W3C Process Document

On 1 August 2014, W3C began a transition away from this document; see the current W3C Process Document.

3 Activities

Contents · Next · Previous

This section describes the mechanisms for establishing consensus within W3C about the areas of Web development the Consortium chooses to pursue. An Activity organizes the work necessary for the development or evolution of a Web technology. The ongoing work of the Team to review Submission requests, organize workshops, and otherwise track Web developments may culminate in an Activity proposal to the Membership. This is a proposal to dedicate Team and Member resources to a particular area of Web technology or policy, and when there is consensus about the motivation, scope, and structure of the proposed work, W3C starts a new Activity.

Each Activity has its own structure that generally includes Working Groups, Interest Groups, and Coordination Groups. Within the framework of an Activity, these groups may produce technical reports, review the work of other groups, develop sample code or test suites, etc.

The progress of each Activity is documented in an Activity statement. Activity statements should describe the goals of the Activity, completed and unfinished deliverables, changing perspectives based on experience, future plans, etc. At least before each ordinary Advisory Committee meeting, the Team should revise the Activity statement for each Activity that has not been closed.

Refer to the list of W3C Activities [PUB9]. Note: This list includes some Activities that began prior to the formalization in 1997 of the Activity creation process.

3.1 Activity Creation and Modification

W3C creates, modifies, or extends an Activity as follows:

  1. The Director sends an Activity proposal to the Advisory Committee.
  2. The Advisory Committee reviews and comments on the proposal. The review period must be at least four weeks. During the review period, Advisory Committee representatives must disclose, according to the W3C IPR policy, knowledge of relevant IPR claims.
  3. The Director announces to the Advisory Committee whether there is consensus within W3C to create the Activity (with possible modifications suggested during the review). This announcement may include a call for participation in any groups created as part of the Activity.
  4. If there was dissent, Advisory Committee representatives may appeal a decision to create, modify, or extend an Activity. Note: There is no appeal of a decision not to create an Activity; in general, drafting a new Activity proposal will be simpler than following the appeal process.

Activities are intended to be flexible. W3C expects participants to be able to adapt in the face of new ideas (e.g., Submission requests), increased understanding of goals and context, etc., while remaining true to the intent of the original Activity proposal. If it becomes necessary to make substantial changes to an Activity (e.g., because significant additional resources are required, the Activity's scope has clearly changed from the original proposal, etc.) then the Director must propose the changes to the Advisory Committee by following the same review process.

A proposal to extend the duration of an Activity without otherwise modifying it substantially must indicate the new duration and include rationale for the extension, but is not required to include all of the information required for a full Activity proposal.

A proposal to modify or extend an Activity should provide rationale for the change and include information about the current state of the Activity.

3.2 Activity Closure

An Activity proposal must specify a duration for the Activity. The Director, subject to appeal by Advisory Committee representatives, may close an Activity prior to the date specified in the proposal in any of the following circumstances:

3.3 Activity Proposals

An Activity proposal defines the initial scope and structure of an Activity. In general, the Team drafts Activity proposals based on perceived Member and public interest in a particular area of Web development, Submission requests from Members, input gathered during workshops, discussions among group Chairs, etc.

An Activity proposal must include or reference the following information: