The 15 September 2020 W3C Process Document and 15 September 2020 W3C Patent Policy take effect today. At a time when the Web is increasingly essential with the world going more and more virtual, these updates increase the Web Consortium’s responsiveness and strengthen standardization activities by adding a continuous standard development mode and earlier Royalty-Free protection for implementers, among other changes. Please read more in our press release.
Of the changes to the W3C Process Document, the most anticipated ones offer a real boost in helping the Web serve the community:
- streamlined community review and review for integrity
(Horizontal review to ensure accessibility,
internationalization, privacy, and security);
- flexibility for multiple work modes, including stability of referenced
versions and reflection of the current status in the technical reports list;
- a continuous development mode that enables specifications to reflect
rapidly developing technology –including a living standard
approach as a native capability of the W3C Recommendation
These critical improvements required an important change to the W3C Patent Policy –the first major update to this groundbreaking document since its introduction to the world in 2005– to provide patent protection at earlier Candidate phases, supporting unencumbered implementation and use even as specifications continue to evolve. This change helps to de-risk Web experimentation and reinforce access to the Web’s technology as common infrastructure.
The documents were developed by the W3C Advisory Board, the public Revising W3C Process Community Group and the Patents and Standards Interest Group (PSIG). Comments and feedback on the new Process Document may be sent as issues in the public GitHub Repository.
TPAC registration just opened and we are opening applications for the Diversity Fund. We believe that more diversity means better representation, which leads to better and more inclusive design. We believe that more background, more use cases, more edge cases, lead to a better Web. More diversity also brings higher quality results. Our CEO blogged last June, giving the 2020 update on Diversity and Inclusion at W3C.
W3C has established again a TPAC Diversity Fund, sponsored by W3C Members Adobe, Samsung Electronics, Coil, Littleguy SL, Microsoft, TetraLogical, Siteimprove; and one anonymous individual sponsor. This year, for the first time W3C itself is contributing toward that Fund and we expect to continue contributing in subsequent years. It is a decision that W3C Management took last November. W3C is contributing $5,000 toward the 2020 Diversity Fund.
Diversity Fund applicants must be from a group that is under-represented in the Web community, and unable to participate in TPAC without financial help. A W3C account is required to proceed (request an account if you haven’t got one already). The application form has further information notably on what “under-represented” means, and applications are due by 27 September 2020 for determination on 5 October 2020.
Thank you to Facebook for the donation of Oculus Go Headsets to advance the work of the Immersive Captions Community Group, which is exploring accessible augmentative and virtual reality.
This W3C Community Group launched in the Fall of 2019 with a mission to identify, research, and where appropriate recommend best practices for captions in Immersive Media (Games & XR). It appreciates the opportunity to use Oculus Go Headsets as a platform for researching access, activation, and display settings for captions, to help ensure communication accessibility in augmentative and virtual reality.
W3C released today to the public the May 2020 W3C Strategic Highlights. The report covers the massive and critical work that took place since last September at the Web Consortium toward the growth and strength of the Web, how W3C meets industry needs, and provides updates in key areas, as well as the latest around Web for all and outreach to the world. We also invite you to read W3C CEO’s thoughts on the recent Virtual W3C Advisory Committee Meeting.
As W3C moves toward a stand-alone Legal Entity we owe it to ourselves, our Members and our Community to explore the best way to run the organization and deliver the high-quality experiences that our community has come to expect. One of these areas is how we manage most of the back-office functions of the Legal Entity. To that extent, we are soliciting proposals for Consortium Management and Financial Management services. You can find the RFP here.
If your organization provides these services, or you know a great organization that does, we would like to have you send the responses to W3CLEadmin@w3.org. If you have any questions, you can send them to that same e-mail or directly to Alan Bird, W3C Business Development Lead, email@example.com.
Interested parties must respond by 26 June 2020, and we expect making a selection by 31 August 2020. We look forward to getting some great responses for W3C’s future!
We are happy to share that W3C Members Macmillan Learning and Fondazione LIA are the winners of the Accessible Books Consortium’s 2020 International Excellence Awards for Accessible Publishing.
Macmillan Learning was recognized in the publisher category as the first Global Certified Accessible (GCA) publisher producing products and learning materials in accessible formats for students with different kinds of vision impairment.
Fondazione LIA was recognized in the initiative category for their achievements in improving the accessibility of e-books and other digital publications for people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled.
“Macmillan Learning feels strongly that knowledge sharing is important, and for us accessibility speaks to the core of our mission – to improve lives through learning. The needs for accessible educational materials are universal and extend beyond an area of focus for one publisher in one country. We look forward to continuing to be part of a solution that enables students of all abilities to have a great learning experience.”
Rachel Comerford, Senior Director, Content Standards and Accessibility, Macmillan Learning
“We are really pleased that the work done by the LIA Foundation to create awareness on accessibility in the publishing industry has been recognized. This is a further stimulus to pursue our goal of creating a fully inclusive publishing ecosystem where all readers have the same opportunity to choose what they want in the publishers’ catalogues. A special thanks goes to all our stakeholders, the Italian Publishers Association and the Italian publishers, the Italian Blind and Visual Impaired Union, the Italian Dyslexia Association and the Biblioteca di Monza, without whose precious collaboration this would not be possible.”
Cristina Mussinelli, Secretary General, Fondazione LIA
This prestigious award is a noted event in the field of accessibility, in a context where over 253 million people worldwide are blind or have severe to moderate vision impairment and more than 90% of these are resident in developing countries, where the World Blind Union estimates that people who are blind have only a one in ten chance of going to school or getting a job. The lack of accessible books is a very real barrier to getting an education and leading an independent, productive life, and a reason why the Accessible Book Consortium seeks to recognize leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of e-books and other digital materials.
Congratulations to Macmillan Learning and Fondazione LIA!
In March 1989 Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote “Information Management: A Proposal” and with that quiet act launched an idea, the World Wide Web, that has changed our lives forever.
The Web was envisioned by Tim as a global information-sharing space that would connect people and encourage understanding and sharing of knowledge. It is now an indispensable, exciting and, in some cases a vital global commons. We are incredibly grateful to our Director, Tim Berners-Lee, for the invention of the Web, for founding the World Wide Web Consortium, for all his work to keep the Web open, international, accessible, and for his decades of inspiration to so many of us.
For 25 years, the Web Consortium has developed the foundational technical standards upon which the Web has flourished. Please read more about our values in our blog post.
If you are part of our community, helping to develop technologies for the web with the Web Consortium, thank you. Let others know that the Web was made to work for everyone. Let your family and friends know why your work at the Web Consortium –to make a web for all– matters.
Thank you again, Tim! Happy Birthday, World Wide Web!
Let’s all keep doing our part to keep making the Web and the world better.
The Web Consortium: making the web work, for everyone.
2020-03-25 Update: W3C Management resolved to renew and extend until July 15, 2020 the interim W3C Team travel policy and the guidance to not hold in-person meetings of W3C Groups.
Effective immediately and through
15 May July 15, 2020:
- The W3C Team travel policy prescribes that all international travel is suspended and staff are urged to consider the importance of any domestic travel before agreeing to domestic travel other than commuting. Remote teleconferencing is recommended in place of travel.
- W3C Management also recommends that all W3C groups not hold physical face-to-face meetings and should instead plan virtual equivalents.
- W3M plans on updating the guidance as conditions continue to evolve.
To that effect the W3C Team has published a first version of: Continuity of Operations under Travel Restrictions.
With travel restrictions, the world relies even more on online interaction and the World Wide Web is a crucial part of the human society.
Our primary concern is individual and community health. Slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus improves the chances that health systems will have the capacity to continue to treat usual health issues plus those affected.
- Individual and community health: take care of yourselves and those around you. Even if an individual is not personally at-risk, COVID-19 may be contagious before symptoms appear.
- Unpredictability of border measures and quarantines: international travelers risk getting caught far from home or facing quarantine.
- Unpredictability of meeting plans: many conferences are being canceled, and many localities are canceling large gatherings.
The W3C Website redesign Request For Proposals has concluded with W3C awarding the project to Studio 24, a small, independent digital agency in the heart of Cambridge, UK, founded in 1999. The project covers a subset of the public-facing pages of our Website and will span the next 10 months. Please, read more in our joint press release.
We are aiming for this phase to scale well to cover the redesign expectations for the rest of the site. Future phases will include the Member and Team spaces, internal Work Groups homepages, specifications template, mailing lists archives, W3C Community Groups and Business Groups.
The current website was implemented ten years ago and is no longer as effective in supporting W3C’s mission and goals as it could be. We believe that by implementing current web best practices and technologies, revising the information architecture, creating a content strategy and revamping the visual design, we can provide our audiences with the best information in a more user-friendly fashion, motivate participation in the organization, and communicate the nature and impact of W3C more effectively.
The W3C Dataset Exchange Working Group has published Data Catalog Vocabulary (DCAT) – Version 2 as a W3C Recommendation. DCAT defines an RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web. The specification defines the schema and provides examples for its use. Version 2 extends the original DCAT standard in line with community practice while supporting diverse approaches to data description and dataset exchange.