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In early 2012 W3C staff identified some potential directions for W3C. Some relate to the technical agenda, others to organizational development, and others to community-building or business development. In February W3C management launched eleven task forces to develop proposals with community participation. This page lists the eleven proposals the task forces are developing between March and mid-May. The W3C Membership will discuss them in May, then the task forces will further refine them in June. In July, W3M will prioritize mature proposals and allocate resources to pursuing them.

Please note that these topics are in development; W3C has not allocated resources to them other than to develop proposals.

Technical Agenda

Social networking standards

Led by Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>

Social networking is a dominant activity on the Web. There are activities at W3C in this space (Federated Social Web Community Group, Social Business Jam in 2011 and now Community Group, PubSubHubbub Community Group, OStatus Community Group, Core Mobile Web Platform Community Group). The architecture of social networking needs to be more tightly integrated into the Web architecture. Both for consumers and within the enterprise, the Web architecture must be enhanced to better support social networking.

Social Networking task force home

Cloud computing standards

Led by Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>

Cloud computing has emerged as an important business strategy. However, for common services, cloud providers do not interoperate (in terms of APIs, security, management services, etc.). Some industry leaders have called for a W3C-like organization to provide standards for the cloud.

See the Cloud Computing Report

Digital publishing standards

Led by Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org> and Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>

The growth of the tablet and eReader market, and changes in scholarly publishing, have shown the accelerating impact of the Open Web Platform on digital publishing. For example, ePUB 3.0 no longer subsets W3C standards like HTML5, CSS, SVG, MathML, and Javascript APIs, but uses them in full. It also extends them to cover the various needs of digital publishing. These extensions, and continuing fragmentation among devices, formats, publishers, and distribution networks, suggest an opportunity for W3C to address publishing industry use cases, from novels and prose through to scientific and scholarly publishing, medical and legal publishing, interactive children's books, magazines and more.

Work on this project is taking place in the Digital Publishing Community Group.

Payment standards

Led by Alan Bird <abird@w3.org>

Industry has embraced the Open Web Platform as the future platform for apps, including mobile apps. However, because the Web does not have interoperable payment systems, monetization of Web apps is more complex than for native apps. W3C has some work going on in this area (Web Payments Community Group) and long ago did work on micropayments.

See the payments task force wiki

Digital marketing on the Web

Led by Karen Myers <karen@w3.org>

Increasingly, digital marketing firms are moving from proprietary approaches to technical standards for the frameworks that are common across the industry. Typical topic areas relate to data collection, security, additional interactive capabilities, and stewardship. Some relevant work is performed within the advertising industry itself. As the Open Web Platform evolves more rapidly at W3C, there is no natural home for work that encompasses the broad set of advertising networks, agencies, publishers, and other Web platform stakeholders. W3C should be that home.

Network-Friendly WebApps

Led by Philipp Hoschka <ph@w3.org>

In February 2012, as part of GSMA's Smarter Applications Technical project, the GSMA has published guidelines entitled "Smarter Apps for Smarter Phones!" for mobile applications in general, initially focusing on native applications. The document aims to "enable improvements across a number of areas including application connectivity, power consumption, network reliability and security." To enhance the document's relevance, a W3C community group on "Network-Friendly App and WebApp Best Practices" was created to gather input from the Web community for the document's update to be released by end of 2012.

With the rising importance of mobile Web applications, it is worth to look at whether W3C should work on guidelines specifically focusing on mobile Web applications, based on and complementing the existing GSMA guidelines for native applications.

This could take the form of an update of or companion to the W3C "Mobile Web Application Best Practices" standard, published in December 2010.

The GSMA and others are currently also pursuing other technical approaches to improve the "network friendliness" of mobile applications, some of which could also be candidate for W3C standardization.

For more info and background see Network-Friendly WebApps Wiki page.

Developer Outreach

Strategic developer relations

Led by Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>

Developers and designers form an important audience for W3C standards, but the standards process itself is not an ideal way to engage with them. W3C has made strides in terms of developer relations in recent years, through W3Conf, Web Education XG and CG, easy access to W3C through community groups, more documentation, and online training. More can be done to reach more people and better reflect their interests in W3C.

Work on this project is taking place in the W3C Developer Relations Community Group. Read a full blog post on this proposal by Doug Schepers.

Developer certification

Led by Alan Bird <abird@w3.org>

Certifying that people (developers, designers) have skills to develop for the Web is essential given:

  • the rapid pace of technological change
  • the increased dependency of society on the Web; especially government services
  • societal benefits from standards-aware design: security, privacy, accessibility, multilingual, mobile, etc.

The proposal is to create a developer certification program backed by a W3C trademark.

Updated mobileOK checker

Led by Dominique Hazaël-Massieux <dom@w3.org>

The current W3C mobileOK checker is based on the mobileOK basic tests specification from 2008, before the latest generation of smartphones and tablets hit the market. The tool follows the specification, but a much more useful tool could be developed today to match the new capabilities and requirements for modern mobile Web development.

Work on this is done in the public-mobileok-checker mailing list, and on the related W3C Wiki page.

Organizational Growth

Working Group infrastructure

Led by Ted Guild <ted@w3.org>

Driven by the need for scalability around Community and Business Group infrastructure, the W3C Systems Team has made some improvements in tool creation that would also be useful to Working Groups. It should be easier to launch the infrastructure for a new Working Group. It is also worth looking at Working Group work flow generally and provide streamlined interfaces.

W3C Twentieth Anniversary in 2014

Led by Marilyn Siderwicz <msiderwicz@w3.org>

W3C turns 20 in 2014. We would like to start planning now for a celebration. We would create a corresponding campaign to raise awareness about the evolution of the Web and of W3C.