File Under: HTML5, Web Standards

W3C’s New ‘Community Groups’ Give Everyone a Voice in HTML5

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the web’s governing body, has launched a new "Community Groups" plan designed to help speed the development and standardization of HTML, CSS and other web tools.

Despite the W3C’s role as overseers of web standards, the W3C has never moved at the speed of the web. Much of the HTML5 and CSS 3 that powers the web today won’t officially be a standard for several more years. For those hoping to move the web forward the pace of the W3C sometimes makes the organization seem like a joke. Ten years to standardize HTML5? But HTML5 is already here.

Well, now is your chance to do something more than whine about the slow pace of standards on your blog. The W3C’s new community groups are designed so that anyone can contribute to the development of HTML. Just head over to the site and join a group that interests you. There are eight groups at the moment, including groups dedicated to topics like semantic news, web payments and web education.

The groups also go a long way toward making the W3C more accessible for mere mortals. With the new community groups you don’t need to be a Google or Apple employee to catch the attention of the W3C’s members, you just need to sign up and post your ideas for everyone to read.

The web is changing at an ever-accelerating pace and the W3C knows that if it doesn’t keep up, it’s going to be left behind. The W3C has already been abandoned once. When the W3C decided in 2004 that it would bow out the HTML standardization process, browser makers and web developers wasted no time creating their own separate standards body known as the Web Hypertext Applications Technology Working Group (WHATWG). The WHATWG is largely responsible for creating what we now call HTML5.

Clearly the web will move forward with or without the W3C, though as those who lived through the dark days of the blink tag can attest, the web is a better place with the W3C and web standards at its back.

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