World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
• The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web (abbreviated WWW or W3).
• The consortium is made up of member organizations which maintain full-time staff for the purpose of working together in the development of standards for the World Wide Web.
• W3C was created to ensure compatibility and agreement among industry members in the adoption of new standards.
• Prior to its creation, incompatible versions of HTML were offered by different vendors, increasing the potential for inconsistency between web pages. The consortium was created to get all those vendors to agree on a set of core principles and components which would be supported by everyone.
• In accord with the W3C Process Document, a Recommendation progresses through five maturity levels:
• Working Draft (WD)
• Last Call Working Draft
• Candidate Recommendation (CR)
• Proposed Recommendation (PR)
• W3C Recommendation (REC)
• A Recommendation may be updated by separately published Errata until enough substantial edits accumulate, at which time a new edition of the Recommendation may be produced (e.g., XML is now in its fifth edition). W3C also publishes various kinds of informative Notes which are not intended to be treated as standards.
• W3C leaves it up to manufacturers to follow the Recommendations. Many of its standards define levels of conformance, which the developers must follow if they wish to label their product W3C-compliant. Like any standards of other organizations, W3C recommendations are sometimes implemented partially. The Recommendations are under a royalty-free patent license, allowing anyone to implement them.
• Unlike the ISOC and other international standards bodies, the W3C does not have a certification program. A certification program is a process which has benefits and drawbacks; the W3C has decided, for now, that it is not suitable to start such a program owing to the risk of creating more drawbacks for the community than benefits.