Introducing the TAG

Henry S. Thompson
School of Informatics
University of Edinburgh
W3C Technical Architecture Group
28 March 2011

1. The World Wide Web Consortium

Founded by Tim Berners-Lee to sustain the value of the Web for everyone and "lead the Web to its full potential"

Hosted by MIT in US, Keio University in Japan and ERCIM in Europe

~60 employees, about half working remotely

Over 400 members: organisations and companies

Recently awarded substantial support from ISOC

Standards work carried out by Working Groups made up of member representatives and invited experts

100s existing Recommendations, dozens in progress from >50 WGs

Mostly 'horizontal' technologies

2. The Technical Architecture Group of the W3C

Originally the Director (Tim B-L) was responsible for maintaining consistency across activities

As the Consortium grew and the scope of its activities enlarged, this task became impossible

The TAG was established eight years ago to pick up and broaden this task

3. TAG membership

Tim Berners-Lee ex officio

Three appointed members

Five elected

Plus Yves Lafon, staff contact

Weekly 'phone conferences, four face-to-face meetings yearly

4. Architecture of the World Wide Web

A grandiose concept

A document

5. Grandmother observations about the Web

"Global naming leads to global network effects"

"To benefit from and increase the value of the World Wide Web, agents should provide [http:] URIs as identifiers for resources"

6. More from Grandma Webarch

It's good for the ownership of a name (URI) to be manifest in the form of that URI

"A URI owner should not associate arbitrarily different URIs with the same resource."

"Agents do not incur obligations by retrieving a representation."

"A URI owner should provide representations of the resource it identifies"

7. In a nutshell

The Web works because you can

8. The TAG and the IETF

So far I've talked about how we see ourselves

WebArch was (mostly) squarely within W3C territory

Some overlap is unavoidable

But it needs to be recognised and managed

9. TAG priorities

The TAG has organised its current activities under four broad headings:

  1. The future of HTML
  2. Privacy
  3. Web Application Architecture
  4. Core Mechanisms of the Web

This list is broadly in line with the W3C's own stated priorities:

  1. Powerful Web Apps
  2. Data and Service Integration
  3. Web of Trust
  4. Television, Mobile and the Web of Devices
  5. One Web for All

10. The rise and rise of port 80

HTTP, HTML and the browser have come to increasingly dominate the Internet

Tensions and problems have arisen because HTTP, HTML and the browser were not designed to be a distributed application delivery platform

11. New areas for Web/Internet Architecture

All but the first of the following (relatively) new webapps-related TAG issues are, it seems to us, IAB issues as well: