Breakouts Day 2024 Recap

Part of Events

Author(s) and publish date


W3C organizes one big meeting annually (called “TPAC”), often in the September time frame. Hundreds of people gather in person (and more online, especially in the past few years) to hold group meetings. Since 2011, an increasingly popular part of the week has been the day of breakout sessions, when participants self-organize and participants mingle serendipitously for discussion of new ideas and hot topics.

We observed that the day of TPAC breakout sessions is the only day each year when W3C creates an opportunity for community-wide discussion. Recognizing the value (and demand) for more opportunities, we experimented this year with an additional standalone day of breakouts, conducted entirely online in March.

Participants organized 19 sessions, covering an interesting mix:

  • Detailed technical discussions (FedCM, workers, RDF)
  • High-level strategic discussion (AI, Privacy, how we fund the ecosystem)
  • Ideas for working more effectively (incubation, chartering, managing registries, running meetings)
  • Raising awareness about new or proposed groups (identity, real estate)
  • Improving the Web for developers (MDN, installing web apps)

The day was well-attended, although time zone differences always create challenges. We allocated the sessions to four time slots, with each time slot holding at most 5 sessions in parallel (times UTC):

  • 1-2pm: 73 people in 5 sessions
  • 2-3pm: 84 people in 5 sessions
  • 9-10pm: 58 people in 5 sessions
  • 10-11pm: 53 people in 4 sessions

Some of the session chairs shared positive feedback, including:

  • Matthew Atkinson: “I hope there will be a Breakouts Day (as well as TPAC breakouts) again next year. From the perspective of my team here, it was a well-run, interesting, and helpful event.”
  • Nick Doty: “I, for one, really enjoyed the W3C Breakouts day! Many thanks to the W3C staff for organizing, and all the session organizers for leading discussion on an engaging set of topics.”

In addition, the W3C staff noted that even when a breakout is mostly “people who already care” it provides an opportunity for a few extra people to learn about the topic.

The staff organizers anticipate organizing breakout sessions again at TPAC this year (September 2024) and a second fully remote breakouts day in Q1 2025.

Breakout Sessions

Here are the 19 sessions, grouped by emergent theme. For each we have listed the stated goals, included links to presentation recordings when available, and shared outcomes reported to us. Check respective session description issues for presentation slides, session minutes, additional notes and links, and potential follow-up discussions.

Detailed technical discussions

RDF-Star and RDF 1.2

Inform interested parties about RDF-Star (aka RDF 1.2).

Exploring making site navigation more accessible, with "well-known destinations"

Raise awareness of the challenges of site navigation, and a potential simple, semantic, standardized solution.

The presentation was recorded.

FedCM request settings & CORS

Resolve the topic of CORS & accounts endpoint requests.

FedCM multiple IDP support

Brainstorm ideas to tackle the problem of allowing multiple independent IDPs.

The presentation was recorded.

Outcomes: During this session, we explained why we want to enable multiple FedCM get calls to show up in the same browser UI. We explored some ideas we've thought about, such as dynamic UI and IDP registration. We discussed the importance of letting RPs specify their preference for which IDPs to surface more and the importance of surfacing prominently the accounts that the user has previously used with FedCM in a given RP.

Low-latency input events in workers

See if it's feasible to route some HID events to workers.

Outcomes: The topic spanned a few different specifications. This breakout was a good opportunity to get the stakeholders involved with those specifications as well as interested developers to come together to discuss the topic. It provided clear action items the working group will follow-up on.

High-level strategic discussions

Building Consensus on the Role of Real World Identities on the Web

Work toward a consensus view of what the role of Real World Identity should be on the Web in the next 5-10 years.

Privacy Principles for the Web

Increase awareness of the Privacy Principles, answer questions, gather feedback on how to improve the draft.

Schemata Discussion - Follow up from TPAC23

Discussion and Collection of Opinion.

Ethical Implications of Generative AI

Brainstorm ideas on the ethics of these new and upcoming technologies (Generative AI) and discuss the implications of adopting these on a large scale from a social, economic and technical perspective.

How We Fund the Web Ecosystem

To help further discussions toward better solutions.

Ideas for working more effectively

Nu Tracker: Helping you manage actions and horizontal review tasks from the command line

Demonstrate our command-line work tracking tool, and seek feedback from potential users.

Registries for W3C Specifications

Discussion and Collection of Opinion.

Running Better Meetings - How to Facilitate at W3C

Provide meeting facilitators with information and guidance on running better meetings.

The presentation was recorded.

Web features, Baseline status, and standardization signals

Share updates on the web-features project, its use to inform the standardization process, and additional data, tooling and visualizations to make web-features a powerful tool for standards bodies.


  • The Baseline status is meant to capture a developers' perspective. That is aspirational as it is hard to capture (or sometimes even measure) how a developer sees implementations. One example is quality of implementation (performance, UX). Another example is integration with assistive technologies. Extending BCD data is always possible... but it comes with a cost (resources, reliable sources of data needed, etc.)
  • Collecting app-centric developer signals to complete the information would be useful. This probably requires additional developer research, such as some sort of State of Progress Web Apps (PWA) survey.
  • If you're involved in an incubation or working draft, you usually know the status and details. A more general dashboard would allow to go beyond those directly involved, to make sure we keep ourselves (W3C) accountable. Some groups tend to transition to Candidate Recommendation later than when they could.
  • It is not yet clear who would review such a dashboard, but having the infrastructure to emit the signals seems a good idea.
  • Next step is to automate and integrate the exploration somewhere visible.
  • Discussions continue in the WebDX Community Group

Incubation: the on ramp to new work

Gather input and perspectives to further the AB work on improving incubation process.

Raising awareness about new or proposed groups

Real Estate Community Group and the Web

Get support for the group.

The presentation was recorded.

Promote the PROPOSED Federated Identity Working Group

Raise awareness of and encourage participation in the Federated Identity (FedID) WG.

Improving the Web for developers

Installing web apps as a new platform feature

Describe and generate discussion about the challenges functionality like this might have.

Web security docs for MDN

Review MDN web security docs outline proposal.

The presentation was recorded.

Outcomes: Planning and writing of web security docs will continue on MDN, and anyone who would like to help review and/or collaborate on this work is invited to participate:

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