Headlights2014/all

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All proposals (as of 23 Jan), on one page:

Contents

OnBoarding

Name of idea

W3C Community On-Boarding

Submitter name

Dom Hazael-Massieux

Classification

None of the above

One Hundred Word Description of the Idea

As the scope of Web technologies increases, and as the communities impacted by the Web grows, it becomes critical that a wider variety of people can come on board of the W3C train and become effective participants in W3C groups.

Effective participation in W3C groups require overcoming a number of barriers:

  • a cultural/language barrier for some
  • understanding how a given group works given the disparity of work modes
  • understanding the underlying technical stack
  • understanding the most impactful ways to contribute based on one's interests and abilities

In this headlight, we would examine and document all the existing approaches deployed to overcome these barriers, explore new ones, and facilitate the deployment of the most effective ones (e.g. by suggesting or building tools).

Benefit(s) to Web or W3C

Make the Web relevant and adapted to its growing community of stakeholders.

Make W3C more inclusive, make it grow more smoothly, and give it more resources to accomplish its mission.

Which of our stakeholders would be the most enthusiastic in supporting

  • new Members
  • Chairs and Staff contacts (as they might get access to more contributors)

Some early ideas

  • gather stories from successful new participants
  • generalize welcome messages to new group participants across groups:
    • provide a template of expected information
    • have IPP send that information upon joining new groups
    • (how to best ensure the info remains up to date?)
  • propose to chairs/staff contacts to organize a monthly "welcome teleconference" specifically for new participants (taking timezones into account)
  • more generally, train chairs/staff on "community onboarding"?
  • create on-line training program for new participants? (is that equivalent to the "modern guide" project?) probably both on technical and more "cultural" aspects
  • create a forum/mailing list for participants (new and old) to exchange questions & answers (à la Stack Overflow?)
  • institutionalize a "welcome new participants" day before TPACs

look at minutes of related TPAC breakout

Feedback/Questions on the idea

3D as a native element for HTML using CSS Style

Name of idea

3D as a native element for HTML using CSS Style

Submitter name

Dong Ping, Huawei

Classification

This idea is (CHOOSE ONE):

    • A specific technology area that requires new standardization (e.g. structured vocabularies, privacy, REST)

One Hundred Word Description of the Idea

Similar to the Declarative 3D for the Web Architecture Community Group, we are proposing to address the native support of interactive 3D graphics capabilities into the W3C technology stack. These should cover the majority of 3D use cases for the Web - but not necessarily all of them. There are upcoming open (e.g., WebGL) and proprietary (e.g., Adobe) proposals for imperative graphics APIs in the Web context and we propose to create a way to add interactive high-level declarative 3D objects to the HTML-DOM to allow anyone to easily create, share, and experience interactive 3D graphics - with possibly wide ranging effects similar to those caused by the broad availability of video on the Web.

Benefit(s) to Web or W3C

Better 3D graphics

Which of our stakeholders would be the most enthusiastic in supporting

Huawei, generally browser vendors and device manufacturers

Feedback/Questions on the idea

Feedback provided by people reviewing the ideas

Easy Access to W3C Specs

Name of idea

Easy Access to W3C Specs

Submitter name

Xiaoqian(Cindy) Wu

Classification

None of the above

One Hundred Word Description of the Idea

Developers are always fascinated by the latest technologies, so many of them have strong willingness to understand our standards and tell us their professional opinions about these areas, but quite a few of them give up at the very beginning because our specs are not easy to read. If these potential readers lost their interests in looking into our specs, it's no surprise they would never comment on our drafts or even turn to some other standards against us, which might be harmful to our attempt to build vibrant technical groups or our vision for One Web.

To help the developers get access to W3C specs, we hope to invite editors or other experts in each working groups to write articles about how to read the specs, and post the multi-language versions of these articles in a certain position of the specs. These articles will provide answers to these questions:

  • What should you know before you start reading this spec?
  • How is this document put together?
  • How to work with the spec?
  • Where to discuss about the spec or ask some stupid questions?

Benefit(s) to Web or W3C

Help developers understand our technology or standards better, and be more willing to comment on our drafts or participant in other activities;

Help to keep the consistency of our specification, as well as to develop new technologies for the interests of more people.

Help to expand the influence of W3C among developers, and the public.

Which of our stakeholders would be the most enthusiastic in supporting

the Public, especially Developers

Working Groups, especially Editors

W3C Staffs

Members

Feedback/Questions on the idea

HTTP2

Name of idea

Impact of HTTP2

Submitter name

Jeff Jaffe

Classification

This idea is (CHOOSE ONE):

    • A trend in information technology that requires new standardizations (e.g. cloud computing, social networking, a search platform, a gaming platform)

One Hundred Word Description of the Idea

The IETF is defining HTTP2. Proponents point out that the improved architecture will have far greater performance, and we can build stronger security requirements into it. Mark Nottingham has argued (at TPAC) that this is important to the Web. But we have not explored that impact. What aspects of Web architecture need to be made more efficient to leverage HTTP2? How do we build security into the Web layer? What new applications will be developed?

Benefit(s) to Web or W3C

The Web will have better performance, new applications, and better security. W3C will be at the leading edge of thoughtful modification to web architecture.

Which of our stakeholders would be the most enthusiastic in supporting

IETF, Cisco, Akamai, Google, Huawei.

Feedback/Questions on the idea

Webizen

Name of idea

Create an individual Webizen program

Submitter name

Jeff Jaffe

Classification

This idea is (CHOOSE ONE):

    • A new scope of work for W3C for an existing technology area (e.g. education, testing, validation, certification, profiles)

One Hundred Word Description of the Idea

It was proposed at TPAC that we should have an Individual Membership program at W3C. After some W3M discussion, we concluded that we did not want a program which conferred the participation rights of Membership to individuals, we were looking for a program where individuals could participate in the W3C technical community without the rights of Membership.

At this point, the question is whether to take the effort to explore creating such a "Webizen" program.

For such a program to work, we would need to confer benefits comparable to the Webizen fee. This is hard because much of what W3C provides (specs, CG participation, Unicorn, Web Docs) is free to users. Where we have "for pay" services (e.g. Premium Validator, DevCampus), a Webizen benefit could be a discount to these services. But that is not a significant enough benefit to attract Webizens at a fee of $100 per annum.

So to make this really work, we need to consider creating new services - not currently in W3C scope - to make this a worthwhile investment. Examples could be user groups, user conferences, consulting, Group Life Insurance, and publications.

This project asks whether it is worth our time exploring this.

Benefit(s) to Web or W3C

Substantially broadens our community

Which of our stakeholders would be the most enthusiastic in supporting

The general public.

Feedback/Questions on the idea

W3C Workshop on Web Apps and Marketplaces

Name of idea

W3C Workshop on Web Apps and Marketplaces

Submitter name

Dave Raggett

Classification

This idea is:

  • A trend in information technology that requires further standardization

One Hundred Word Description of the Idea

We want to organize a W3C workshop to identify a roadmap for further standardization for web applications. The general aim is to make the Web the compelling choice for application developers, based upon open standards for rich access to device capabilities, excellent performance, strong security and privacy, ease of app discovery and monetization, accessibility, and low development and maintenance costs for targeting a heterogeneous mix of device types.

The Workshop will build upon existing efforts, e.g. the System Applications and Web Apps Working Groups, and many other W3C Groups contributing to making the Web stronger for application development. The aim is to clarify opportunities for rechartering existing groups, for chartering new groups, and to create a shared vision for what we want to realize and the roadmap for getting there.

This Headlights exercise will focus on clarifying the scope and objectives for the workshop, with a view to holding the workshop in Q3 2014.

Benefit(s) to Web or W3C

  • Focusing effort on where new standards are needed
  • A stronger and more competitive Web, both online and offline
  • Improving the user experience of Web applications compared to native apps
  • Making it easier for users to discover and pay for services
  • Reducing the barriers for developers wishing to deploy apps to a wide range of devices

Which of our stakeholders would be the most enthusiastic in supporting

  • Device manufacturers
  • Browser vendors
  • App developers
  • Online advertisers

Feedback/Questions on the idea

  • Philipp: the original idea was to hold a "Web OS" workshop to potentially refocus our "closing the gap' efforts and coordinate and focus the work currently spread over several WGs Main reason to make this a headlights project was that there was no funding available for the workshop when the idea was brought up at a ubiweb meeting, so would suggest to earmark 20K Euros for hosting this workshop - which we may not need if we find enough sponsors.

See thread on SysApps List:

In summary:

Wonsuk Lee (Samsung) is in favour, and wants to hear more about the ideas for scoping the proposed workshop.

Marcos Caceres (Mozilla) suggests focusing on areas where the Web has fallen behind technically rather than stores, adding that changing the security model of the Web is tough. The experience of the DAP WG is a reminder of the need to stay nimble. He says that W3C needs to make it clearer that workshops are open meetings and not at all like academic workshops. The workshop needs a clear focus and tangible outcomes.

Anssi Kostiainen (Intel) says we must embrace the prevalent permission, security, and trust models of the Web and build upon them to get the benefits of the Web too. Good things like universal access, discoverability through search engines, and an ability to share and discover content through plain old URLs without the middleman, for example.

That said, Anssi says there’s an opportunity to make progress on some topics that could be in scope for the workshop:

  • How to gradually build trust when a user is having a conversation with a web resource, mediated by the User Agent? In abstract this is pretty similar to how humans interact with each other when they build trust relationships. Trust builds over time. You do not give your keys to a stranger you just met, but you probably happily tell your first name, for example. How this relates to the Web? Perhaps a user who has bookmarked a site trusts it a bit more than a site that she has not bookmarked? Or if a user visits a particular site every day, she may trust the site more. Or if other people she relates to do the same (reputation system). This should work both ways, and a site may lose a user’s trust as well.
  • We have a set of trust gestures built in to the platform such as bookmarking, uploading a file using the file picker, and drag and drop. I think it is important to ensure we understand and use these implicit permissions grants where appropriate instead of inventing new ones. The good old writeup by Robert O’Callahan at [1] is still relevant. Also the Mozilla’s position paper [2] from a 2008 workshop gives historical background from the time when the Geolocation API was the new thing.
[1] http://robert.ocallahan.org/2011/06/permissions-for-web-applications_30.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/2008/security-ws/papers/mozilla.html

To sum up, exposing more powerful APIs to the platform is not inherently bad. But if such APIs are only exposed to a subset of the Web (e.g. content distributed through often curated marketplaces), it is certainly not optimal considering the long-term health of the Web. We must ensure we evolve the Web as a whole, without boundaries.

Understanding, evolving, and building atop the permission, security and trust models *of the Web* is the crux. Having a workshop — assuming we do not revisit the problems we have tried to solve multiple times before without great success -- sounds like a good idea.

Charles McCathie Nevile (Yandex) says it is likely that there would be a lot of noisy pushback if the outcome is a new working group. He support's Marcos and Anssi in the need to focus on outcomes -- what can we usefully improve on and how do we ensure that we learn from the last decade (at least) of going round and round this circle? He is less worried about revisiting things -- that's how we learn.

Charles adds that he would be appalled to see W3C simply start up Yet Another Group For APIs without a very strong push to recognise what has gone before. (To cite history, when sysapps proposed an app: URI spec that was a simple copy/paste of the widget: URI spec without acknowledging that history I think it made a grave mistake on several levels).

There is obviously continuing interest in this area, so thinking about how to harness it towards developing standards, rather than the current mess of fragmentation, would be a useful thing to do if we can get support from those who are pushing forward the current different flavours of the same thing.

Anssi responds: Yes, I tried to say we should not revisit the same problems without new input to the process, IOW do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

That said, I’m confident that with the right participants and scope we are able to make progress, especially if the same problems are shared with many products that are widely deployed.

To take an example, Dom’s analysis of permissions handling in modern browsers (see below) is new input, describes a concrete problem, which I believe browser vendors have acknowledged and have interest in solving. Also, that is a problem that I assume can be solved in a reasonable time, or at least the situation can be improved significantly.

Extract from Charles' email:

I would be appalled to see W3C simply start up Yet Another Group For APIs without a very strong push to recognise what has gone before. (To cite history, when sysapps proposed an app: URI spec that was a simple copy/paste of the widget: URI spec without acknowledging that history I think it made a grave mistake on several levels).

There is obviously continuing interest in this area, so thinking about how to harness it towards developing standards, rather than the current mess of fragmentation, would be a useful thing to do if we can get support from those who are pushing forward the current different flavours of the same thing.

Agreed. Good candidates for further standards work are often evolutionary improvements that solve real-world problems that exist on the platform today, without disconnect to the current technology stack.

Dominique Hazael-Massieux (W3C Staff) notes: Somewhat relevant to this thread, I published last week a review of existing permission requests across a set of Web APIs and features:

Since a lot of the tension between in-browser vs out-of-the-browser application discussions resolve around permission and trust management, this might be useful input to this discussion.

Also, I've recently added a number of references and quotes to [3] which would be good additional input.

[3] http://www.w3.org/wiki/Mobile/articles#API_Permissions

Anssi responds: Dom - this is a great overview on the subject of permission handling on the Web Platform. The concrete examples on the current state are especially telling. Thanks for kicking this off, informing the TAG.

Extract from Dom's email:

Since a lot of the tension between in-browser vs out-of-the-browser application discussions resolve around permission and trust management, this might be useful input to this discussion.

I feel the topics you mention should definitely be in scope for the planned workshop. These are real problems that now exists in shipping modern browsers and harm the user experience of in-browser applications that use new features and APIs that require user consent.

Extract from Dom's email:

Also, I've recently added a number of references and quotes to [3] which would be good additional input.

All - if you have good contacts in the academic world, doing HCI research, feel free to let them know we’re collecting relevant research papers on the topic to the above wiki.

Security and Privacy Consulting

Name of idea

Security and Privacy Consulting Service of the T&S Domain

Submitter name

Wendy Seltzer for the T&S Domain

Classification

  • A new scope of work for W3C for an existing technology area (e.g. education, testing, validation, certification, profiles)

One Hundred Word Description of the Idea

To improve the quality of of W3C recommendations with regards to privacy and security, the T&S team would like to offer the domain’s counseling service on security and privacy issues at the request of a WG. The aim is to help WGs throughout all phases of their work to identify, discuss and resolve specific privacy and security questions. Before review of the finalized spec, this service will focus on collaborative work earlier in the WG's progress.

Benefit(s) to Web or W3C

  • Opportunity to improve privacy and security of the Web Platform by sharpening future recommendations
  • Opportunity to improve public perception of W3C as an organization with strong privacy and security focus
  • Opportunity for Working Groups to seek ad hoc competent advice on privacy and security issues in every phase of their work

Which of our stakeholders would be the most enthusiastic in supporting

  • Team
  • Chairs and Working Groups
  • Implementors who'd like to be able to call their products secure and private might rely on W3C review to reduce the costs of their internal reviews
  • Security experts who could use their participation in W3C review/consulting as a showcase

Feedback/Questions on the idea

team conversation: https://www.w3.org/Team/wiki/TechSoc/headlights_draft

Data gathering on existing Web usages

Name of idea

Data gathering on existing usages of Web technologies in the wild.

Submitter name

Dom

Classification

This idea is

  • None of the above: a way to improved our ability to produce relevant standards

One Hundred Word Description of the Idea

A number of Working Groups try to inform their design decisions on patterns of existing usages on the Web (markup construction, css rules, JavaScript code, etc). Right now, this information is gathered on an ad-hoc basis, either by asking owner of large harvest of Web documents to share some of their available information, or through ad-hoc requests in existing open repositories of Web documents.

This headlight suggests the creation of a more robust infrastructure available to all Working Groups, lowering the bar for groups to adopt these practices and increasing W3C visibility on emerging needs for standardization.

Benefit(s) to Web or W3C

  • greater visibility on new usage
  • better feedback loop on standards development
  • more efficient usage of Working Group participants time

Which of our stakeholders would be the most enthusiastic in supporting

  • WG chairs and participants

Feedback/Questions on the idea

  • wseltzer: What is a "Web usage"? I don't understand the scope of the proposed repository.
  • dom: Web Usage: measuring the popularity (or correctness, or …) of a specific markup construction, or of css rules, or of a given JavaScript API, or of a given HTTP header, etc.

Developers voice

Name of idea

Developers voice

Submitter name

Dom

Classification

This idea is:

  • None of the above: a way to improved our standards development

One Hundred Word Description of the Idea

A lot of our work ends up in the hands of developers who have to apply it to business problems; yet, while the Web shines from its huge developers community, we have very little direct connection with this community.

This headlight suggests into looking to a more formal representation of developers in W3C which would inform our standards process, but also our communications to the broader community. Some of the ideas around this involved getting the developer themselves elect one or several representatives which would then be accountable to the developers community.

Benefit(s) to Web or W3C

  • closer feedback loop with the end-users of our technologies
  • greater visibility to the developers community

Which of our stakeholders would be the most enthusiastic in supporting

  • developers
  • WGs

Feedback/Questions on the idea