ANU is playing a major role in the future development of the Web after being chosen as a host of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Australia Office.

Jointly hosted by the ANU College of Business and Economics and the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, the W3C Australia Office is helping to define international standards and shape the future of the Web, and provides College staff and researchers with the opportunity to work with leading companies in the web space, including Google, Microsoft and Apple. ANU is helping W3C serve the needs of communities in technology, research, business, industry and government, while staying at the forefront of the latest developments and ideas in Web technology.

The Office is working with technology and policy leaders to further develop and promote the implementation of W3C standards in Australia.

W3C History

The W3C was founded in 1994 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee at MIT. He first wrote a proposal in 1989 for a system called the World Wide Web, which would be a novel way of sharing information on computers across different locations. The W3C first brought together various companies that were willing to create standards and recommendations to improve the quality of the Web.

W3C Activities

Along with working groups developing the underpinnings of the World Wide Web as we know it today, i.e. the HTTP, HTML and CSS working groups, the W3C increasingly promotes standards work in vertical domains where the Web is emerging as a major disruptive force. Examples include the Web of Data activity that builds upon previous work in the eGovernment and Semantic Web space to make the Web a platform for sharing not only documents, but also data. The Digital Publishing activity, on the other hand, works on allowing the browser to be used as an eBook reader without relying on any additional software such as PDF.

Another example of a recently established vertical domain work is the Web Payments Interest Group which is trying to establish a Web wallet supported by all major browsers, that will allow anyone to pay everywhere on the Web using their own payment provider.

Most recently the W3C is also looking into connecting together all kinds of internet-enabled devices, such as your TV, fridge, and fitness tracker in a global network that the W3C calls the Web of Things.

How to join

If you are an ANU staff member and are interested in joining any W3C Working Group, please send an email to Armin Haller. Armin is the current Advisory Committee member representating ANU to the W3C. He will assess your interest and can then nominate you to participate on behalf of the ANU in the working group of your choosing.

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