W3C (was Re: XSL Debate, Leventhal responds to Stephen Deach)

Chris Lilley chris at w3.org
Mon Jun 14 19:35:18 BST 1999

"Simon St.Laurent" wrote:

> No, I'm not asking to be made an expert, and no, I'm not interested in
> joining a W3C member organization to get access.  I'm hoping that someday
> the W3C will find an endowment or some other means of supporting itself so
> it can drop this $5000+/year charade that keeps the smoke-filled rooms
> closed to small firms and individuals. 

Well, if someone has a whole heap of money going, that would be great.
In the mean time, well, wages have to be paid somehow.

>  I'll remain an outsider until the
> W3C gets rid of the rules that separate insiders and outsiders.

Bear in mind that, even for members, not everyone gets to play. Working
groups are serious things, with deadlines and dependencies on each
other. So, to join a particular working group, a member has to
officially allocate time for the designated participant - typically 20%
of a full time equivalent each - and attendance at weekly hour-long
telcons, and travel and time for quarterly or bimonthly face to face
meetings somewhere on the planet. That cost would not go away, even if
everyone could become a member.

> In the meantime, I'll have to put up with the organization and hope that it
> takes its mission as seriously as its membership.

The seriousness of the mission determines the need to have paid staff
who work full time on this; volunteer labour is all very well but has
inherent limitations.

Yes, I would like to be able to bring in more people and yes, I know
that there are problems for very small companies, individual
consultants, and so on. Currently I don't see a viable alternative
economic setup, though.

And I do see good work being done and a positive benefit being made to
the Web. Otherwise, well, I would go work someplace else.


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