Publishing Working Group

Publishing Working Group Work mode

This document defines and describes the Publishing WG’s Real Work Modes, including Participation and Communication, Meetings, Calls for Consensus, Mail List usage, and links to important resources.

Note that the WG’s Charter formally defines the general framework of the group’s working mode. In all cases, the Charter and/or the W3C Process Document overrides the information in this document. Nevertheless, this document contains additional information about how the group really works, so this information may be particularly useful to new members of the group.

This document is a Living Document and as such will change. Members of the group are encouraged to edit (e.g. to update, correct, etc.) the information. Comments about this document are welcome via issues and pull request on the group’s “admin” repository or via emails sent to the group’s e-mail list, using a subject prefix of [WorkMode]….

Table of Content

Participation and Communication

The group’s formal Participation and Communication models are documented in the Participation and Communications sections of its Charter, respectively.

A WG member may participate in various ways including:

A WG member is added to the group’s lists and; see the separate section for more details. Other mailing lists may be set up for task forces or other sub-committees; signing up to those list must be done manually.

Participation from the Public (i.e., non group members), via our Public e-mail lists is also welcome, provided comments, contributions, etc., are consistent with the W3C Patent Policy.

Information for “Newbies” — New Group Members

New members of the group are strongly encouraged to read the group’s Newbie document which includes links to important resources. New members are also encouraged to send a short introductory e-mail to the group’s primary mail list.




Teleconferences are held weekly at a time agreed upon by the group. The meeting and its agenda is announced at least 24 hours before the meeting begins. Minutes are taken for every meeting and are automatically published after the meeting in a provisional format. A more readable, cleaned-up format is published usually within 24 hours after the meeting ends. These minutes are considered as “Drafts” until they are approved at the next teleconference when they become official.

The charter also says that:

…any resolution (including publication decisions) taken in a face-to-face meeting or teleconference will be considered provisional. A call for consensus (CfC) will be issued for all resolutions (for example, via email and/or web-based survey), with a response period from one week to 10 working days, depending on the chair’s evaluation of the group consensus on the issue. If no objections are raised on the mailing list by the end of the response period, the resolution will be considered to have obtained consensus as a resolution of the Working Group.

By default, publication of the draft meeting minutes is considered as a call for consensus for any formal resolution therein. However, depending on the assessment and the importance of a specific resolution at hand, the chairs may issue an more explicit CfC by email when the issue requires more details and explanations.

Face-to-face meetings

For Face-to-face meetings, there should be 8 weeks notice of the city and date/time. Exact venue information is not required so early, but it is helpful especially in large cities so people traveling can get appropriate accommodation. The chairs and staff can help organize invitations for people who need them to obtain a visa, given sufficient notice.

The consortium usually has an annual “Technical Plenary and All Working Group” face-to-face meeting week (a.k.a “TPAC”) and this group typically has a f2f meeting during that week. The dates/locations are generally known a year or more in advance.

For the minutes, resolutions, and consensus achieved at the f2f meetings the same rules as for teleconferences apply.

Meeting observers

It is possible for people who are not members of the Publishing WG to attend meetings as observers. Non-members have not made any commitment to provide standard W3C royalty-free licensing, so non-members are restricted to observer status only.

Observers may listen, and participate in general discussions during the meeting. However, they must not make technical contributions, or attempt to influence an approach to a feature that may become part of the specification being discussed.

If the attendee works for a W3C member company, they are encouraged to ask their Advisory Committee (AC) representative to make them a Web Platform WG participant. Alternatively, their AC representative can make a formal royalty-free licensing commitment. They can then fully participate in the meeting.

Please note that this is to provide as much protection as possible through the W3C Patent Policy. We take the royalty-free status of W3C standards very seriously, and any attempt to work-around these basic requirements would be considered a serious breech of meeting participation.


The group makes an extensive usage of GitHub. Each major deliverables is managed in its own, separate repository (a complete list of repositories is available). The group intends to use the repositories’ issue management extensively to discuss technical problems and propose solutions.

Editors of the documents (as well as the chairs and the W3C staff) have the necessary access right to make editorial changes on the specifications directly using the standard Git(Hub) commits and merging pull requests. Other members of the group are encouraged to use the “fork and pull model” when contributing to the text: work on a forked repository and issue a pull request on the main repository for that document when the contribution is ready. Editors should use the pull request mechanism (except for obvious, grammatical or stylistic changes), albeit they can choose to do that directly on the core repository.

(If you are new to Github, the “Introduction to Basic GitHub Contribution” may be of help.)

In line with the spirit of the asynchronous decision procedures outlined above, significant pull requests, as well as the closure of open issues, should be marked with a special label (to be defined) and leave it open for a week. If no objection is raised during that time the issue can be closed or the pull request can be merged, respectively.

Issue labels

GitHub issues are also used as a records of wide reviews, of horizontal reviews, etc. The Working Group will define a number of labels (e.g., labeling an issue as part of the Horizontal Security review). Chairs, staff, and editors are responsible to set those labels accordingly. Similarly, when issues are waiting for external reviewers to react, labels will be used to signal the status of the issue.

Mailing lists (Policy, Usage, Etiquette, etc.)

Although it is expected that a large portion of the technical discussion will happen via the issues mechanism of GitHub, the primary mailing list may also be used for overarching technical as well as business, outreach, administrative, etc, topics. We expect our mail list participants to adhere to the following email etiquette:


The group uses the #pwg channel of the W3C’s IRC system (; port 6667). Task forces may freely set up their own, specific channels.

An HTML interface to the W3C’s IRC system is available. See Meeting Resources for more information about the W3C’s IRC system and its usage.


Each repository, including the “core” WG repository, has a wiki instance. Members of the Working Groups are encouraged to use those for temporary discussions, documents, etc. Pages on the repository Wikis have no formal status.

Patent Policy

The WG’s Charter defines the Patent Policy for this group:

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis. For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

A consequence of the group’s Patent Policy is that, although comments from non-WG participants are welcome, in general, specific contributions for the group’s specifications from non-WG participants are not permitted. See the W3C Patent Policy FAQ titled How should Working Groups handle contributions from non-participants (e.g., meeting guests or on public lists)? for more information about contributions from non-WG participants. Non-WG participants may contribute to the group’s specifications if they have agreed to the terms in Licensing commitments from non-W3C Members.

Code of Conduct

The WG follows the W3C Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.