OpenAndTransparentW3C

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This is the home wiki for the Open and Transparent W3C Community Group. The group was formed in August 2014.

We welcome and encourage feedback by joining the group, by sending e-mail to the group's list and/or by using the group's @openw3c twitter account.

This document is a DRAFT, i.e. it is a WorkInProgress (WIP). Feedback is welcome, preferably by directly editing this document, by sending email to public-openw3c@w3.org (archive), or by tweeting to the group's @openw3c twitter account. We are especially interested in input from those that are NOT Members of the Consortium.


Introduction

Although the World Wide Web (WWW) is an open and free information system, participation in the member-based World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) typically requires paying a membership fee to formally participate in the Consortium's standards setting groups (such a Working Group). As such, the W3C is often characterized as a closed organization and its usage of Member confidential resources and processes creates transparency challenges for non-members. Some consider this characterization as unfair, even incorrect, since the Consortium does indeed do many things in open and transparent ways, as documented below. Nevertheless, and despite good progress in these areas over the last several years, others have raised issues and believe the Consortium should improve its openness and transparency where possible.

This group provides a venue for Consortium members and participants to highlight and to provide education and outreach regarding areas where the Consortium is open to non-members (aka the "Public"). Likewise, this group is a place for non-members to raise related issues (for example pain points caused by lack of openness or transparency) and to provide feedback on ways the Consortium can improve in these areas, as well as to provide feedback on other topics such as the evolution of the Web, aligning the Web with the Consortium's activities, collaboration with other organizations, Consortium priorities, etc.

Areas of Good Open Collaboration

Here are some examples of good open collaboration at the Consortium and other suggestions are welcome:

  • WebPlatform.org Your Web, Documented. The latest information on how to use the technology that runs the web — HTML, CSS, JavaScript and more.
  • web-platform-tests Github test repository: the test suites from a number of W3C Working Groups, including the HTML Working Group, the Web Apps Working Group, the Device APIs Working Group, and the Web Apps Security Working Group.
  • W3C Community and Business Groups W3C has created Community Groups and Business Groups so that developers, designers, and anyone passionate about the Web has a place to have discussions and publish documents.

Areas For Improvement

Here are a few areas where the Consortium has some openness and transparency yet we aspire to do better:

Open Issues

Issues raised:

  • The public-new-work mail list is used to announce proposals for new work (for example new Working Group charter proposals) and to seek comments from the Public. The list's description, however, says Please note that W3C makes no commitment to replying to public comments. The lack of a commitment to reply to public comments on public-new-work list is anti-social, in that a reasonable `social contract` suggests a reply would be made (perhaps by the group Chair, a member of the group, Consortium staff assigned to the group, etc.).

Group Resources