FAQ about W3C Web Site

Below are frequent questions and answers about the W3C Web site.

Is W3C sending me spam?

No. W3C is not a spammer. W3C does not allow its servers to be used to send spam, and unsolicited bulk e-mail is strictly prohibited from our mailing lists.

There are two reasons you might think that W3C is sending you spam, however.

1. You found "w3.org" in the source of a document or email

If you look at the source of many HTML documents (including HTML email), you are likely to find some text that explains which version of HTML was used by the author. Versions of HTML are defined by the W3C, and therefore HTML documents contain a reference to the W3C, for example:

    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"

Many people see this text and conclude that W3C had something to do with the creation of the document. All that this text means is that the text was written in HTML, a language defined and maintained by W3C. The text does not imply that W3C had anything to do with the creation of the document itself.

2. Somebody forged email to make it look like it was sent by W3C

Unfortunately, people at times forge email addresses. Many W3C email addresses are very visible to the public, and this makes them targets for forgery. Thus, you may receive spam from a w3.org address, but this only means that the address has been used to send a forged email.

I see something about W3C in the source code of a Web page. Does that mean W3C is responsible for the page?

No. See the comments above on source code.

Note: W3C cannot help you identify the owner of a page that is not on w3.org.

I lost my password / Forgot my account login

You can recover a lost password and see more information about accounts.

Which authentication systems does W3C use on its site?

W3C generally uses HTTP Basic Authentication for most resources that require a username and password. As of Sept 2020 we are starting to experiment with form and cookie-based logins, currently deployed on protected areas of the Mailing list archive host.

Where do I send comments about w3.org?

We encourage you to let us know by sending a message to site-comments@w3.org with the URI (that is, the Web address) of the page(s) in question. That is a publicly archived mailing list.

I hit a technical problem with W3C's site

Please, write to sysreq@w3.org with a precise description of your technical problem.

Why does the W3C's site not fully validate?

Please, refer to our site redesign page.

What Domain Names are used by W3C?

w3.org. The two most common uses you will see are "www.w3.org" and "lists.w3.org" (for our Mail archives).

If the domain name is something else, it's probably not related to W3C. If you find "w3.org" in the content of the page, that is likely just related to the fact that the page is HTML; see our FAQ question on spam.

Yes. Our homepage features a search box, and you may also use the dedicated Web site search.

Can I have my email removed from a public list archive?

In general, no. See the FAQ entry on archive editing.

Why is W3C blocking my IP?

W3C is most likely blocking your IP because of excessive traffic; often this is due to requesting the same resource from us repeatedly (e.g. a DTD, Schema, Entity, or Namespace document.) We give extensive caching directives and there really is no reason to request the same resource over and over when it is not going to change. Your XML library or utility probably has a means to use a XML catalog and/or have a caching mechanism; please consult that documentation on how to utilize such features. If there are no such options you should contact the party responsible for the library or utility used. You may also put a caching proxy between your application server and the internet.

The W3C servers are slow to return DTDs. Is the delay intentional?

Yes. Due to various software systems downloading DTDs from our site millions of times a day (despite the caching directives of our servers), we have started to serve DTDs and schema (DTD, XSD, ENT, MOD, etc.) from our site with an artificial delay. Our goals in doing so are to bring more attention to our ongoing issues with excessive DTD traffic, and to protect the stability and response time of the rest of our site. We recommend HTTP caching or catalog files to improve performance.

Maybe. W3C does not endorse any particular software. However, because it is useful to provide links to software that implements a specification, we often link to multiple products or services (thus: many, not one). At the bottom of each page you will find contact information for the person responsible for updating links on that page.

Do you have a list of all DTDs or Schemas available from W3C?

No. Each specification includes links to useful resources (such as DTDs and schemas) for that specification. A search engine should also be helpful in finding a particular DTD or Schema.

Why is my browser trying to download a page instead of displaying it?

Your browser (or other tool) may not be configured to display that type of content, either natively or with a helper application.

Is W3C Service X or Y down? (System Outages)

See the systems status page. If you experience a problem not listed there, please send email to site-comments@w3.org.