W3C : World Wide Web Consortium

Last update : June 30, 2014

The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) is an international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. Led by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and CEO Jeffrey Jaffe, W3C’s mission is to lead the Web to its full potential.

The W3C Team includes 85 people working from locations across the globe. W3C is hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT/CSAIL) in the United States, at the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) in Sophia-Antipolis in France, at the Keio University Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC) in Japan and at the Beihang University in China.

Most W3C work revolves around the standardization of Web technologies. To accomplish this work, W3C follows processes that promote the development of high-quality standards based on the consensus of the community. The W3C is founding member of OpenStand (The Modern Paradigm for Standards), an open, collective movement to radically improve the way people around the globe develop, deploy and embrace technologies for the benefit of humanity.

W3C standards define an Open Web Platform for application development that has the unprecedented potential to enable developers to build rich interactive experiences, powered by vast data stores, that are available on any device. HTML5 will be the cornerstone for this platform, combined with other technologies including CSS, SVG, WOFF, the Semantic Web stack, XML, Javascript and a variety of APIs.

The W3C standards are grouped as follows :

eGovernment (Better Government Through Better Use of the Web) is also a topic at W3C.

A comprehensive documentation for developers about the Open Web Platform is available at the community-run source Web Platform Docs (currently in alpha version).

W3C standards are written by temporary working groups formed by W3C members and invited experts. Membership in W3C is open to all types of organizations (including commercial, educational and governmental entities) and individuals. For Luxembourg, annual membership fees vary between 1.950 and 68.000 EUR.

Currently there are about 50 working groups listed at the W3C website. There are also special interest groups (forum for the exchange of ideas) and coordination groups (to manage dependencies and facilitates communication with other groups).

W3C has chartered two permanent groups :

  • The Technical Architecture Group (TAG) documents and builds consensus around principles of Web architecture.
  • The Advisory Board (AB) provides ongoing guidance to the Team on issues of strategy, management, legal matters, process, and conflict resolution.

To meet the needs of a growing community of Web stakeholders, W3C has created Community and Business Groups. Community Groups enable anyone to socialize their ideas for the Web at the W3C for possible future standardization. Business Groups provide companies anywhere in the world with access to the expertise and community needed to develop open Web technology. New W3C Working Groups can then build mature Web standards on top of best of the experimental work, and businesses and other organizations can make the most out of W3C’s Open Web Platform in their domain of interest.

Community Groups are designed to promote innovation and to lower barriers to individual participation. Anyone may participate without fees in community groups. Currently there are about 130 community groups. I am mainly interested in the following community groups :

In the past some web communities were created outside of the W3C, with similar goals. One example is the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) which was founded in 2004 by individuals from Apple, the Mozilla Foundation and Opera Software in response to the slow development of W3C web standards and W3C’s decision to abandon HTML in favor of XML-based technologies. On March 7th, 2007, the W3C publicly announced that they are restarting an HTML specification effort. A W3C HTML working group was created and stated : “The HTML Working Group will actively pursue convergence with WHATWG, encouraging open participation within the bounds of the W3C patent policy and available resources”. (see WHATWG Blog)

Internet Organizations

Last update : July 25, 2013

There are different Internet Organizations that play a key role in the evolution of the Internet by developing recommendations, standards, and technology, deploying infrastructure and services, and addressing other major issues.

  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is  the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web. Founded by Tim Berners-Lee at MIT in 1994 and currently headed by him, 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.
  • The Internet Society (ISOC) is an international, non-profit organization founded in 1992 by Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn and Lyman Chapin to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy.
  • The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) is the committee charged with oversight of the technical and engineering development of the Internet by the ISOC. The body was originally created originally with the name Internet Configuration Control Board during 1979, it became the Internet Advisory Board during 1984 and then the Internet Activities Board during 1986. It finally became the Internet Architecture Board, under ISOC, during 1992.
  • The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the entity that oversees global IP address allocation, autonomous system number allocation, root zone management in the Domain Name System (DNS), media types, and other Internet Protocol-related symbols and numbers. Starting in 1988, IANA was funded by the U.S. government; ten years later the IANA function was transferred to ICANN.
  • The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), is a nonprofit private organization created in 1998, that is responsible for the coordination of the global Internet’s systems of unique identifiers and, in particular, ensuring its stable and secure operation. This work includes coordination of the Internet Protocol address spaces (IPv4 and IPv6) and assignment of address blocks to regional Internet registries.
  • The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) develops and promotes Internet standards, cooperating closely with the W3C, ISO and IEC standards bodies and dealing in particular with standards of the Internet protocol suite. It is an open standards organization, with no formal membership or membership requirements. The first IETF meeting was in 1986.
  • The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) is a body composed of IETF chair and area directors. It provides the final technical review of Internet standards and is responsible for day-to-day management of the IETF.
  • The Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) promotes research of importance to the evolution of the Internet by creating focused, long-term research groups working on topics related to Internet protocols, applications, architecture and technology.
  • The International Electrotechnical Commission  (IEC) is a non-profit, non-governmental international standards organization that prepares and publishes International standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies – collectively known as electrotechnology. The IEC held its inaugural meeting in 1906.
  • The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded in 1947, the organization promulgates worldwide proprietary, industrial, and commercial standards.
  • The Web Science Trust (WST) is a joint effort originally started between MIT and University of Southampton to bridge and formalize the social and technical aspects of the World Wide Web.
  • The World Wide Web Foundation (Web Foundation) is an organization dedicated to the improvement and availability of the World Wide Web. The formation of the organization was announced on September 14, 2008 by Tim Berners-Lee at the Newseum (interactive museum of news and journalism) in Washington.
  • The Web Performance Optimization Foundation (WPO Foundation) (is a non-profit for web performance, with the goal to help fund open source web performance projects and public research into web performance.

Valid W3C websites with Facebook Open Graphs or Like Buttons

last update : December 23, 2011
A developer who added Facebook Open Graph metatags or Like Buttons to his webpage finds a lot of error messages (invalid HTML/XHTML) in the W3C Validator. This means it won’t work on a lot of browsers.

Several fixes exist to make the webpages W3C compliant. A few useful links will be given below:

target=”_blank” validation

target=”_blank” is not valid code within webpages with a strict doctype declaration.

A valid replacement is :

<a href = “http://www.example.com” onclick = “window.open(this.href); return false;”>my link </a>

The onclick=”window.open(this.href); return false;”  is an inbuilt javascript method and needs a <meta> declaration  to work properly in in xml, strict xhtml or html4 source code pages.

<meta http-equiv=”Content-Script-Type” content=”text/javascript”>

target=”_blank” is however 100% valid in HTML5.

W3C validation and valid XHTML code


Laste update : 15 February 2011
The W3C offers a markup validation service to check the markup validity of web documents in HTML, HTML, SMIL, MathML, etc. or specific content such as RSS/Atom feeds or CSS stylesheets.

The present weblog is valid XHTML 1.0 code.



To create valid XTHML code, you need to declare a DOCTYPE, specify the character encoding, indicate the language and include a minimum of tags in the head (title) and the body sections.


If you use the EmbedIt WordPress plugin, you must use the following structure to embed your special code in a wordpress entry to get valid XHMTL 1.0 code.

</p> <div> your code </div> <p>

To get the right MIME type for valid XHTML 1.1 code, the webpage needs an .xhtml extension.

The code YouTube shows on the embed field is not valid XHTML! Tools4Noobs offers a code generator to create valid xhtml code for embedded youtube videos.

A unified W3C online validator is available at the Unicorn website.