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Welcome to the GEO Task Force

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2002 13:51:10 +0100
To: <public-i18n-geo@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000f01c27380$5f33beb0$0d02000a@w3c40upc3ma3j2>

Dear GEO participants,

I would like to welcome you all to the Guidelines, Education & Outreach (GEO) Task Force of the W3C Internationalization Working Group (WG). I apologise for the length of this mail, but I want to be able to link to this information in one place.

For some time now, the W3C and the I18N WG have wanted to develop guidelines and get the internationalisation message out there to strengthen the cause of Universal Access to the web.  I'd like to thank you for signing up to help make this happen.

I think it is time to start the email discussions, even though there are several people still going through the sign up process who I think will have much to add.  

As Misha Wolf said, at the beginning of the WG way back in 1988, "As we are a very international WG, I would like to ask you all to write clearly and read carefully, so we minimise misunderstandings due to different language backgrounds.  Please let us find ways of debating and disagreeing without offending each other."  (I need as much help as anyone to write clear English, especially given my own en-UK dialect ! ) [Btw, thanks to Misha, whose original mail I have plagiarised quite a lot below.]

I would encourage you to send in some biographical details to this list so that we get to know each other better.  Please also state your key interests in working with the group.

There follows information on the following topics:

- W3C Internationalization Groups and Web sites
- Meetings
- Mailing lists
- W3C culture and process

Organizational Information 

Most of the work of the W3C is done within groups called Domains.  Each Domain consists of a number of Activities.  Activities contain Working Groups and Interest Groups.  The GEO Task Force is currently in the Document Formats Domain, the Internationalization Activity, and the Internationalization Working Group (I18N WG).  The WG charter (http://www.w3.org/2002/05/i18n-recharter/WG-charter.html) describes how the work of the I18N WG is structured under three Task Forces.  One or more task forces may become WGs in their own right at some point.  The task forces are described in the charter.  For links to the public and home pages of each task force, see http://www.w3.org/International/about.html#scope .  

Please bear in mind that all GEO task force information is publicly visible.  The mail archives (http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-i18n-geo/) and documents can be read by any member of the public.  The Core TF operates almost exclusively within member-only space, whereas the Web Services TF will conduct most of its discussion in public but also has a means to discuss member-confidential information on a separate list if needs be.  If you are a member of one of the other task forces or another working group, please do not cross-post member-confidential information to the public-i18n-geo list.

I am currently both the Chair and the Team Contact for the Task Force.  I would like to find someone else to be the Chair at some point in the not-too-distant future.  At the Internationalization WG level, Misha Wolf is currently the Chair and Martin Dürst the Team Contact.  Martin is also the Internationalization Activity Lead.

The W3C Internationalization Activity pages are found at http://www.w3.org/International .  The GEO home page is at  http://www.w3.org/International/geo - you should be able to find any information you need about the task force from here. I currently maintain these pages.  I am always open to suggestions for improving them, or reminders of things I have forgotten. 

Current participants in the task force can be found at http://www.w3.org/International/geo/members.html .  (The full list of working group members is in member-only space at http://www.w3.org/International/Group/members).


As announced on the GEO home page (http://www.w3.org/International/geo/Overview.html#meetings)  the WG will hold its 
kick-off meeting on 22-23 November in Boston.  We are still working on the logistics, and I will inform you of the details as soon as possible.

We typically aim to hold other FTF meetings in conjunction with the International Unicode Conference whenever possible.  This makes travel justifications easier for many of the TF members.  We welcome alternative suggestions.

We will also establish regular weekly or bi-weekly teleconferences at some point.  These will be useful for complex discussions, and for reaching agreement/consensus.  Since we already have members from Australia, China, North Africa, Europe, and East and (soon) West Coast US and Japan, it will be interesting trying to decide on a time for the telecon, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it!  It is certainly encouraging that this is such an international group.

At the beginning of March there will also be a Technical Plenary meeting in Boston.  At this forum many working groups meet together for cross-WG discussion.  We should discuss possible participation in this meeting at some point.

If you are a WG member and are unable to attend a meeting, please ensure that you send in an note before the meeting to say so (this is will be referred to as sending in 'regrets').

Mailing lists

Please note that the public-i18n-geo list is intended for discussions related to the task force's work projects.  Please use the www-international list for any general discussion topics relating to internationalization (you should all be subscribed to that list).  

Since the archives are public, it is quite possible for people who are only subscribed to www-international to follow our discussions and offer some comments or feedback on the www-international list, so we should bear that in mind.  We should also scan the questions raised in www-international for topics to include in our guidelines.  We can also look to the www-international list for help with cultural information, linguistic or script questions, and the like.  There are currently 376 subscribers to that list, from many places around the world.

W3C culture and process

The World Wide Web Consortium has a unique culture, and a process.  It may take a while to get an idea of this, but if you have time, it would be a good idea to look at the web site http://www.w3.org/.  For general information, see http://www.w3.org/Consortium.  If you want to, you can read all of the process document http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Process/, but you probably have better ways of spending your time.  If any process problems come up in our work, the W3C team members will be able to help us.

I would also strongly recommend that you take a look at the work of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI - pronounced 'way').  I think we should use their experience in guidelines development as much as possible.  Look especially at the WCAG WG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) pages. Note that WCAG is currently changing its approach to guidelines development.  I think we should be involved in that process of change, and further we should consider that WAI and GEO might indeed often be addressing the same audience, and should exploit whatever synergies we can.

That is a long enough message for one day.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.  In the meantime, I'm looking forward to working with you all.

Best regards,

Richard Ishida

The W3C Internationalization Activity has restructured, and has issued a call for participation.  
See http://www.w3.org/International/about.html

tel: +44 1753 480 292
Received on Monday, 14 October 2002 09:00:20 UTC

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