WG Best Practices

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This document was created in response to W3C WG/IG/ members indicating that it would be useful to have a document for best practices for participating in Working Interest/Business/Community Groups and to ensure the group is inline with the W3C Code of Conduct.


Best Practices

W3C Chairs, Team and group members should:

  • Respect the expertise and contributions of other members of the group (e.g.: don't assume that you are "the smartest person in the room"). Remember that the W3C is a community of experts from many different fields who have valuable contributions to make.
  • Listen first and be sure you understand the point of view of the other person (e.g.: don't assume that others are disagreeing with you because they don't understand what you re saying and don't suggest that another person's comments are invalid because they have a different opinion).
  • Respond from an informed and inclusive point of view (e.g.: don't respond to comments without reading the background information). Do review the work of other groups to see if you are doing something which other groups have already done (i“reinventing the wheel”).
  • Do assess feedback provided by others to determine if it improves your proposals.
  • Do consult with someone else in the group if you feel your message is not being understood. Another person might be able to explain things differently and help get your message across successfully.
  • Understand that consensus does not mean unanimity (e.g.: don't assume that your proposal, code sample, or implementation will be adopted without changes and don’t assume that your disagreement means the work of the whole group must change or stop).
  • Know that your contribution is still valuable even if it is not integrated (e.g.: don't get upset if something you worked on is not implemented). Your work may be picked up in the future.
  • Remember the work is about more than just your area of interest (e.g.: don't let your personal or professional goals impede the progress of the group).
  • Remember others voices need to be heard as well as yours and you must remember allow the space for other members to participate (e.g.: don't respond to every email in a thread/every GitHub comment. Don't put yourself on the queue every time someone speaks).
  • Do contact your Chair, Team contact, AC rep, a PWETF member, or a W3C Ombudsperson if you feel someone has been working in way that is having a negative impact on the work of the group or if they are insulting, harassing you or unfairly impeding your own ability to work.


The Chair and Team contact should use these Best Practices and the W3C Code of Conduct as a guide for the kinds of behavior ot mirror and encourage in the Group. If there are interpersonal problems in a group, the Chairs, Team contact can to work toward resolution. The Chair and Team contact should be able to set guidelines for suggested behaviors and clear boundaries and warnings for any consistent problems. Guidelines for Disciplinary Action

Disciplinary actions

Where a group member is considered to have failed to meet the requirements of the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (CEPC), Chairs and Team, may @@under consultation with W3M or an Ombudsperson@@ give warnings and/or institute temporary or more permanent bans. See: Disciplinary Actions.

See also the Procedures section of the CoC. There is a list of Ombudspersons with whom issues can be raised if talking with the Chair or Team contact is not possible or preferred.

Finally, under the W3C Process Document, (3.1 Individual Participation Criteria) It is now required that participants in any W3C activity must abide by the terms and spirit of the W3C Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct [ PUB38 ]. “The Director may suspend or remove for cause a participant in any group (including the AB and TAG), where cause includes failure to meet the requirements of this process, the membership agreement, or applicable laws.


Code of Conduct:

All W3C Meetings are run under the rules of the W3C of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Under the CoC members of the W3C community must: :

• Treat each other with respect, professionalism, fairness, and sensitivity to our many differences and strengths, including in situations of high pressure and urgency.
• Never harass or bully anyone verbally, physically or sexually.
• Never discriminate on the basis of personal characteristics or group membership.
• Communicate constructively and avoid demeaning or insulting behavior or language.
• Seek, accept, and offer objective work criticism, and acknowledge properly the contributions of others.
• Be honest about your own qualifications, and about any circumstances that might lead to conflicts of interest.
• Respect the privacy of others and the confidentiality of data you access.
• With respect to cultural differences, be conservative in what you do and liberal in what you accept from others, but not to the point of accepting disrespectful, unprofessional or unfair or unwelcome behavior or advances.
• Promote the rules of this Code and take action (especially if you are in a leadership position) to bring the discussion back to a more civil level whenever inappropriate behaviors are observed..

Chairs and Team contacts should be sure to actively demonstrate the W3C Code of Conduct in their own behavior and encourage such behavior within their Groups. If there are problems in a group, the Chairs, Team contact should work toward resolution. The Chair and Team contact should be able to set guidelines for suggested behaviors and clear boundaries and warnings for any consistent problems