W3C Work is a platform for developing the Open Web. It exists because you are contributing to it. Nothing is completely sealed and the ways of participating evolves. The most important that you need to keep in mind is the channels for discussions are opened.
The W3C is currenly working under a Membership model. That said, the work and the contribution of anyone is welcome under many forms. Keep in mind that contributing is a long effort most of the time, specifically for the W3C specifications work. There are many other possibilities for participating such as writing tutorials, improving this wiki with valuable content, proposing to create graphs for specification, etc.
How to create a W3C account
If you are part of a W3C Member company, see with the W3C representative of your company by filling this form. For the rest of you, W3C welcomes the participation and you can create a W3C Public account.
How to contribute to a Specification
- Test Suite
How to send comments or participate to discussions
The work is often done on mailing lists through Working Groups because of the distributed nature of W3C.
There are many W3C mailing lists open for discussions. Do not forget that these lists welcome participation of anyone for feedback, input. Before sending an email and/or replying, think on how you can contribute positively to the discussions. It is easy to subscribe or unsubscribe from mailing lists. There are certain lists that might have a direct interest for you.
- Markup Validator (and more broadly other validation tools)
- Evangelists is the list to help people advocating open standards.
Comments on specifications
Note that all W3C specifications are published openly every 3 months or so (sometimes a lack of resources or time might increase this pace). In these documents, from early Working Drafts to more mature documents, there will be a mailing list address for comments. This is very important for the work. The earlier you send comments, the better the specification will be.
direct discussions on IRC
The W3C has a certain number of channels for discussing. Some of them might be empty. We recommend you just to stay there, and start your discussions. It is with time and your own involvement that some channels become active. The more people staying the better chance of interesting discussions.
There is a Web IRC interface if you do not have your own IRC client. If you do the W3C irc server is at Server irc.w3.org on port 6665. For example, CSS Working Group is at #css, and HTML WG is at #html-wg.