AB/2021 Priorities

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These are past priorities. For the current AB Priorities see AB/Priorities

AB Priorities for 2020-2021 Academic Year

There is a Wiki page of Legal Entity material related to all LE projects.

Legal Entity: Financials

Understanding the past, projecting the future, and planning to be funded and supported.

  • Leads: Eric and Bill
  • Support: Chris Wilson and Florian Rivoal
  • Description: To prepare the LE to operate as a sustainable stand-alone entity. In addition, as part of the fund raising process, we will prepare the LE to withstand financial due diligences by potential donors. This includes preparing the management team and members of the AB to answer questions from the donors regarding the historical financials and future projections consistent with the strategic directions and operating model of the LE.
  • Goals:
    • Understand past accounting practices and the accuracy of the historical financial statements, with special attention to revenue recognition, billings, accounts receivables and collection
    • Clean up and prepare (re-state if necessary) at least 3 years of historical financial reports in a format consistent with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to enable consistent comparison to future financial projections.
    • Make necessary adjustment to the billings, accounts receivables tracking and collection practices to enable the LE to operate efficiently and effectively.
    • Prepare rational financial projections consistent with the LE strategy to ensure that the LE can operate as a sustainable independent entity. This involves an in-depth analysis of projected revenue and operating expenses.

Legal Entity: Legal

By-laws (including Board form, appointment, responsibilities), Member Agreement (and lightweight acceptance), Partner Agreement

  • Leads: cwilso, Jeff
  • Support: fantasai, dsinger
  • Description: The legal entity spin-out is targeted for 1/1/22, but we do not yet have AB consensus on many operational issues that need to be addressed before the spin-out. This project is to work with the Team, the Steering Committee, and potential funders to get us ready for a timely spin-out.
  • Goals:
    • Work with the Team on an approach to assure member continuity
    • Work with stakeholders (see companion GA priority) to evolve the current planned governance structure
    • Work with Team and Hosts on evolving role of Partners
  • September F2F update
    • Wendy is on the F2F agenda to discuss member continuity.
    • We discussed the GA at the last AB biweekly meeting
    • Bill is on the F2F agenda to update on Partner negotiations.
  • November/December update
    • For by-laws, the main delay is waiting to see the form, proposal, and momentum behind the GA proposal.
    • For Partner Agreement, still no response from most of the Hosts. ERCIM is questioning the "Partner" concept - they might want something more intimate as part of their proposed European funding
    • AB discussions about vision and financial model are shaping preparation for the next round of fundraising.
    • Still no closure on Member Continuity process

Legal Entity: Governing Assembly

Investigating the Governing Assembly proposal for governance and fundraising.

  • Leads: dsinger, cwilso, Léonie
  • Support:
  • Description: Decide whether a two-tiered membership structure, where some contribute more and form some sort of governing assembly, is viable
  • Goals:
    • Define the parameters of what is needed to make that work; powers, responsibilities, fees, equitable engagement, etc.
    • Define how the potential GA would interact with the other governing structures including the Board of Directors, Advisory Council, Advisory Board, management, et al.

Process 2021

Updating the W3C Process: registries (see wiki), tooling, horizontal review, anything else raised

  • Leads: dsinger, fantasai, Florian
  • Support:
  • Description: Deliver a revision of the process in time for Spring 2021 AC meeting review and subsequent formal approval
  • Goals: are managed by issues, milestones, and projects in the Process CG Repo

Status as of January 28:

  • Survey sent out on Registries, waiting to hear the results
  • Discussions / edits in progress on disentangling the Note track and the REC track, and on being able to get formal W3C ratification of documents on the Note track
  • A moderate amount of progress on various smaller issues.


Shifting W3C processes, procedures, and governance for when TimBL retires

  • Leads: Florian, Jeff
  • Support: fantasai, cwilso
  • Description: It is anticipated that at some point the Founding Director of W3C will step down and we will evolve our governance to a director-free model. That involves massive change in our formal structure.
  • Goals: Follow the documented plan to get the work done.
  • September update
    • We have added items J, K, L, M, and N to the documented plan
    • We have provided a detailed analysis of B.1 in Director-free Plan.
    • We have four hours of discussion dedicated in the September vF2F meeting
  • November update
    • In September we concluded that we would look at alternatives to the W3C Council for resolving formal objections
    • We created a team to perform a W3C Council experiment, by looking at a Formal Objection to the proposed Device and Sensors Working Group charter.
  • Status as of January 28
    • Triage info github of about two years of minutes and backlog largely done
    • Just had a session in the AB F2F
    • Dsinger and Florian to go through open issues in github to see which can be closed, which need to go to the AB, and which the Process CG can make progress on

Scope and Organization Strategy

Document the current direction of W3C and identify what change we need to make in the direction of the organization.

  • Leads: Tzviya, Avneesh, Eric
  • Support: Chris, Florian


The work on organization strategy started in November 2019, and it will continue in 2020-21. The organization strategy is defined by:

  • long term Vision and mission and short term to mid term strategic goals.
  • Identity of the organization, building on its uniqueness.
  • Values of the organization.

The starting point is to determine the strategic goals, the unique identity of W3C and core values of the organization. The key sources of inputs for the first draft are inputs from AB and overview of management objectives.

  • overarching goal

The overarching goal is to document the current direction of W3C and identify what change we need to make in the direction of the organization. W3C already has vision and mission. It is quite broad and it is difficult to derive tangible strategic goals from it. Therefore we are starting from bottom up approach, on the basis of strategic goals, identity and core values we will develop the future direction of W3C. It will also include the evaluation, if the vision and mission require a major change, or if it requires some clarification.

The intent of organization strategy is to provide a high level framework which provides direction to the organization in the future. Please visit "strategy development wiki" for more details of the objectives, approach and work in progress.

January 2021 update: Based on feedback for the five issues listed below, we have developed draft documents in Christmas + new year break. . We will share it with AB soon.

November 2020 update: The first draft of one of the components of organization strategy, the strategic goals was developed in April 2020. In September 2020 we invited inputs from the community and the team for the fundamental strategic questions:

On the basis of the understanding achieved from the feedback and interactions with the community and the W3C team, we also have been providing recommendations for the vision. The next step is to incorporate all this feedback in the organization strategy.


Developing and documenting a vision for the future of the W3C for the next 10-25 years.

  • Leads: Tantek, cwilso, Eric
  • Support: Florian
  • Description: The world-wide web was conceived more than 25 years ago as a tool for sharing information. It has gone through many phases of development, and it has become a fundamental substrate for computing devices, applications, businesses, and indeed the lives of many, many people. The Web needs to be much more conscious of its role in society, respecting changing values and priorities while continuing to curate technical development at a rapid pace. We need to describe a vision of what the W3C is committed to in terms of its values and mission in improving the Web's fundamental integrity and value to humanity. "Move the Web forward" is obvious, but in what direction?
  • Goals:
    • Define the vision for a balance in priorities and values for the W3C to sustain its role for the next phase of the Web platform.
    • Detail the values, pillars, challenges, potential pitfalls and major benefits we expect the Web to bring in this next phase.
    • Identify any particular outcomes from this work that should affect other Priorities.
  • Work in progress: AB/Vision (edits in progress at https://github.com/WebStandardsFuture/Vision)


Formalizing the concepts of incubation, defining the process of going from initial ideas through various transitions to full standardization.

  • Leads: Tzviya, Chris
  • Support: fantasai
  • Description: Incubation is considered a must-have in much of the W3C, but it is not formally defined by the Process. We want to formalize the concept of incubation, while still ensuring incubation is an on-ramp to "graduating" to working groups with consensus, IPR, and consistent horizontal review.
  • Goals
    • Define the goals and parameters of "Incubation" (possibly including: venues, engagement, consensus-vs-not, where it is appropriate to store documents)
    • Provide guidance for incubators and incubation groups to know when to begin and when "graduation" should be - at what point should you start transition?
      • Begin with the user
      • Go public at the use case stage (as in "I have an idea", not "I solved the problem")
      • Seek horizontal review input before documentation because difficult to change. (Self-review ideal)
    • Does every spec require incubation? Does every feature?
    • What happens to incubations that fail (i.e. their maintainers believe they should be permanently shelved)?
      • Create guidance for "dismissing" experiments that do not gain momentum
    • What happens when incubations are successful, but fail to gain the interest of multiple implementers?
    • How and to what extent should specs in incubation receive horizontal review?

See also discussion on practical steps to differentiate incubation docs from Rec-track docs See Incubation in /guide

Globalization, Inclusion, and Diversity

  • Leads: Igarashi
  • Support:
  • Description W3C is a global organization for standardization. People come from very different cultures and environments, and have very different levels of comfort and skill in English. Diversity and Inclusion is crucial for making the Web better for everyone on the earth. We need to make our community to participate more easily and effectively from the aspect of Globalization, Inclusion and Diversity.
  • Goals
    • Get considered input from different parts of our community
    • Produce best practices and guidelines with the community groups
    • Advise to W3CM to create new tools and improve the existing tools
    • Make things happen with task forces. The following are candidates of task forces that are carried from 2019/2020.
      • Work with the Diversity and Inclusion CG to strengthen and clarify diversity scholarships
      • Work with Positive Work Environment Community Group to revise W3C Code of Conduct
      • Produce the best practice for communication with non-native
      • Produce the best practice for the teleconfs time arrangements
      • Ensure that W3C members could pay their membership in USD, EURO, CNY, JPY, and others.
      • Guarantee member access to tools (Twitter, Google Docs cannot be accessed in certain countries.
      • Explore new ways to provide translation facilitation for major discussion
      • Improve the participation of members from Southeast Asia and Mongolia, to guarantee I18N to satisfy requirements from these regions
  • November update
    • Produce the best practice for the teleconfs time arrangements
      • We have started a discussion on a survey of actual issues. We will get feedbacks from Japanese members.
    • Produce the best practice for communication with non-native
      • We have started a discussion on a captioning tool for teleconfs. We need an analysis of the usage of captions at the last TPAC.
      • We have learned the case of Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. See the youtube "Native speakers tend to speak to fast" [1]
  • January update
    • Produce the best practice for the teleconfs time arrangements
      • W3C keio made a survey in December. I proposed the draft of guideline. This is on the agenda of AB vF2F meeting.[2]
    • Produce the best practice for communication with non-native
      • AB discussed captioning in December. As a trial, the English automatic captioning will be enabled in AB meeting.

Other Advocated Topics

Projects that are being lead by at least one advocate, but are not AB priorities.

Next Big Thing

Identifying topics of future work

  • Leads: Judy Zhu
  • Goals: To explore the next big technical directions that matter to the community and the long-term development of the Web.
  • Description: Forward looking in industry, discussion widely with members to identify and incubate potential topics and move the identified topics forward in standardization.
  • Deliverables: Target area list, possible roadmap for incubation, member participation intention list, etc.

Onboarding Documentation

Website + Process documentation improvements to help onboarding

  • Leads: fantasai
  • Goals: Ensure the new website captures what W3C does in a way that makes it easy for observers to understand and participants to figure out how to participate.
  • Description: Work with the Team to make sure important documentation is findable in the new website design, and that necessary documentation exists and is up-to-date.

Tooling Policy

Developing policies and recommendations around tooling used to support W3C standardization activities

  • Leads: dsinger, fantasai
  • Goals: Develop a tooling policy for the W3C, and work with the SysTeam on key priorities
  • Description: We use a variety of tools both for the development of deliverables (e.g. Github, Bikeshed, ReSpec etc.) and for the operation of the W3C (e.g. Webex, IRC, the bots). A number of groups are experimenting with other tools as well (Slack, Converse, WebRTC and other call-in and conference systems), and we have some volunteer tools (Bikeshed was one once, and the Github-bot comes to mind). We need to work out what principles apply; what tools can groups use, that have suitable accessibility (both for international audiences, and in the traditional sense), transparency, longevity etc. We have some obvious long-standing problems (calendaring is one). We also have a discoverability question: if one is not a member of a WG but wants to investigate something, or help on a topic, can you find where conversations occur, decisions are made, calls happen, etc.?
  • Deliverables: A standing W3C Tooling Policy document, probably supported by guidelines and recommendations
  • Status (2021/1/28): We have drafted process text in W3C Tooling Policy to attempt to address some aspects of this for Process 2021. Would like to go through it with the AB.

Weighting Exercise

See https://pad.w3.org/p/ab20200722