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Introduction to W3C

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W3C was created in 1994 to provide standardization and coordination to guide the long-term development of the World Wide Web. In particular, W3C seeks to preserve the Web's usefulness and interoperability, while improving its accessibility and usability, and while keeping in mind the wide range of issues that the Web impacts.


What it Is?

W3C Activities are coordinated at the top level by the W3C's Advisory Committee, a body made up of one representative from each W3C member organization (see below). Proposals for new Activities are channeled through the W3C Director -- the main technical voice at W3C and the person most immediately responsible for assessing the existence of consensus among the W3C Members. At present, the W3C's Director is Tim Berners-Lee, the Web's inventor and founder of W3C. When the membership (through the Advisory Committee) has approved a new Activity for W3C to engage in, a call is made for participation in one or more Working Groups that will focus on the Activity. Working Group participation is open to all W3C members. Non-members may participate if invited. Working Groups provide public status updates on their work at least four times a year.

W3C Working Groups may be asked to provide any number of different deliverables, many of which will be targeted to eventually become W3C Recommendations (the term of art used to describe W3C standards). These generally move through several phases of existence before their final approval by the Advisory Committee: beginning as Working Drafts, they progress to Last Call Working Drafts, Candidate Recommendations, Proposed Recommendations, and finally, Recommendations. The W3C makes a strong effort to achieve consensus at each of these transition points, ultimately ending with a document that has broad support. All these documents are publicly-available, though the day-to-day activities of Working Groups are not.

How it Started

The World Wide Web (WWW) began as a project at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), where Tim Berners-Lee developed a vision of World Wide Web.

Tim Berners-Lee - the inventor of the World Wide Web - is the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) now.

W3C was created in 1994 as a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), with support from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and European Commission.

Standardizing the Web

W3C is working to make the Web accessible to the all users (despite differences in culture, education, ability, resources, and physical limitations)

W3C also coordinates its work with many other standard organizations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Wireless Application Protocols (WAP) Forum and the Unicode Consortium.

W3C is hosted by three university:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology in U.S.
  • The French National Research Institute in the Europe
  • Keio University in the Japan

W3C Members

Because the Web is so important (both in scope and in investment) that no single organization should have control over its future, W3C function as a member organization.

Some well known members are:

  • IBM
  • America Online
  • Microsoft
  • Apple
  • Adobe
  • Macromedia
  • Sun Microsystems

The Full List of Member Organisation includes a variety of software vendors, content providers, corporate users, telecommunications companies, academic institutions, research laboratories, standards bodies, and governments.

W3C Recommendations

The most important work done by the W3C is the development of Web specifications (called "Recommendations") that describe communication protocol (like HTML and XML) and other building blocks of the Web.

Each W3C Recommendation is developed by the work group consisting of members and invited experts. The group obtain its input from companies and other organizations, and creates a Working Draft and finally a Proposed Recommendation. In general the Recommendation is submitted to the W3C membership and director, for a formal approval as W3C Recommendation.

The specification approvals process is described in the next chapter.

W3C Joke

Internet User: "Can I download the latest version of the Internet from W3C?"

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Keywords: w3c school, w3c validator, w3c html validator, w3c css, w3c standards, w3c javascript, w3c validation, w3c compliant, w3c css validator

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