AB/2014-2015 Priorities

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Final Summary

  • Identify work not destined for success. Lead: Mike Champion. See plan
  • Identify the most important priorities for the Web and W3C. Lead: Jeff Jaffe. See plan
  • Improve agility of W3C. Lead: Chris Wilson. See plan
  • W3C Process Revision 2015. Lead: Steve Zilles, Editor: Chaals McCathie Nevile.
  • Trademark Policy and Licensing. Lead: Mike Champion and Tantek Çelik. See plan
  • Voting experiment. Lead: Chaals McCathie Nevile. AB/STV_experiment — has some info about this
  • W3C synchronization and consistency. Lead: Virginie Galindo. See plan
  • Improving how AB represents the AC. Lead: Virginie Galindo. See plan
  • Best practices to support multilingual W3C Lead: Daniel Park and Jay Kishigami See plan

See also Headlights2014


This document enumerates priorities for the W3C's Advisory Board, including proposed or candidate tasks/projects that have not been prioritized as well as agreed priorities for various tasks. This document is a DRAFT, i.e. it is a WorkInProgress (WIP). Feedback is welcome, preferably by directly editing this document or by sending feedback to the public-w3process@w3.org e-mail list (archive) with a Subject: prefix of [ABPriorities].

Key to Reading Feedback Data

Feedback data is included for several items and the rough format is: [P1, P2, ... PN] {H,M,L} ; [Lead: P1] where Pn is a person's initials and H/M/L are abbreviations for High, Medium and Low priority. As an example, [AA, BB, CC] H; [DD, EE] M; [Lead: FF] means persons with initials AA, BB and CC think an item is High priority, DD and EE consider it Medium priority and FF agreed to lead the item.

The following initials are used and others should feel free to add theirs:

  • AB = Art Barstow
  • CMN = Charles Neville
  • CW = Chris Wilson
  • DWS = David Singer
  • JJ = Jeff Jaffe
  • JK = Jay Kishigami
  • MC = Michael Champion
  • TÇ = Tantek Çelik
  • VGa = Virginie Galindo
  • SDP = Soohong Daniel Park

(DWS, I used H=High -> we should do it now, M=Medium -> we should do this sometime, L=Low or not marked -> not sure if we should or ever will get to this)

Non-prioritized Candidate Tasks 2014-2015

At their June face-to-face meeting, the Advisory Board brainstormed and created a draft list of candidate priorities for 2014-2015, for the (new) AB to discuss and prioritise over the summer.

Prioritizing the current investments of W3C

  1. Identify work that is going on the wrong track or not destined for success. The AB could develop approaches for W3C to identify work that is not destined for success (for any of several possible reasons - competing alternatives, lack of adoption, not solving a real problem, missed the time window). Alternatively, the AB could analyse our portfolio and identify specific WGs that are not destined for success. [JJ, CMN, VGa, CW, MC, SDP] H; [Lead: MC]; [DWS, JK] M
  2. Consortium Priorities/Maximise Resources. How - at a time of limited resources and greater demands - should W3C maximise the impact of its resources. What are the most important priorities for the consortium? [AB] H; [CW, JK] M; [DWS] L
  3. What are the most important priorities for the Web? Be forward looking about future priorities for the Web and map it back to current focus of W3C. [JJ, DWS] H; [Lead: JJ]; [CW, JK, SDP] M; (DWS: merge with the one below)
  4. What are the most important priorities for the Web and W3C. This is similar to the above project, but focuses more narrowly on the priorities as it relates to W3C as an organisation, or how it relates to our current Membership. [CMN, JK, AB] H; [CW] M
  5. Survey the Membership on their priorities [CMN, VGa, AB] H; [Lead: CMN]; [DWS, CW, JK, SDP] L (DWS: not a strong believer in surveys). If this should be done, possible merge with "most important priorities for the Web and W3C".

Overall structure of the W3C

  1. Long-term stability. Financial: see the June 2014 Consolidated Financial Report for data about 2014 budget deficit and projection for 2015 deficit, Process: [CMN, AB] H; [CW, JK, SDP] M
    1. Is the Consortium's current heavy weight structure that was created in 1994 still needed now? CMN: We don't use the process we had in 1995 or even in 2005. This question is rhetorically sound but irrelevant.
    2. Mark Nottingham: Is the Consortium's current structure appropriate to the tasks at hand and the resources available? Specifically:
      1. Is the multiple-Host model helpful to the goals of the W3C, or a hinderance? Are there alternatives?
      2. Is the Team's size and makeup appropriate to our current workload, considering our limited resources?
      3. Is the Membership model effective in furthering the goals of the W3C? What other options are there?
    3. Why not move to an open working group participation structure like the IETF uses to enable broader participation? (Broader participation is apparently a key goal of the so-called Webizen proposal.
  2. Membership Fees [AB, SDP] H; [CW, JK] L
    1. What changes in the Consortium's organizational structure could and should be made to help reduce Membership fees? CMN: This is the same as prioritising overall work.
    2. Full, for-profit European Members pay approximately $25K USD per year more than their US counterparts What needs to be done to reduce European membership fees to be equivalent to US membership levels? [CMN, AB, SDP] H; [DWS, JK] M

Improving the W3C Process broadly, or best practices to implement the process

  1. Improve agility unrelated to W3C Process. In many cases, WGs seem to overly burden themselves with requirements, slowing down work in ways that the process does not require. This could be, for example, by bureaucratically running the WG process - asking for greater consensus at intermediate stages than the process requires. How can we improve agility without changing the process? How do we manage the necessary bureaucracy to the rare defined places where it is needed? How do we train Chairs on this? [CMN, JJ, MC, VGa, CW, SDP] H [DWS, JK] M [Lead: CW]
  2. Work-mode (related to above project). What are Best Practices of WG work-mode that enhance agility? [CW, JK, SDP] H (should merge with above, though) [DWS] M
  3. W3C Process Revision 2015. In the AB meeting we discussed an approach to produce the next revision of the Process in time for approval at the May 2015 AC meeting. This needs to be re-evaluated due to delays introduced by the Formal Objection to the 2014 process revision. [CMN, JJ, DWS, CW, JK, SDP] H [participate] CMN
  4. Supergroups. Continuation of last year's project. Two main focus areas. (1) Getting the "easy" changes incorporated into W3C Process 2015 (see project 4). (2) Determining which harder changes are worth doing and convening the stakeholders to work on them. [DWS] M [CW, SDP] M [JK] L
  5. Trademark Policy and Licensing. Continuation of last year's project. First focus is to understand whether the industry would align with utilising the "W3C HTML5" terminology to determine whether trademarking would be helpful or embarrassing due to apathy. [JJ, MC, TÇ, DWS, CW, JK] H [CMN] 0 [M} Lead
  6. Meetings and Workshops work mode using 1) web tools (e.g. WebEx, Moderator, Etherpad) and 2) the Process and a culture for following it - e.g. providing adequate notice for people to attend events. This continues and expands the dialog we started last year. It relates to project 2, but is more narrowly focused. [MC, CW] H [JK, SDP] M
  7. The graveyard of /TR. It is very challenging, as a user, to understand the current status of specifications - particularly, if a given TR has been superceded, or is in the process of being superceded by current works-in-progress, or if it is a dead end. Something along the lines of the warning on http://tabatkins.github.io/specs/respimg/ would be good; a more dynamically-updatable "status" section for recommendations would be another idea. [CW, JK, MC, VGa, AB, SDP] H [DWS] M [Lead: CW] Merge with general agility project above.
  8. Provenance of spec texts. Assess whether we need to do more work on process or best practices to ensure that spec texts that enter Working Groups are coming with sufficient IP coverage. [CMN, DWS, MC, JK] H [Lead] MC, [CW] M [JK] L
  9. Move the maintenance and evolution of the Community Group process to the W3Process CG. [AB] H
  10. Move the maintenance and evolution of Publication Rules to the W3Cprocess CG. [AB] H

AB role and function

  1. Open AB. Continuation of last year's project. Focus on ac-forum/process CG discussions of ways to further open the AB. [TÇ] ? [CW] M [DWS, JK] L
  2. How does the AB better represent the AC? In the threads related to the structure of the AB, a question arose whether the AC even needs an AB - perhaps the AC can represent itself in dialog with the Team. A common response - that the AB can be a cohesive and representative team of a larger AC - caused the AB to ask what mechanisms it has available to ensure that it is truly representing the broad interests of the AC. [JJ, VGa, JK, AB] H [DWS,CW] L
  3. Can we clearly articulate the role of the AB? We have the impression that the AC does not understand the role of the AB, so that raises the question how to better articulate it. [JK] H [DWS,CW] M


  1. Improve the quality of information that the W3C team has about the goals and priorities of W3C Members from elections. [DWS] M [CW, JK] L
  2. TAG exclusionary rules removal [JJ, CMN] H (to address the issue, but I would not prejudge the outcome) [CW] H [JK] M [DWS] L
    1. See the Is the TAG structure harmful? email thread on www-tag
  3. Create a proposal to conduct several elections experimenting with different voting approaches (proposal due from Chaals in July meeting). [JJ, CMN] H [Lead] CMN (with the team) [DWS, JK] H (but see the first above) [CW] L

New demands on the consortium

  1. Broader industry collaboration on the Open Web Platform. W3C is a consortium that focuses on technical standards for the Web, but naturally comprehends weaknesses that the OWP has. Some of these weaknesses (e.g. developer tools) are beyond the scope of W3C. Can the AB propose means for industry to collaborate (with or without W3C) to address these weaknesses. [JJ, AB, SDP] H [Lead] JJ [DWS] M [CW, JK] L
  2. New stakeholders at W3C. The OWP is increasingly being adopted by vertical industries, but W3C as a small organisation does not have the connectivity to find key people in those industries to join W3C. Can the consortium, with the leadership of the AB, help introduce the value of W3C to these new stakeholders. [JJ, SDP] H [Lead] JJ CMN: It would be helpful to introduce such people to how W3C already works, but that might be a different topic. (DWS connect to CI.3) [CW, JK] L
  3. Tools and process to allow W3C to make all W3C deliverables consistent from a technical and strategic point of view. In other words, how does W3C promote synchronization between activity leaders, editors and chairs across working groups. For example, if "Promises" is the right technology base for the future, how do we ensure that this is adopted consistently? This may require some coordination with the TAG. [MC, VGa, CW, AB] H [JK, SDP] M [Lead : VGa]


  1. Build Chairs community. Assign buddies (new/experienced chairs). Update the Guide. FAQ. Improve how we express gratitude. Mention them on Intro Day (speed dating). [CMN, VGa] H [DWS] M [CW, JK] L
  2. AC Meeting prep. Continuation of last year's project. [DWS] H (making sure we run the place well and use the AC reps and their time wisely) [CW, JK] L

Agreed Task Priorities 2014-2015

UPDATE: See a new version of AB priorities

After summer calls discussions, the AB identified some projects gathering enough support by AB members to be rolled out in 2014/2015. Here is a short description of each identified project. This is subject to changes, based on leader and team vision. This vision will be discussed during AB F2F meeting schedule in September. This wiki will be updated accordingly.

  1. Identify work not destined for success. Lead: Mike Champion [this is project #1 from "Prioritizing the current investments of W3C"] See plan
  2. Identify the most important priorities for the Web and W3C. Lead: Jeff Jaffe [this is a merge of projects #3 and #4 from "Prioritizing..." ] See plan
  3. Improve agility of W3C. Lead: Chris Wilson [this is a merge of projects #1, #2, #6, and #7 from "Improving the W3C Process broadly, or best practices to implement the process"] See plan
  4. W3C Process Revision 2015. Lead: Steve Zilles, Editor: Chaals McCathie Nevile [this also includes working on Process Revision 2016. This is project #3 from "Improving..."] See plan
  5. Trademark Policy and Licensing. Lead: Mike Champion and Tantek Çelik [this is project #5 from "Improving..."] See plan
  6. Provenance of spec text. Lead: Mike Champion [this is project #8 from "Improving..."] See plan
  7. Voting experiment. Lead: Chaals McCathie Nevile [this is project #3 from "Voting"]
  8. W3C synchronization and consistency. Lead: Virginie Galindo [this is project #3 from "New demands"] See plan
  9. Improving how AB represents the AC. Lead: Virginie Galindo [this is project #2 from "AB role"] See plan