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< TPAC‎ | 2019

This TPAC 2019 FAQ.

What is TPAC?

TPAC is the acronym for our annual "All Working Group meetings, Technical Plenary, and Advisory Committee Meeting week". TPAC has three components:

  1. Meetings of as many W3C Working Groups who choose to meet during this week;
  2. A "plenary day";
  3. A meeting of the W3C Advisory Committee.

What is the confidentiality of the plenary day?

The plenary day content is public. Plenary day participation is open to eligible W3C participants and invited guests.

Why are we using this format for the Plenary day?

We have used this format for several years and most participants appreciate it. The format can generate more interactive discussion, and make it easier for all to participate. Also, since the W3C community has such wide-ranging interests, the format enables each attendee to spend more time on their topics of interest.

How does the agenda get built?

Participants are invited to contribute their Breakout session ideas (comment on existing ones) as early as possible and until Tuesday 17 September 5 pm local time.

The goal is to have a near-final breakout sessions schedule by the night before the plenary day (i.e. on Tuesday September 17 night), with only a few changes needed on the plenary day itself.
This ensures a more inclusive process in how the breakout sessions are defined and scheduled (thus avoiding any mad scramble). An HTML and mobile-friendly filled-out session grid for the day’s breakout sessions will be generated by the Team.

The W3C Team will make the draft session grid available early September, and the grid will be final on Wednesday 18 September at 10:30 am.

In the meantime, the Team will send another mail to TPAC participants inviting submission/negotiation, with emphasis that earlier breakout session submissions facilitate a more inclusive workflow, and setting the expectation that only a few breakouts will be added on the day itself.

Changes are to be requested by e-mail (<>, public mail archive) at any time and reaches the TPAC no-scramble team, but particularly between Tuesday 17 September 5 pm and Wednesday 18 September 9 am.

The W3C Team will do at least three passes to assign the proposed sessions:

  • Early September: dry run to identify opportunities for merging, pre-assign submitted sessions, ask for proposers’ feedback, and post draft grid;
  • Sunday September 15: to identify opportunities for merging, pre-assign submitted sessions and ask for proposers’ feedback, update draft grid;
  • Tuesday September 17 after 5 pm: to finalize assigning submitted proposals (and give short names and IRC channels).

On Wednesday 18 September 9:45-10:30 am: In-person negotiation, last-minute proposals and changes

What are the breakout rooms sizes?

  1. Argos D-E-F, 1F: 160 classroom style + 340 theatre style
  2. Navis A, 1F: 50 U-shape + 84 obs seats
  3. Navis B, 1F: 70 U-shape + 68 obs seats
  4. Navis C, 1F: 56 U-shape + 82 obs seats
  5. Kashi, 1F: 17 U-shape + 30 obs seats
  6. Hishi, 3F: 22 U-shape + 22 obs seats
  7. Kei, 3F: 24 U-shape + 38 obs seats
  8. Yoh, 3F: 24 U-shape + 38 obs seats
  9. Sumire, 3F: 24 U-shape + 38 obs seats
  10. Sakura, 3F: 24 U-shape +38 obs seats
  11. Boardroom, 3F: 30 U-shape + 46 obs seats
  12. Baypent House, 34F: 30 U-shape + 68 obs seats

Can I be guaranteed a room for my breakout session?

We prefer to allow those at the meeting to work out the schedule. In the past, we have always had enough rooms.

Instead of a breakout session, can we discuss my topic in plenary (that is: in a big room with everyone)?

TPAC participants have indicated a clear preference for the unconference/breakout format.

What if there are more breakout session proposals than there are rooms?

If there are more ideas than rooms, we encourage groups to be creative about where they meet. Could you sit outside? Is your group small enough to cluster in a corner of the lobby?

What if I think of a great idea for a session in the middle of the day?

Propose your breakout idea anyway! The session grid can evolve during the day, for example as breakout conversations spawn new ideas.

What are the breakout rooms seating arrangement and equipment?

  • Seating arrangement: U-shape style with some power outlets, chairs at the periphery of the rooms.
  • Standard room audiovisual:
    • LCD Projector and Screen.
    • microphones in large rooms.

Can a session span more than one time slot?

In theory, yes. We will determine room allocation in the agenda-building session.

What if no one comes to my session?

First, you can take steps to avoid this situation by putting your idea in the session idea wiki early, and beginning to socialize it with participants well in advance of the meeting.

But if it does happen that people do not come to your session, simply attend another one that interests you. People will appreciate that you contributed to the agenda. The more ideas people contribute, the more possibilities we have to consider.

What is good practice for organizing a session?

At the beginning

    • Give context
      • What is the nature of your session (presentation or discussion or other)?
      • What are your goals?
      • What minimal background must people know in order to follow the discussion?
    • Find a scribe (not required to be W3C staff)
      • Your session has been pre-assigned an IRC channel for your breakout notes. "/invite RRSAgent", take notes on IRC; see RRSAgent instructions for more.
      • Record names of participants (e.g., by having them "sign in" on IRC: present+ name_surname)

At the end

    • End on time: 5 minutes before the following session.
      • that allows for travel time to the next session.
    • Discuss a summary before the discussion ends
      • Create public minutes (in IRC "rrsagent, make logs public" and at the end of the session "rssagent, make minutes"); or you can add a summary directly as part of your session proposal.
      • What to cover:
        • Main points of discussion, consensus, or disagreement?
        • What are the next steps (possibly none)?
        • Who is responsible for carrying them out? (Could be a person from the session, or a group where work is ongoing, a new community group, the staff, etc.)

Encouraging international participation / managing language barriers

    • State clearly the goal of the breakout
    • Summarize from time to time, check for understanding, clarify when necessary.
    • Scribe on IRC
    • Speak slowly and clearly, avoid idioms and jargon
    • Invite people to participate

How do we share our breakout discussion with others?

For all sessions, we would like an electronic summary that we will link from the breakout schedule. The W3C Communications Team will review session summaries and possibly build a comprehensive summary for the W3C Blog.

We expect summaries to NOT be too verbose and to be to the point.

People may also wish to disseminate their summaries via email, or in a new Community Group, or through other means. Find W3C Comm team members if you need assistance.

Can press attend TPAC?

TPAC is open to group participants and thus is not open to the general public including the press.

In general, if you have questions about the press at W3C events, please contact the W3C Communications team (

How long is a session?

Usually, up to an hour. A session may span more than one timeslot. We will determine room allocation in the agenda-building session.

What else ...??

... would you like to know? Put your question here and we'll answer.

See Also