TAG Election: Decision 2013

Within the W3C, the TAG is chartered with the “stewardship” of Web Architecture:

  • to document and build consensus around principles of Web architecture and to interpret and clarify these principles when necessary;
  • to resolve issues involving general Web architecture brought to the TAG;
  • to help coordinate cross-technology architecture developments inside and outside W3C.

It’s one thing to be a steward of something fairly stable, but the Web is currently in a process of upheaval unknown since its inception nearly 20 years ago. Among the challenges we are currently facing are the rise of mobile platforms and accompanying changes in the way people are finding, interacting with and producing services and content on the Internet; the increasing maturity of HTML5 which has been produced and developed under a new model between W3C and the WhatWG; the maturity of Web applications and the rise in importance of JavaScript in the Web platform and the increasing maturity and complexity of video, 2d and 3d graphics and peer to peer communications as first class citizens of the Web. The Web is under existential threat from native mobile application development approaches  and at the same time there has never been a time of greater innovation and energy in the development of the Web technologies and standards.

Against this backdrop, the challenges of stewardship of the Web Architecture become clear.

This past year, the TAG has sought to have greater and more connections with other W3C working groups developing these new technologies, as well as with groups external to W3C including IETF working groups and ECMA’s TC39. We have also sought a stronger line of communication directly to Web developers, particularly those in the Web development community who are interested in seeing a continuance to a coherent architecture of the World Wide Web. In order to continue and expand this mission the TAG is peopled by members who come from a diverse range of backgrounds who are put forward by their organizations to help us in this work; to take responsibility for this stewardship by spending their time and energy in benefit of the Web platform.

The TAG is now in an election cycle and one of our long-serving members, Henry Thompson of the University of Edinburgh, will not be standing for another term. We’re sad to see Henry go, but his departure underscores  the importance of the election cycle. As per W3C process, W3C member organizations are responsible for nominating individuals to run in the TAG election. As a co-chair of the TAG, I encourage you to take this opportunity to influence the future make-up and priorities of the TAG. For the last two election cycles, individuals have written position statements, examples of which can be found here, here and here. These position statements have proven very useful even post-election as a way to help shape the agenda of the TAG. Your W3C Advisory Committee representative must make the nomination. Even if you are not affiliated with a W3C member organization, you can still participate in this process if you have a W3C member organization nominate you and if you are able to commit the time and participate in the meetings. The deadline for nominations is 23:59, Boston time on 29 November 2013.

For those of you attending the W3C TPAC week next week in Shenzhen, if you want to ask any questions in person feel free to ask me or one of the other TAG members attending TPAC. We will also be up on stage during the main technical plenary on Wednesday (currently scheduled for 11:00). If you’re not attending TPAC, feel free to get in touch on the public TAG list, by email, Twitter, carrier pigeon or similar.