Yesterday we closed the W3C Incubator Activity. We had launched it in February 2006, with the mission to foster rapid development, on a time scale of a year or less, of new Web-related concepts. Target concepts included innovative ideas for specifications, guidelines, and applications that are not yet clear candidates as Web standards developed through the more thorough process afforded by the W3C Recommendation Track.
In its 6 years of operation, W3C Members started 28 Incubator Groups. A third of them became W3C Working Groups and a handful of them transitioned to Community Groups, which design was informed by the Incubator Activity itself.
The Incubator Activity provided the valuable experience on which we built W3C Community Groups and Business Groups, a more solid and more inclusive program.
Anyone can propose a Community Group, anyone may join at no cost, groups start quickly, participants contribute materials under a Royalty-Free patent license and permissive copyright, groups have no chartered end date, W3C provides participants a more useful (and growing) set of collaborative tools, and more. In 8 months, the extended W3C community has launched more than 75 Community Groups.
I took over leadership from Mauro Nuñez in early 2010. I launched 10 Incubator Groups and helped 15 of them throughout their completion. I was glad to be the W3C interface for the Incubator Group participants and enjoyed working with them. So yesterday I edited the Incubator Activity homepage for the last time with a twinge of emotion.
The end of one thing being the beginning of another (or the continuation, in this case), you can find me as one of the W3C contacts for W3C Community Groups and Business Groups, through the Community Council.