Costs of the W3C

David Megginson david at
Mon Jan 17 20:02:25 GMT 2000

Ann Navarro writes:

 > At 02:01 PM 1/17/00 -0500, David Megginson wrote:
 > >I'd suggest, then, that the biggest barrier right now is not the
 > >fee but the whole committee structure and process of the W3C --
 > >it's designed for companies that can afford to free up engineers
 > >to do standards work, and that tends to mean companies with
 > >revenues over US$5M/year.
 > Nah....I've got a budget a fraction of that, and we've got
 > participants on multiple groups.  It Can Be Done.

Non-profit groups are a special case, since in some cases the
standards work *is* their main work rather than a distraction from it
(and besides, your staff is probably relatively cheap -- I'd guess
that a top-notch senior software engineer costs US$100K to
US$150K/year or more in the hot tech areas).  The same applies to

I was thinking more of a typical small, for-profit company.  Let's say
that the company has a couple of million in VenCap, five engineers
(two senior, three junior), and about 10 other staff (sales,
management, tech writing, QA, etc.), and is racing to get out its
first major release.

Can a company like that reasonably devote 20% of one of the senior
engineers' time to a W3C WG?  Maybe, if the engineer made it a
condition of employment or if the WG's work were critical to the
company's success or failure, but I doubt that either is the typical

That said, I think that Ann and I probably agree that the real cost of
W3C work or any othe standards work is not the $5K fee but the human
time that a company has to invest.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as: or CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
Please note: New list subscriptions now closed in preparation for transfer to OASIS.

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list