Community & Business Groups

Comparison of Group Types

The following table compares some key elements of W3C group types. See also original design goals for the Community and Business Groups program.

Working Interest Community Business
Scope Determined by Charter Determined by Charter Determined by scope statement Application of technology to business context; requirements and use cases; input to standards process
Creation process Director proposes charter to Membership Director proposes charter to Membership Proposal is complete Proposal is complete
Duration Limited by charter, may be extended Limited by charter, may be extended Unlimited Unlimited
Primary Deliverable Standards-track and supporting Note Community Group Report (e.g., a technology innovation from a small set of developers). Community Groups Reports are not standards-track documents. Business Group Report (e.g., use cases or requirements of a particular industry to be provided as input to a Working Group). Business Groups Reports are not standards-track documents.
Staff Contact Yes Yes No Consulting role (e.g,. share expertise, but not likely to attend meetings regularly). But determined by W3C Management on a case-by-case basis.
Other Staff Interactions Background support and coordination Background support and coordination (for some) Monitoring, Outreach
  • One project review with Team annually
  • Light Monitoring by staff
  • Liaison role as needed
  • Communications of final reports through W3C news channels and to W3C Membership
Other Coordination Via Coordination Groups Via Coordination Groups Ad-hoc (e.g., organized by Community Development Lead) Direct Chair-to-Chair connectivity for Business Groups developing material intended as input to a Working Group.
Fee to participate or organize Membership or Invited Expert (no fee) Membership or Invited Expert (no fee) None Annual fees
Visibility of comms. Public or Member Generally Public Public (with non-Public for admin) Public or non-Public
Patent Licensing Commitment for this Group’s Deliverables Defined for Recommendation track documents in Section 3 of W3C Patent Policy No Defined in section 3 of W3C Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA) or Final Specification Agreement Defined in section 3 of W3C Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA) or Final Specification Agreement
Patent Disclosure Obligation Defined in Section 6 of W3C Patent Policy Defined in Section 6 of W3C Patent Policy Defined in Section 6 of W3C Patent Policy; no new obligations under CLA/FSA Defined in Section 6 of W3C Patent Policy; no new obligations under CLA/FSA
Copyright for documents W3C Document License W3C Document License W3C Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA), Final Specification Agreement W3C Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA), Final Specification Agreement or W3C Document License
Copyright for software W3C Software License W3C Software License Group determines, but expectation is compatibility with Open Source Software Licenses. Group determines, but expectation is compatibility with Open Source Software Licenses.
Chair selection Appointed by Director Appointed by Director Group determines Group determines
Reporting requirement Heartbeat requirement None None Public reporting expected periodically if group operates primarily internally.
Access to Member site Depends on charter Depends on charter No No
Decision-making based on consensus Required Required where applicable Recommended where applicable Recommended where applicable
Expectations regarding scope overlap with other groups Actively avoided Actively avoided Acceptable but not recommended Acceptable but not recommended

Note: A previous version of this table included Incubator Groups, but W3C closed the Incubator Activity in 2012.

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