AB/2017 Priorities

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This is a workspace for the W3C Advisory Board to develop and iterate individual, collective, and consensus views on our priorities for 2017. After some discussion, we anticipate prioritizing the different inputs at our F2F meeting in Berlin in February 2017.

Last year: AB/2016_Priorities

Initial Thoughts

At this stage it is useful to list proposed topics as well as specific targets for what the AB can do for these topics.


From 2017-01-09 (AB only link)

If I were to cherry pick from AB#Priorities_2016, for 2017:

1. Maintenance and Best Practices for REC track (which I see as two ends of the same funnel)

With process 2016 completed, we have made great progress on this IMO. OTOH there is still much (productive) work to be done, as evidenced by:

a. The continued (healthy) debates of incubation and differences of (potential) member influence (e.g. Verifiable Claims discussions)

b. Mixed results with REC publishing from 2016. On the good side, nearly all 2016 RECs look like "practical" additions to the Web Platform (in contrast to previous years, per the analysis I informally gave at the 2016 Dec f2f), with the exception of WebIDL, which was essentially obsolete when published (and we should call for it to be officially obsoleted immediately, since its announcement itself recommends not implementing it).

2. Security. In the past year, security problems related to the just w3c, or web (e.g. phishing) and the internet as a whole (IoT) have reached a new (bad) level of severity and impact on the w3c / web / internet / countries elections / etc.

I considered recommending this first, but I'm not sure we can be as productive with it as 1, so this is 2. Anyway, I think the situation with online security has gotten so bad that it behooves us to do whatever we can at the w3c / web level to improve it. I see this as a responsibility for w3c to bear as part of leading the web to its full potential (it is being held back by security problems).

3. Funding. (any/all sources of funding/models for W3C, lots to work on here too, see other thread).

4. Role of the Director. This continues to be important to the future of the W3C, and something really only the AB (in coordination with W3T) can work on, so we should.

Jeff Jaffe


1. Incubation and starting new specs in W3C. Last year we produced a document called Best Practices for Rec Track (link?). This was a very helpful document and the Team has found it helpful to guide the community on how to get things started in W3C in a way that will lead to success.

While last year's document was a good start, the community is bubbling with ideas on how to make the document better. Manu Sporny provided a thoughtful blog post entitled Rebalancing how the Web is built (link?). There are have been numerous email threads about the readiness of Verifiable Claims (link?). There was a rich debate about where CSS should do incubation. There is a new debate starting on how to define incubation. The AB needs to bring the various W3C stakeholders together and achieve a consensus on these topics.

2. Relationship between W3C and WHATWG. The W3C and WHATWG have had an uneasy partnership for years. The web is better off if we are working together rather than working at cross purposes. This is the area where the Team most needs the advice of the AB, because it has been a thorny problem. The AB, whose members are often from the same companies as WHATWG participants are therefore best positioned to give advice on how to improve this situation.

In recent discussions with the AB (December F2F, and 9 January call), the AB has counseled that this should not be a major focus. I raise it nonetheless: if the role of the AB is to advise on areas where the Team needs help - this is the area we need advice. Of course, if the consensus of the AB is not to focus on it, I will abide by the consensus.

3. Agility of charter approvals. There has been an increase in formal objections to Charters. Certainly there are many reasons for this. This project is to study the recent history so that we can improve the situation going forward and add to the agility of charter approval.

4. Trademark. In late December, the AB agreed to increase usage of the W3C prefix for specs to improve our leverage of our trademark. The Team has the task to advice the next level of details on this topic. The Team can use continued AB review and advice.

5. /TR. Under the AB's guidance, the Team has taken an action to revamp /TR. The Team can use continued AB review and advice.


1. Funding and W3C Structure. How the W3C acquires funds, how the Host structure uses those funds, and what contracts the W3C accepts.

[JJ] This should include AB Action 159 [1], as well as some creative thinking about new sources of funds.

[1] https://www.w3.org/Member/Board/track/actions/159

2. Maintenance and Best Practices for REC track, and incubation on the front end. In short, continuing to refine the Process.

3. Role of the Director. This continues to be important to the future of the W3C, and something really only the AB (in coordination with W3T) can work on, so we should.

See Also