Strategy, AC 2020
Wendy Seltzer, W3C Strategy Lead
Welcome, I'm Wendy Seltzer, W3C's Strategy Lead. Strategy is where we watch the ecosystem for new ideas for standardization and help stakeholders to gather communities for their work.
Since our last Advisory Committee meeting, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives and work around the globe.
I want to thank everyone, W3C Team and web community alike, who's made time for web standards.
It's thanks to you that the web is helping people to endure the challenges of social distancing and remote work, sharing information, and all the while continuing to evolve.
We have two related Community Groups formed at W3C around COVID-19: one for data sharing and another for remote work practices and tools.
Perhaps at our next meeting I'll be able to tell you more about outputs from those.
You've seen this before.
The Strategy Funnel tracks work being explored by the Team and the community, exploration, investigation, incubation, evaluation and chartering.
What happens inside has changed a bit; we've improved with issue templates to facilitate adding new cards from community and Team.
We've also improved the tracking of horizontal reviews of charters to help with early engagement of the horizontal review groups and continued involvement with the issues as they move forward.
Here in this presentation I want to highlight a few of the things in the Funnel as new and potential new work.
Slide three. Workshops bring communities together, often for the first time, to exchange ideas and see how different groups' needs and capabilities might complement one another and where gaps that they find might be addressed by standardization in the web platform.
We'll be moving to distributed mode for the foreseeable future. We're still planning to use our technologies to facilitate presentations, breakouts, panels, and even the all-important "hallway track".
We have some reports from recent workshops as well as some upcoming and proposed workshops on deck.
November of this year we held the workshop on Inclusive Design for Immersive Web - slide four - and that workshop brought together browser developers, Extended Reality; the union of Augmented and Virtual Reality providers, standardization experts, web developers, accessibility experts, XR developers and producers, government agencies, and XR users with disabilities.
Together, this group addressed challenges that they identified and found four tracks of further consideration in the visual, motor, auditory, and assistive technologies. They identified as key need, the coordination of needs and standards technology development, formed an Inclusive XR Community Group to help facilitate that coordination.
Slide five. In September we held the workshop on Data Models for Transportation, discussing standardization of vehicle data for greater inter-operability, including in matters of telematics, route planning and design for mobility.
Some of that discussion continues in the Automotive Working Group and the Automotive Business Group, and some of it additionally will feed into a new upcoming workshop on Maps for the Web - stay tuned.
Slide six. Web Games. In June this past year, we brought together 100 participants including browser vendors, game engine developers, game developers, game distributors, and device manufacturers to enrich the open web platform with additional technologies for games.
They identified places where the platform has met their needs and places where gaps remain.
Some of those sent work to existing groups such as Web Assembly, Web Audio, and Immersive Web Working Groups. They also proposed new groups: Web GPU to work on 3D and graphics and shading languages, and suggested that the initial work on threading would be helpful to the game industry.
Slide seven. You already received the Call for Participation for Maps for the Web, a series of distributed online workshops discussing best practices and potential standardization of map viewers built using the web platform.
The series is being co-sponsored by W3C and OGC, the Open Geospatial Consortium, and hosted by Natural Resources Canada.
We hope to bring together experts in geographic standards and web map data services, web-mapping client tools and applications, web platform standards, and browser development, to explore the potential of maps as a first class native component on the web.
Slide eight. A previously scheduled workshop on Web and Machine Learning has been postponed as we convert it from a physical meeting to a virtual and distributed workshop.
But the goal remains to bring together providers of machine learning toolkits and framework providers with web platform practitioners to help build better foundations for machine learning on the web.
We want to understand how machine learning fits into the web technology stack, understand how browser-based machine learning fits into the machine learning ecosystem, explore the impact of machine learning technologies on web browsers and web applications, and evaluate the opportunities for standardization around machine learning APIs and formats.
If you're interested in participating in this, please contact the program committee to keep advised of the rescheduling plans and watch for an updated call for participation.
Workshops under consideration
Slide nine highlights two workshops in earlier stages of consideration: voice interaction, the proposed workshop on user-friendly smart agents on the web, voice interaction and what's next;
Looking at the proliferation of voice-controlled agents on smartphones, home devices and automobiles, and other internet things, we want to ask both "How can you control the browser via voice?" and "how can all of these voice-controlled systems work together for the end user?" to enable the ecosystem of devices that we may want to interact. We also want to look at smart navigation for accessibility and better usability of devices that all of us use.
That is an issue open in the funnel, #221; please add your thoughts and watch for an upcoming call for participation there.
There is also a proposed workshop on bundling interactive media content on the web, considering technologies for bundling and playback of interactive media content, looking at offline distribution, streaming use cases, live and catch up video on demand, offline, edge caching, synchronized playback, consistent user experience, live streaming, XR, synergies, monetization.
And if you're interested in that and any facet of that, look at issue 209 in the Funnel to add your thoughts.
Slide 10. We're very excited about the progress of community incubation.
Some Working Groups choose to incubate in the Working Groups themselves, such as the CSS Working Group, or in task forces, as the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group has done.
Others anticipate work developing in CGs that continue to exist in parallel to the Working Groups: we've seen that in Web Assembly, in Immersive Web; the Credentials Community Group supporting the Verifiable Credentials Working Group and additional proposed work there; and the Silver Community Group is suggesting new work for the next major revision of accessibility guidelines.
We also see general purpose incubator groups, the Web Platform Incubator Group (WICG) has more than 1000 participants and dozens of repositories, some work headed to Working Groups, some work headed elsewhere, and some work headed for discussion and conclusion that it's not ripe as a web platform feature.
All of that is work that anyone in the community can participate in and discuss.
A new Privacy Community Group that's just formed last month already has 150 participants and has adopted three work items proposing additions to HTML. The Privacy Community Group has already adopted three work items: client-side storage partitioning, private quick measurement and storage access API, and is planning a virtual face to face meeting to take place the week before our interactive Advisory Committee discussion.
Slide 11. Three items in incubation have already sent advance notice of work in progress to our community for potential chartering: the Web GPU Community Group addresses the graphics processing unit, a piece of hardware dedicated to efficient processing of graphics and related features.
The Working Group as proposed will recommend that programming interface for graphics and computation to enable rendering of modern graphics both on-screen and off-screen drawing surfaces, to enable computation tasks to be performed, and the results of those tasks to be retrieved, and may recommend a companion shading language describing the graphics and computation tasks in a format that can be translated or compiled into platform-specific instructions.
The API will be available cross-platform, generic enough to be implemented on top of modern GPU system API's such as Microsoft's Direct3D 12, Apple's Metal, Khronos Vulkan.
Slide 12. The proposed EPUB 3 Working Group proposes to maintain and develop the EPUB 3 family of specifications to represent the EPUB community in W3C, and support EPUB 3 content creators and consumers by further advancing, refining, and clarifying the current EPUB 3 specifications.
EPUB 3 exists in a Community Group right now and the publishing community uses that as a format for digital interchange. They want to use the testing and wide review of the W3C Process to improve that, make it more inter-operable, and build a better series of EPUB 3.x specifications.
Slide 13. The Web Transport proposed Working Group would be a companion to the WebTrans Working Group in IETF, looking at the API side of access to the QUIC protocol.
Finally, some additional active Community Groups that we're watching: The MiniApps Ecosystem Community groups, slide 14, is an active group particularly in China where the MiniApps Ecosystem is a world of applications as you've seen demonstrated at some previous AC meetings and TPAC. The MiniApps Ecosystem Community Group is looking at how those can be standardized and harmonized with the architecture of the web platform.
So they're taking seriously the TAG review, the security considerations, and the tremendous spread of the MiniApps platform.
How can we, as a web platform, embrace this technology and the community that has found it useful?
The MiniApps Ecosystem Community Group has regular teleconferences; they work in both English and Chinese and will translate all of their materials into English if that's not how they're initially produced so that the entire community can read and comment.
Task forces are currently working on URI scheme, life cycle, widget manifests and packing, and working on explainers to help the entire community understand how this might fit with web architecture.
Slide 15. The Web Advertising Business Group is an active Business Group exploring proposals to support advertising and monetization on the open web without individually identified cross-site or web-wide tracking.
As the browsers as user agent take up the case of protecting user privacy by eliminating some of the channels of cross-site tracking, say third party cookies and fingerprinting vectors, advertisers are looking at how they can recreate the opportunity for measurement of their advertising platforms and successfully contribute to the monetization of open web content.
So the Business Group has developed a table of business use cases matched with technical proposals. Then these relevant proposals are being discussed and incubated in the WICG and Privacy Community Group to develop the technical side further.
When ready, the work might migrate to WebAppSec Working Group, to HTML or to a newly formed group.
Join us! I look forward to your questions and continued contributions.
Final slide. So that's a roundup of just some of the new work funneling into standards.
If you didn't see what you were expecting there, check out our funnel or reach out.
Thanks to all who are participating, filing issues, brainstorming in community groups, joining workshops, submitting presentations, editing specifications and drafts.
We are all working together helping to keep the web competitive. The web's many strengths: that it's available anywhere on any device, easily inter-connected, open, royalty-free, and standard sometimes cause it to lose to more specific solutions when the native platform offers features or performance that the web doesn't yet match.
But as Product Managers to the web, we believe that it doesn't have to be either/or.
That's why we're constantly looking at the gaps and looking to enhance the web's universality with a range of features, performance enhancements, testing, user privacy protection, security, accessibility, and internationalization.
And, with those, we believe the web platform is unmatched by other platforms in its versatility and its features.
If it's not there yet, join us to help close those remaining gaps.
I look forward to your questions and continued contributions. Thank you.