PROPOSAL: W3 Advisory Board

Brandon Plewe (
Thu, 29 Sep 1994 06:10:48 +0100

I tried to send this yesterday, but I didn't see it on the list, so it must
have been lost. Here it is again.
I have noticed a couple things lately that trouble me about the way the WWW is
currently being "handled" (or the fact that it's not being handled).

1. I have been thinking about how I'm going to do next year's Best of the Web,
and have come to the conclusion that I can't. I don't have time, it's way
too big now (an order of magnitude in a year?!), and it's not in the realm
of my current research. I've had some offers from corporate sponsors, but
I think it should be really handled in an "official" way (thanks again to
CERN for being an official sponsor of last year's). I still believe that the
BoWeb is an important anchor in the legitimacy and quality of the Web, but
I can't handle it myself.

2. The discussions here the past few months have made me wonder about the way
the growth of the HTML and HTTP specs is being managed. There isn't any
official way that a proposal is worked out and accepted (or rejected). W3O\
is an important body for maintenance of the standard, but it's not really a
decision-making body.

So, here's my idea:

We should set up a governing body of sorts, called the W3 Advisory Board or W3
Congress or something. It would be composed of about 50-100 experts in the Web,
(basically the subscribers to this list) including techs, policy-makers,
commercial interests, etc, and would operate under the direction of the W3
Organization (or as part of it). It would not be a controlling or policing
body, but would make decisions and reccomendations regarding the general
direction of the Web. It would handle tasks such as:

- Manage standards: view and discuss proposals, making reccommendations to W3O
for implementation.
- Administer official WWW activities through subcommittees
- Conferences (in this case, the committee already exists)
- Best of the Web
- WWW Hall of Fame
- Master Server Directory
- Web-oriented magazine/journal?
- Testing and Certification of Servers/Browsers for compliance to standards
- Generate WWW vision statements

And several others that are ideal for a voting body to handle. I don't want
to sound like I want to formalize and control the WWW, but I do believe it needs
some direction. Anyone who as read the comp.infosystems.www.* newsgroups
lately can see that anarchy is close on our heels.

Any ideas? Is the W3O planning on establishing something like this?

Brandon Plewe