Hixie's Natural Log

2007-03-08 20:32 UTC How YOU can join the W3C HTML5 Working Group in six easy steps

So the W3C announced that they are restarting an HTML specification effort.

Anyone can actually join the W3C HTML Working Group. I encourage everyone interested in the development of HTML5 to take part. If you don't take part, and the language develops in a way you don't like, then you have but yourself to blame.

Taking part in the group is not a big commitment. You can spend as much or as little time contributing; you don't need to read every e-mail on subjects you don't care about, you don't need to call in or attend face-to-face meetings. In fact, the W3C has stated in the group's charter that no binding decisions will be made at meetings; you are guaranteed equal say whether you are present or not.

To join, you have to go through the following steps.

  1. Fill in the Public Access Request Form; in the "Reason" field, put: "To apply for participation in the HTML Working Group as an Invited Expert."
  2. Within about five minutes you'll receive a confirmation code by e-mail. Follow the instructions in that e-mail.
  3. You should get a reply back from that within two days, giving you a username and password. Fill in the W3C Invited Expert Application form. Under "Financial Support", if you're not going to attend any meetings or if you're going to attend meetings on your own dime, just put "Self-supported". Under "Possible W3C Membership", if you're employed but your employer doesn't know you're doing this, or doesn't care, just pick "My employer does not intend to join".
  4. E-mail Dan Connolly and Karl Dubost (connolly@w3.org, karl@w3.org) asking for approval. (Just say "Hi, I'd like to join the HTML working group. Thanks.")
  5. You should get a reply back within about ten days, at which point you can fill in the Joining the HTML Working Group form.
  6. You will get a reply back from that within about five minutes, at which point you're a bone fide HTML working group member!

Note: if you work for a W3C member company, the steps above don't apply to you. Instead, you have to follow these instructions.

I would encourage everyone interested in working with the HTML working group to go through these steps as soon as possible, so that you will be a member of the group before the work starts.

While you're at it, you can also join the WHATWG effort. We've been working on HTML5 since 2004, and have an active community with IRC channels, a help mailing list, forums, an open blog, and so forth. To join all you have to do is take part in one of those, or join our main specification development mailing list. All input is welcome.

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