A visit with staff at Keio University
I continue to meet key stakeholders around the world as part of my introduction to W3C. The last two weeks have been focused on Asia.
I visited India last week partly to help launch the new W3C office at a conference. My experience in the conference and in meetings illustrated opportunities that W3C has in India: better communication of our work, greater participation in this work by engineers from India, and expanding our technical scope.
The conference itself demonstrated the strong support for W3C within India. Keynote speakers included key government ministers as well as icons of India’s high-tech industry. The conference attracted 600 people from industry, government, and academia. The technical program brought together leading researchers and spanned an impressive set of topics.
In India, W3C’s office is hosted by TDIL – Technology Development for Indic Languages. This partnership will strengthen our internationalization work, part of ensuring that the Web is available for all people. With 22 official languages in India, in addition to a larger number of languages and dialects – making the Web available irrespective of language and literacy level is a key issue for India and consonant with our values. Many of the conference presentations related to that topic.
Outside the conference was equally rewarding. India has important vendor groups such as Nasscom and Mait who co-sponsored the conference. And TDIL is part of a government ministry. My visit gave me the opportunity to meet with several executives of these organizations and reinforce my belief that there is a strong commitment to W3C in India.
In China there was a similar enthusiasm and set of highlight events for W3C.
The visit got off to a good start even before it began – with news that China Unicom became the first large IT vendor in China to join as a W3C Member.
There is great interest in W3C in China. I gave several presentations about the Expanding Web Platform to hundreds of engineers from companies and universities at places such as Beihang University in Beijing. The deep questions illustrated the interest and technical savvy of these engineers in topics such as HTML5, accessibility, and the Semantic Web.
Also of importance were meetings with key decision makers and larger public meetings. At a dinner for W3C member laboratories in China – the local leaders of global firms participated in discussions about how to create a stronger W3C community in China. And at a conference sponsored by CESI – the China national electronics standards institute – related to ISO/IEC JTC1 SC 38, I had an opportunity to deliver remarks about how W3C standards related to the new standardization effort underway in SC 38.
Japan has always been a strong point for W3C in Asia, but additional opportunities exist.
As background, the Japan team – also noting strong ties with our Korean office – is in the process of putting together a workshop in September on Web TV.
Meeting with technical visionaries and government officials, it is clear that Asian industry is poised to play a strong role in this area. After all, many of the innovations in television manufacturing already take place in Asia. As the convergence continues between the Web and all access devices (including television), what better place than Japan to have our Web TV workshop?