The World Wide Web (WWW) began as a project at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), where Tim Berners-Lee developed a vision of the World Wide Web.
Tim Berners-Lee - the inventor of the World Wide Web - is now the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
W3C was created in 1994 as a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), with support from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and the European Commission.
W3C is working to make the Web accessible to all users (despite differences in culture, education, ability, resources, and physical limitations)
W3C also coordinates its work with many other standards organizations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Wireless Application Protocols (WAP) Forum and the Unicode Consortium.
W3C is hosted by three universities:
Because the Web is so important (both in scope and in investment) that no single organization should have control over its future, W3C functions as a member organization.
Some well known members are:
The Full List of Member Organizations includes a variety of software vendors, content providers, corporate users, telecommunications companies, academic institutions, research laboratories, standards bodies, and governments.
The most important work done by the W3C is the development of Web specifications (called "Recommendations") that describe communication protocols (like HTML and XML) and other building blocks of the Web.
Each W3C Recommendation is developed by a work group consisting of members and invited experts. The group obtains its input from companies and other organizations, and creates a Working Draft and finally a Proposed Recommendation. In general the Recommendation is submitted to the W3C membership and director, for a formal approval as a W3C Recommendation.
The specification approval process is described in the next chapter.
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