This May, W3C plans to launch two new programs designed to make it easy for developers, users, and other stakeholders to discuss and develop Web technology.
The first we call Community Groups. A Community Group is an open forum for developing specifications, holding discussions, developing test suites, and otherwise building communities around innovation. There are no fees, no charters, no end dates, and a lightweight set of participation agreements to make them fast to launch and open to all. Some Community Groups may produce results that are subsequently carried forward on the standards track, but others may not. That will be for the communities themselves to decide.
To start a Community Group, you will pick a topic, write a short scope statement (for communications purposes), and get four other parties to support the creation of the group. Once you have enough support, the system we plan to have in place at launch will create the tooling (wiki, spam-controlled mailing lists, microblog, and other infrastructure) to support the group’s activities.
The second we call Business Groups. A W3C Business Group is a premium forum for businesses and other stakeholders to develop Web technology specific to an industry, to provide high-bandwidth input to the standards process, to organize around regional interests, and to otherwise meet to address business needs. W3C Members may participate in Business Groups at no cost. Non-Member organizations and individuals pay an annual fee, which supports W3C staff and provides access to other resources (e.g., teleconference services). The staff helps ensure that Business Groups reach other groups of interest (e.g., by facilitating Chair-to-Chair discussions), promote deliverables to the Membership or media, and provide expertise needed to deploy high-quality Web technology.
We plan to launch with at least six groups. If you are interested in forming a group that is ready to go at launch, please contact Ian Jacobs <firstname.lastname@example.org> or Harry Halpin <email@example.com>.
We welcome your feedback of the following materials (preferably before 4 May):