W3C Advisory Board. What is the job, in the end ?
Well, being an advisor is about advising. The structure of W3C is a “benevolent” dictatorship. The director, Tim Berners-Lee takes any final decision, taking advice from W3C team (73 people including 13 managers, 1 CEO) and from the W3C AB. It happens that the CEO, Jeff Jaffe, is also chairing the W3C AB, which makes the W3C AB advice landing in the right place.
In the last two years. As an elected W3C AB member, I had the pleasure to work in team on a large range of exciting topics.
– Organizing the conversation with members during the membership meeting, by setting up agenda, making sure important questions are echoed in the AB conversations,
– Helping with formal objection (with more then 400 members, unanimity is scarce) on accessibility strategy, content protection (aka EME, aka smells like DRM but is not DRM), creation of new group on hardware security…
– Process improvement, while the work is handled publicly by the W3C Process CG, AB supports it,
– HTML5 next steps, new features and WHATWG relations,
– New election voting rules with transferable vote (instead of voting for 5 people, you rank them, from your favorite to the less appealing and the magic helps to better balance the bias of champions, see @chaals from Yandex, for long beer conversations about it),
– Improving specification maintenance and good practice for creating new work in w3c (make sure W3C resources are well used for appropriate topics),
– Thinking about merging International Digital Publishing Forum and W3C for the sake of the EPUB format (see today’s announcement),
– Improving security W3C strategy, by supporting a clear security roadmap, with high visibility,
– Chair and editors community maintenance, making sure they get trained and heard, benefiting from modern tooling (aka Github for all, when possible),
– Synchronization with the W3C Technical Architecture Group (such fruitful conversations with the real architects of the web).
People knowing guessed that I put some special efforts on the security, consistency and community aspects. I think that the team progressed well and won, during the two years, ears from the W3C director, and positive feedback from the membership. I enjoyed it. And I believe I have influenced in a fair and objective way AB discussions, helping keeping good spirit and direction in the AB. That is the reason why I am jumping again in this W3C AB election. To get a seat and help the web 🙂