The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community that works together for the long-term growth of the Web. This is done through the development of protocols and guidelines that enable the furthering of the W3C’s vision that the Web is for everyone and can enable participation and sharing of knowledge by people on a global scale.
We are pleased to announce that through a collaborative effort by the College of Business and Economics (CBE) and the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), ANU has now joined the W3C as a member. This means that staff from ANU can now actively participate in the W3C Working Groups and Business Groups (Community Groups are open to everyone including non-members).
This gives ANU staff the opportunity to interact with leading companies and organisations in the Web space; examples include Google, Microsoft, Alibaba and Apple. It also provides a conduit a means to actively participate in the shaping of technologies that drives the Web and the human and business behaviours they will encourage.
The W3C was founded in 1994 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee at MIT. He first wrote a proposal in 1989 for a system called the World Wide Web, which would be a novel way of sharing information on computers across different locations. The W3C first brought together various companies that were willing to create standards and recommendations to improve the quality of the Web.
Along with working groups developing the underpinnings of the World Wide Web as we know it today, i.e. the HTTP, HTML and CSS working groups, the W3C increasingly promotes standards work in vertical domains where the Web is emerging as a major disruptive force. Examples include the Web of Data activity that builds upon previous work in the eGovernment and Semantic Web space to make the Web a platform for sharing not only documents, but also data. The Digital Publishing activity, on the other hand, works on allowing the browser to be used as an eBook reader without relying on any additional software such as PDF.
Another example of a recently established vertical domain work is the Web Payments Interest Group which is trying to establish a Web wallet supported by all major browsers, that will allow anyone to pay everywhere on the Web using their own payment provider.
Most recently the W3C is also looking into connecting together all kinds of internet-enabled devices, such as your TV, fridge, and fitness tracker in a global network that the W3C calls the Web of Things.
How to join
If you are an ANU staff member and are interested in joining any W3C Working Group, please send an email to Armin Haller (firstname.lastname@example.org). Armin is the current Advisory Committee member representating ANU to the W3C. He will assess your interest and can then nominate you to participate on behalf of the ANU in the working group of your choosing.