The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced a dedicated Agile track for developers and "other stakeholders" to develop specifications, hold discussions, develop test suites, and connect with the organization's international community.
In a show of overt democratic egalitarianism, the organization says it wants the W3C Community Groups to promote diverse participation from any type of user.
Anyone may propose a group, and groups start as soon as there is a small measure of peer support. There are no fees to participate and active groups may work indefinitely.
Governing group usage parameters are a set of participation policies to allow groups to decide most aspects of how they work.
"Innovation and standardization build upon each other," said Jeff Jaffe, W3C CEO. "The stable web platform provided by W3C has always encouraged innovation. As the pace of innovation accelerates and more industries embrace W3C's Open Web Platform, our 'Community Groups' will accelerate incorporation of innovative technologies into the web."
With the launch of Community Groups, W3C says that it now offers a path from innovation to open standardization to recognition as an ISO/IEC International Standard. W3C's goals differ at each of these complementary stages, but they all contribute to the organization's mission of developing interoperable standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web.
"W3C is now open for crowd-sourcing the development of web technology," said Harry Halpin, community development lead. "Developers can propose ideas to the extensive W3C social network and in a matter of minutes start to build mindshare using W3C's collaborative tools or their own. Creating a Community or Business Group doesn't mean giving up an existing identity; it means having an easier time promoting community-driven work for future standardization."
The first groups to launch reflect a varied set of interests. The eight groups running at launch include the Colloquial Web, Declarative 3D for the Web Architecture, ODRL Initiative, Ontology-Lexica, Semantic News, Web Education, Web Payments, and XML Performance. One business group joins this collection: Oil, Gas, and Chemicals.