Group (WAI IG) is to provide a forum for review of deliverables under development by other WAI groups; for exploration of barriers to and potential solutions for accessibility of the Web; and for exchanging information about activities related to Web accessibility around the world.
The mission of the Web and TV Interest Group, part of the Web and TV Activity, is to provide a forum for Web and TV technical discussions, to review existing work, as well as the relationship between services on the Web and TV services, and to identify requirements and potential solutions to ensure that the Web will function well with TV.
The mission of the Web of Things Interest Group is to counter the fragmentation of the Internet of Things by introducing a Web-based abstraction layer capable of interconnecting existing Internet of Things platforms and complementing available standards. We aim to reduce costs through the global reach of Web standards, to enable open markets of services, and to unleash the power of the network effect. As a W3C Interest Group, we are seeking to build a shared understanding of the Web of Things, and to identify opportunities for initiating standards track work within W3C working groups. Liaisons between W3C, industry alliances and standards development organizations are already in discussion for two critical areas: semantic interoperability and end-to-end security across different platforms.
The mission of the Web Payments Interest Group is to provide a forum for Web Payments technical discussions to identify use cases and requirements for existing and/or new specifications to ease payments on the Web for users (payers) and merchants (payees), and to establish a common ground for payment service providers on the Web Platform. The overall objective of this group is to identify and leverage the conditions for greater uptake and wider use of Web Payments through the identification of standardization needs to increase interoperability between the different stakeholders and the different payment methods.
W3C has created Community and Business Groups to meet the needs of a growing community of Web stakeholders. Community Groups enable anyone to socialize their ideas for the Web at the W3C for possible future standardization. Business Groups provide companies anywhere in the world with access to the expertise and community needed to develop open Web technology. New W3C Working Groups can then build mature Web standards on top of best of the experimental work, and businesses and other organizations can make the most out of W3C's Open Web Platform in their domain of interest.
Learn more about Community and Business Groups.
In addition to these groups, W3C has chartered two permanent groups:
See also the list of past Incubator Groups.