Where do I send comments about the W3C website?
If you have feedback on the W3C website, please submit each comment as GitHub issues. (If you are not able to use GitHub, please email email@example.com, a publicly archived mailing list.)
What does it mean that Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the Web?
Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal in 1989 for a system called the World Wide Web. He then wrote the first Web browser, server, and Web page. He wrote the first specifications for URLs, HTTP, and HTML.
What is the difference between the Web and the Internet?
The Internet is a network of networks, defined by the TCP/IP standards, according to the definition in Wikipedia: "The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that interchange data by packet switching using the standardized Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP)."
The Web, on the other hand, is defined in W3C's Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume I as follows: "The World Wide Web (WWW, or simply Web) is an information space in which the items of interest, referred to as resources, are identified by global identifiers called Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI)."
The Web is an information space. The first three specifications for Web technologies defined URLs, HTTP, and HTML.
It's such a common mistake to confuse the two that we made special t-shirts that Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web and Vinton Cerf, inventor of the Internet, wore during the W3C 20th anniversary event of October 2014.
What does W3C do?
W3C's primary activity is to develop protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web. W3C's standards define key parts of what makes the World Wide Web work. Learn more about W3C's mission.
How is W3C organized?
On January 2023, W3C became its own legal entity, moving to a public-interest non-profit organization after 28 years with an atypical organizational structure where legal and fiduciary roles were assumed by four historical host institutions across the planet: MIT (USA), ERCIM (France), Keio University (Japan), and Beihang University (China). Read more about our history.
Where is W3C located?
The W3C staff is distributed around the world, but there are concentrations of people where the historical Hosts were located in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA), Sophia-Antipolis (France), Tokyo (Japan) and Beijing (China). In addition, W3C is represented by W3C Evangelists in various locations.
How is W3C funded?
W3C sources of revenue include:
- W3C Member dues
- Research grants and other sources of private and public funding
- Sponsorship and donations
You found "w3.org" in the source of a document or email
If you look at the source of many HTML documents (including HTML email), you are likely to find some text that explains which version of HTML was used by the author, for example:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">
That text means that the text was written in HTML 4, a language defined and maintained by W3C. The text does not imply that W3C had anything to do with the creation of the document itself.
Note: W3C cannot help you identify the owner of a page that is not on w3.org.
What domain names are used by W3C?
w3.org. The most common uses you will see are "www.w3.org", "validator.w3.org", and "lists.w3.org" (our Mail archives).
If the domain name is something else, it's probably not related to W3C. If you find "w3.org" in the content of the page, that is likely just related to the fact that the page is HTML; see "You found "w3.org" in the source of a document or email".
Is W3C sending me spam?
No. W3C does not allow its servers to be used to send spam, and unsolicited bulk e-mail is strictly prohibited from our mailing lists.
Somebody forged email to make it look like it was sent by W3C
Unfortunately, people at times forge email addresses. Many W3C email addresses are very visible to the public, and this makes them targets for forgery. Thus, you may receive spam appearing to be sent from a w3.org address, but this only means that the address has been used to send a forged email.
Do you allow guest posts or paid content?
No. We do not allow guest posts and paid content on the W3C Blog or W3C Website. See "endorsement".
Will W3C endorse my product?
No. W3C is a vendor-neutral organization, and as such W3C does not endorse vendors or vendor products, or any particular product, service, or website.
Will W3C link to my product from w3.org?
W3C does not endorse any particular software. However, because it is useful to provide links to software that implements a specification, we often link to multiple products or services (thus: many, not one). If you do not find at the bottom of a page any contact information for the person responsible for updating links on that page, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
W3C has a validation service. Does W3C approve all web pages?
No. W3C does provide validators and tools. Although validation is not mandatory on the web, it is useful for improving the quality of pages.
Why get a W3C account?
Much of the information on the W3C website is public, and no W3C account is needed. People need a W3C account to participate and contribute, in order to interact with the site. Visit the getting an account page.
I lost my password / forgot my account login
Which authentication systems does W3C use on its site?
W3C uses a mix of HTTP Basic Authentication and a web form based login system for resources that are restricted or personalized.
Why is my application being rate-limited by W3C's site?
W3C's site receives a lot of automated traffic from software making requests for XML Schema files, DTDs, namespaces and other resources. In order to keep our site available and responsive we restrict the rate at which these requests can be made.
If you are receiving
HTTP 429 Too Many Requests responses from our site please update your software to reduce the frequency of requests. If you are using XML processing software an XML catalog should help improve the performance and reliability of your application.
I hit a technical problem with W3C's website
Please, write to email@example.com with a precise description of your technical problem.
Is W3C service X or Y down? (system outages)
See the systems status page. If you experience a problem not listed there, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a precise description of your technical problem.