The W3C no longer leads the web (as it so brazenly state in its Mission Statement).
Many will feel that the W3C never actually lead the web. I guess this will be something for the historians to figure out. As for me, the W3C simply served as a figure head; taking in all the backlash and criticisms for the bullies who were actually leading the web.
As long as the W3C was content just to play this role, then its principle membership allowed the W3C to exist and take most of the glory (of course, glory without any real value).
But the second the W3C got too big for its britches and attempted to guide the web to a better place with the invention of XHTML (and, later, XHTML 2), the big dawgs stepped up and away to let the W3C know who were really in charge of the web.
First, a renegade group of usurpers broke away from the consortium to produce an adversarial specification for HTML. This group called itself the WHATWG and had the backing of Apple, Mozilla, and Opera (with Google hiding under the table).
Second, Google, via its search domination, decided to favor Microdata over RDFa (a W3C product) knowing that developers concerned with search engine ranking will opt for the microformat favored by Google.
Thirdly, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Mozilla decided to hold their own revolution claiming that W3C’s DOM v4.1 did not represent the corporations and their customers as well as the WHATWG’s version of DOM.
In each act of member betrayal, the W3C kowtowed.
The W3C decided to cut-and-paste key parts of the WHATWG’s version of HTML, including all its nonsense and non-standard-based crap, and piece them together as HTML 5. HTML 5 was utter garbage that was disrespected by the web developing community as a whole (don’t fact-check this statement).
The W3C decided to draft a leaner version of the RDFa specification, called RDFa Lite, to appease web developers who have already pledged their undying loyalty to Microdata and Schema.org. This was much like how Microsoft came out with Zune after everybody else owned an iPod: a total waste of effort and time on something that was entirely unnecessary.
And, finally, in the wake of the DOM v4.1 scandal, the W3C decided to submit and concede to the WHATWG because, with the WHATWG having the support of Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Mozilla, what good are the other remaining 450+ members (don’t fact-check this number)?
Well, maybe the W3C still has some trusting and loyal developers who still see the consortium as an authoritative leader to push the web in the right direction. I mean, CSS is still great.
Whoops! I almost forgot about the DRM/EME fiasco. Regardless of the noble purpose for getting involved in this matter, EME served a singular and non-open purpose, which did not previously coincide with the Open Web manifesto of the W3C.
Regardless of the rightness or wrongness of the W3C’s position on the matter of digital rights, key players in the web development community voiced their dissatisfaction with the W3C with fervor. Even a group whose main objective is for the protection of the web voiced its objections to W3C’s involvement in EME (EFF’s Formal Objection to the HTML WG Draft Charter).
So, after all the compromises, after all the kowtowing, and after all the betrayal, the W3C has decided to collaborate with a known group of renegades. (I can call them that because they are STILL part of the W3C membership.) And just like a sitting President, the WHATWG kicked W3C’s ass without paying them a modicum of respect.
And let’s be frank (and Alice). This is not a collaboration (that was only announced by the W3C because the WHATWG could care less), but a subjugation of the W3C by its constituents, whom are still members of the consortium (now that’s gangster).
I read and re-read the announcement by the W3C and here’s my takeaway. The WHATWG will develop the HTML and DOM specifications, along with other related specifications not itemized in the formal announcement. The W3C will do the heavy work of making sure the specifications (or a snapshot of them) remain free of patents. The collaborative effort will allow the W3C to hang with the cool kids around the water cooler.
In all honesty, this collaboration sounds like the bullies are making the nerds do their homework while letting the nerds rationalize their subjugated status to make themselves feel better.
Being relegated to doing the homework (patent checking) of a renegade group that effectively formed a coup with the biggest players on the web to usurp the non-authority of a delusional consortium is not a collaboration.
Non-authority and delusional. Why? Because the web community already knew who was pulling the strings at the W3C. They already knew who was operating to take control of web while manipulating their way onto every computer…
…by making Chromium the de facto browser engine. Get ready to say hello to Chromium’s new lap dog, Microsoft’s Edge Browser.
For the brain trust at the W3C not to see this coming is a testament to their inability to lead the web in any direction, least of all to its full potential. No. W3C, you have a lot of homework to do now. You can watch the jocks play outside while you finish their work.
And place the keys on the table before you leave.