Contributing to W3C Standards
Contributing to W3C Standard
Notes-taker(s): Dave Sandford, Laura Paglione
Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:
Manu started his description of how to contribute to W3C standards by pulling up the github page for the W3C Credentials Community Group: w3c-ccg.github.io
He indicated that it takes on average 6-8 years to get a standard done, so the process is not for the faint of heart. The ideation phase might typically take place prior to initiating activities in W3C in forums like IIW or Rebooting the Web of Trust.
During the “Incubation Phase” parties interested in developing standards will create a W3C Community Group that only requires 3 people and provides web page, email lists, IRC. Members of a community group do not need to be W3C members. Active community groups might have weekly calls, minutes, etc.
The next phase past the incubation stage, is the creation of a W3C Working Group – to initiate this you should probably already have draft specs and reference implementations – requires participants to be W3C members or ‘invited experts’. Only W3C members get a vote – although typically decisions are made by consensus. Votes can be to create a WG, create a standard.
W3C members are organizations. For small organizations, this could be as little as $2K/year. Working group companies must agree not to asset patent or royalty claims on the standards they work on. Once a WG is formed the expectation is that the WG will finish standards, implementation and preliminary deployment in 24 months.
Specifications are always in open github repos and anyone can log an issue. A proposal to change a spec is a pull request.
The next phase past a Working Draft (available for the formation of the WG) is a Candidate Recommendation. For a CR there should be implementation and usually you have to issue a test suite. Typically all substantial (i.e. ones that will affect implementation) issues must be closed.
The next draft is a Proposed Recommendation and this will go to all W3C members for approval. It has a one month waiting period. Finally, a Recommendation is approved by W3C. Beyond W3C Recommendation – often the Recommendation will be submitted to ISO which gives it greater legal standing in some countries.