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Forming a W3C Solid Work Group

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2022 13:22:09 +0000
Message-Id: <F4674A1C-FC6C-439D-8CF5-C956751E4E0A@w3.org>
To: public-solid@w3.org
Solid is  a movement, growing every day with exciting new deployments going live around the world. It is the vital piece of the third layer of the web, something that was missing in 1989 but that we now have. 

The work of the Solid project has to date been done officially by a W3C Solid Community Group. <https://www.w3.org/community/solid/>  Within this structure of the community group, we have made a substructure of panels, which operated quite like parts of W3C working groups, and we have made our own form of  Editors Drafts which are quite like W3C’s normal Working Drafts. Now we made a lot of progress, the time is probably overdue to create a W3C Working Group <https://www.w3.org/groups/> - a more substantial entity and a more powerful tool - to do this work.

When we began work on the Solid project, it was a grassroots movement incubated and supported by MIT. Over time, a developer and research community formed around the Solid project. So many exemplary, diligent, and generous community members rallied around the project that, in 2018 we decided to take the official step of forming a W3C Community Group <https://www.w3.org/community/solid/>. The Solid Community Group has enabled the Solid community at large to socialize its ideas for the Web within the W3C. The impact of their efforts has increased awareness of the project as well as increased the diversity and number of contributors.

The main product of this has been the Solid Protocol spec <https://solidproject.org/TR/protocol>, along with its test suites.  Version 0.9 of the protocol was released last December. At the time of this writing, there are 6 server-side implementations of this protocol that interoperate and are actively maintained.  So it is in a good place, but it needs work to increase the quality of the spec, increase test coverage,  and resolve final issues.  It needs the work of prioritizing and working though the issues before version 1.0 is declared, and after to future versions and/or levels.

Four years later, the Solid project continues to make significant progress. Solid is being adopted by governments, enterprises, and developers all around the world. It is being used for mission critical applications and to manage highly sensitive data. As we enter this formative period in the life of the Solid project, it is paramount that we redouble our efforts on the Solid specification in order for the standard to mature and grow sustainably.

With that in mind, I believe that we are now at a stage where moving the work  from the W3C Community Group to a W3C Working Group is appropriate and necessary.   To do that, the Community Group typically draws up a charter for the proposed WG. 
Some of  the benefits include the specs being available in w3.org/TR/ <https://www.w3.org/TR/> rather than just  solidproject.org/TR/ <https://solidproject.org/TR/>, review by a wider community, including for example the TAG <https://www.w3.org/2001/tag/>,  and the W3C Royalty Free patent policy <https://www.w3.org/Consortium/Patent-Policy-20200915/> applying more directly.

This milestone symbolizes the next step in the evolution of the Solid project and is appropriate given the continual increase in adoption of the Solid Protocol and growth of the ecosystem around it.

Solid is more than just a protocol, a concept, or a technology. It is a movement that allows collaboration, communication and commerce to evolve toward the original intent of the web. Solid is the course correction we need, a critical next step to enjoy a better web for all. Finalizing the Solid standards will help to make these goals a reality across the globe.

KUTGW

Tim Berners-Lee <>

Received on Thursday, 3 November 2022 13:22:27 UTC

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