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Community & Business Groups

Tools and Infrastructure

Upon creation of a Community Group or Business Group, W3C makes available a certain number of tools to help with collaboration (see webcast illustrating system).

Groups are not obligated to use these tools, for instance, if participants have infrastructure they prefer on another site. However, there are requirements of the process for these groups to archive exchanges.

Tools and services available by default:

  • Blog (with RSS feeds)
  • Mailing lists. See list explanations below
  • IRC (with access to IRC tools for meeting management)
  • Administrative support:
    • Approving groups
    • Approving individual requests to join groups
    • Archiving

Tools available with W3C Management approval as documented in the W3C Guidebook:

Upon request to the staff can add links in group’s tools menu for some external services:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • GitHub (whether or not managed by W3C)
  • additional tools on or elsewhere

Groups nominate their own Chairs and choose their own process for doing so.

The administrative interface for identifying the group’s chosen Chair(s) is the group’s participants page. Only participants (and W3C staff) have access to the administrative interface and they must be logged in to view and use it.

The administrative interface works as follows:

  • When no Chairs have been identified, anyone in the group may select one or more Chairs by checking boxes next to the name(s) on the participants page. The selected person(s) will immediately be labeled as Chair(s).
  • When one or more Chairs have been identified, only the Chair(s) themselves see the checkboxes. Only Chairs may add or remove Chairs. Chairs may remove themselves.
  • W3C Staff have access to the administration interface whether or not they are participants in the group.

When done with selection, press the “Propose Selected” button at the bottom of the page.

The group’s tools are listed on its home page. It is possible to have more than one tool for a given type (e.g., two repositories). Send requests to for link additions or updates.

The same username and password provides access to all of the tools. However, some tools have their own login procedures and may use cookies (blog, wiki).

Each group’s home page news is managed via a WordPress blog. Any group participant may write new entries but only chairs can publish them. Blog posts are automatically posted to the group’s public mailing list. In addition, the group may aggregate external feeds (e.g., twitter or identity) into the group’s blog stream. This is done via the WordPress dashboard by an administrator (a member of the W3C Team); please contact the Systems Team if you wish to integrate external feeds into your group’s news stream.

Some of the plugins available by default via the blog include:

  • Categorization and display of posts by category
  • Syntax highlighting (plugin home)

To log in (and post to the blog), use the standard WordPress user interface at the top of the group’s home page. This provides access to a user dashboard from one which can create new blog posts, pages, events, etc. Note: If you are already logged in to the Community Group site and then join a group, you may have to log out and log back in for the system to know you are a participant authorized to post to the blog.

The search box at the top of the site for Community Groups and Business Groups searches within WordPress posts.

Retired plugins

  • We used to offer a polls plug-in but it became difficult to maintain so we have dropped it for now. For the time being please considering using third-party poll services (e.g., PollDaddy).

Adding a page to your site

Group chairs can add “WordPress pages” to the group’s site:

  • On the dashboard under Pages select “Add new” (Or “pages” to edit an existing one.
  • Under Page Attributes, for Template choose “Three column (lhs+main+rhs)” and then click Update.
  • To disallow comments, you need to uncheck “Allow comments” which seems only to be available from the “Quick Edit” way to edit an existing page.

Showing an excerpt rather than full post on group home page

By default, we have configured the system to show the entirety of each recent blog post on the group’s home page. You can choose to display only a portion of your post, and you can choose where to cut off the display. To do so, insert a “more tag” using the proper icon in the toolbar or pressing Alt-Shift-T. The homepage will then display only what’s before this tag.

Each group has three mailing lists by default, two public and one non-public. Community Groups must use the public lists for communications except for administrative matters such as exchanging personal information. Business Groups may use either public or non-public lists.

Participants are automatically subscribed to these lists when they join the group, and unsubscribed if they leave the group.

The lists are intended to be used as follows for a group with the shortname “mygroup”:
Readable and writable by anyone. For group communications with the general public or other groups. Anyone may subscribe to this list, even without joining the group. Those who join the group are subscribed automatically.
Readable by group participants, W3C Members, and W3C staff. Community Groups must only use this list for administrative matters. Business Groups may use it for work.

Note: In the past we created two additional lists for each group named public-mygroup-contrib and internal-mygroup-contrib, to record contributions to Reports governed by the W3C Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA), but we have discontinued those lists.

Requests for additional mailing lists

If a group wishes to use additional mailing lists (e.g., one for a task force), please send a request to

List maintenance after group closure

By default, W3C automatically deactivates CG/BG mailing lists when a group closes. Upon request, W3C can leave open some mailing lists (e.g., if those lists were used prior to adoption by a CG or BG).

At their creation, a group may create a chat channel on To include a link to that chat channel (or any other chat service available via a URI) in the group’s tools menu, please send the URI as described above.

In addition to the numerous IRC clients available, W3C offers a Web-based client for joining IRC discussion.

We have some IRC bots that are useful for groups; follow links for documentation:

  • RRSAgent, for saving an IRC session to Note: you need to set the visibility (“ACLs”) of the minutes. From IRC you may do so with “RRSagent, set logs shortname-public” where shortname is the group’s shortname. This makes the minutes group-writable (for later editing) and publicly readable. Business Groups may use shortname-internal for minutes that are readable by participants, Members, and W3C staff.
  • Zakim for agenda management

W3C can create a repository under the w3c-cg GitHub account; read more about W3C support for CG repositories.

More information is available about W3C on GitHub, including good practices for specification development on GitHub.

  • Activity tracking
  • Profile pages
  • Much more!

Found a bug?

Please send bug reports to site-comments.

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