W3C Launches Agile Track to Speed Web Innovation

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Community and Business Groups Encourage Broad Participation in Technology Development



http://www.w3.org/ — 16 August 2011 — To support the rapid evolution of Web technology, W3C announced today an agile track for developers and businesses to create Web technology within W3C's international community of experts. Because innovation can come from organizations as well as individuals, W3C has designed W3C Community Groups to promote diverse participation: anyone may propose a group, and groups start quickly as soon as there is a small measure of peer support. There are no fees to participate and active groups may work indefinitely. Lightweight participation policies let groups decide most aspects of how they work. The larger implementer community benefits from specifications available under royalty-free patent terms and permissive copyright.

"Innovation and standardization build on each other," said Jeff Jaffe, W3C CEO. "The stable Web platform provided by W3C has always encouraged innovation. As the pace of innovation accelerates and more industries embrace W3C's Open Web Platform, Community Groups will accelerate incorporation of innovative technologies into the Web."

With the launch of Community Groups, W3C now offers a smooth path from innovation to open standardization to recognition as an ISO/IEC International Standard. W3C's goals differ at each of these complementary stages, but they all contribute to the organization's mission of developing interoperable standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web.

W3C also announced today the launch of Business Groups, which provide W3C Members and non-Members a vendor-neutral forum for the development of market-specific technologies and the means to have a powerful impact on the direction of Web standards. W3C staff work with Business Groups to help them achieve their goals and to provide connectivity among groups with shared interests. For instance, a Business Group might compile industry-specific requirements or use cases as input to a W3C Working Group.

"W3C is now open for crowd-sourcing the development of Web technology," said Harry Halpin, Community Development Lead. "Through these groups, people can reach influential companies, research groups,and government agencies. Developers can propose ideas to the extensive W3C social network, and in a matter of minutes start to build mindshare using W3C's collaborative tools or their own. Creating a Community or Business Group doesn't mean giving up an existing identity; it means having an easier time promoting community-driven work for future standardization."

Inaugural Community and Business Groups

The first groups to launch reflect a varied set of interests. W3C announces eight Community Groups:

and one Business Group:

Learn more About W3C Community and Business Groups.

About the World Wide Web Consortium

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 325 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/

Media Contacts

Ian Jacobs, <ij@w3.org>, +1.718.260.9447

Testimonials for W3C Launches Agile Track to Speed Web Innovation

Chevron · Digital Bazaar · Facebook · IBM · Innovimax · International Press Telecommunications Council · Microsoft · ODRL Initiative · Press Association


Chevron recognizes the potential for innovation through the Oil, Gas and Chemicals Business Group which focuses on the business application of emerging web technologies. This novel approach to industry collaboration will provide an environment conducive to improving efficiency, standardization and safety in our industry through W3C technology. Chevron has been a member of the W3C since September of 2000.

Peter Breunig, General Manager of Technology Management and Architecture, Chevron Information Technology Company

Digital Bazaar

The launch of the Web Payments Community Group will allow the Web to not only make electronic commerce easier, but it will also help the Web to continue to tackle some of humanity's greatest systematic challenges - person-to-person commerce, friction-less payments, investment, mobile payments, banking, alternative currencies, and value exchange. A universal payment mechanism for the Web will allow crowd-funding of grass-roots initiatives, art and design, start-ups, political action groups, relief and aid services and will provide new models for organizations to more effectively gather capital and use it to achieve crowd-driven results. Digital Bazaar is excited to participate in creating the future of commerce and looks forward to participating in the W3C Web Payments Community Group.

Manu Sporny, Founder/CEO, Digital Bazaar, Inc.


The W3C's launch of Community Groups is a significant step to support lighter weight collaboration for emerging standards. They strike an important balance between convenience and responsible intellectual property management. Community Groups is a most welcomed addition to the W3C offering and we hope to see them help foster agile and focused spec work!

Tobie Langel, W3C Advisory Committee Representative, Facebook


IBM applauds W3C's adoption of this more agile and inclusive approach to foster collaborative innovations that benefit the Web. With this creative new approach —which includes an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy appropriate for this early stage of collaboration— W3C provides a smooth on-ramp to its well respected Recommendation Track. IBM looks forward to engaging in and initiating new activities as W3C Community and/or Business Groups.

Angel Diaz, vice president, IBM Software Standards


Innovimax is very happy to be part of the launch of Community and Business Groups by proposing a Community Group on XML Performance. And we will certainly be active in this Group and few others. It looks to us as an important tool to gain outreach and start thinking at the next generations of standards.

Mohamed ZERGAOUI, CTO of Innovimax

International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC)

Semantic markup of news has value beyond just the news industry. IPTC is eager to exchange views and experience with the broader Semantic Web community via the W3C Semantic News Community Group. We are confident that we will be able to achieve a lot in this forum for open communication.

Michael Steidl, Managing Director, IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council)


Microsoft is excited to be part of the Community Groups at W3C, where the broader web community can come together and innovate. We expect Community Groups to be a great source of new ideas to move the web forward.

Paul Cotton, Microsoft Interoperability Group and co-Chair of the W3C HTML Working Group

ODRL Initiative

The ODRL Initiative - the leading international effort aimed at developing and promoting an open standard for policy expressions - is pleased to become part of the W3C Community. The next phases of the ODRL Initiative will be strengthened by our move to W3C as a Community Group and will open up both membership and technical work in new areas to address the broader needs of the Web community such as privacy statements in Social Networks. The W3C Community Group program provides the ideal balance for the ODRL Initiative in openness, fair and transparent decision-making, and provides for future standards-track opportunities.

Renato Iannella, ODRL Initiative

Press Association

The Press Association is excited about its participation with the W3C's 'Semantic News' community group. It creates a space outside our organisation to work with others to develop standards and ontologies, further the development of the semantic web, encourage interchange and best practice amongst organisations and ensure our work has relevance to the web beyond the news industry.

Jarred McGinnis Research Manager, Semantic Technologies PRESS ASSOCIATION

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