Fronteers — vakvereniging voor front-end developers

W3C Advisory Committee - initial report

  • Rachel Andrew
  • 8 mei 2019

In April I headed to Quebec City in order to attend my first Advisory Committee (AC) Meeting on behalf on Fronteers. While I have been a CSS Working Group memeber for some time, as an Invited Expert I had no interaction with the AC, so this first meeting was a chance for me to discover how it functions and to start to build a plan for how I should gather information and share that with Fronteers.

The AC is a committee made up of a representative from each member organisation. Therefore I was attending the committee meetings as a representative of Fronteers. Below are a few notes. Some materials were classed as member only, however, and we need to find a way to share these materials with Fronteers members only.

Pre-meeting Day

There was a session before the meeting designed for new representatives. It filled in some of the blanks for me about how the W3C, and the AC in particular operates, and allowed me to put faces to names of people I had seen mentioned in emails. The session was essentially a set of presentations about different parts of the W3C. It also helped me to understand how other representatives work within their organisations and the W3C.

Day One

The meeting runs as a series of presentations on a subject, after which members who have questions or comments queue at the mic to ask their question. Some materials presented are made publicly available, others are member only. The Strategic Highlights Overview is public.

There was a good discussion about diversity in the W3C. Of particular use to me was the discussion A, B, C's of being an AC rep, which included questions such as:

  • "How do I weigh in on something that I don't understand?"
  • Importance of voting
  • How information gets circulated by the AC Rep between their boss/colleagues and W3C

This third issue is the one I think we need to think about, as being a representative of a volunteer organisation is not a usual thing in the W3C, and we have to figure out how to do this. That process in itself may be useful for any future organisation who wishes to follow our lead.

[Fronteers note: we will get back to this topic eventually, but right now we're not totally sure how to set this up.]

I presented on What's New In CSS, during a set of lightning talks on Day 1. You can find my slides here.

Day Two

I had to leave to catch a flight at lunch time on Day 2, to an event booked prior to my taking up the role with Fronteers. However, as it happened, much of the meeting happened before lunch. There was a very interesting discussion led by the Chinese Interest Group, they described the Quick Apps and Mini Apps which share some features of PWAs.

There was discussion of the W3C Patent Policy and also horizontal review of specifications. There was an interesting discussion on privacy issues. The Privacy Interest Group (PING) are keen to involve people who have an interest in privacy matters. There was also a session on Web Authentication.

After this I left to get stuck in a snowstorm for hours at Quebec airport!

Using the Fronteers Vote

Most people at the AC meeting are the representative of a company or organisation which is a W3C member, and have routes within their company to transmit information. Fronteers is a little different, and we will have to find a way of making decisions and then transmitting them to me. This is especially urgent when it comes to voting for Advisory Board members. That vote is coming up; the deadline is 30 May.

[Fronteers note: We'll publish a separate blog post about the AB voting. Meanwhile, members should take a look at this page, where the candidates and procedure are presented. You have a vote on this!]

The Next Meeting

The next AC Meeting will be at TPAC on 16-20 September in Fukuoka, Japan. The CSS Working Group will also meet that week. I will attend and send a similar report to Fronteers.


1 chaals op 10-05-2019 om 02:27 uur:
Thanks for the summary Rachel.

I think it strikes a helpful balance between informing people and not breaching the confidentiality of attendees, which sets a good example for W3C member organisations that are communities rather than hierarchically-organised companies... (to varying extents, this probably applies to many W3C members, like University departments, as well as obvious "community organisations").

I'm not sure how Fronteers decides how to discuss things that are confidential, or how to decide on fronteers' votes in W3C Advisorey Board and TAG elections (let alone the ability to provide advice as a member when specifications are proposed for Recommendation, or charters for Working Groups are proposed).

I think it's helpful to think about aiming at something approximating consensus or at least a strong majority.

But if there is real disagreement in the Fronteers community I strongly encourage you to pass on that information; it reflects a lot of thoughtful people disagreeing, even if you decide the "vote" is to abstain from supporting any given position. That is valuable input to the discussion, and some organisations are unable to provide that sort of feedback even if it reflects reality.
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