A Touch of Class



An Inside View of the CSS Working Group at W3C

This series of posts is about how the CSS Working Group operates in reality. This chapter is also available in Russian.

People and Roles

The CSS WG primarily has three types of human resources: module editors, CSS WG members, and www-style contributors.

CSS module editors are responsible for tracking issues, responding to feedback, editing the spec, and driving progress on their modules. They are usually self-volunteered, and are either pre-existing members of the CSS WG or join it when taking editorship of a module. Some modules have only one editor; others may have two or three working as a team.

CSS WG members are either appointed by a W3C Member organization or invited by the WG to participate as Invited Experts. Officially, W3C recognizes one “representative” per W3C Member: the rest are alternates. In actuality, the CSS WG does not make any distinction. Also officially, the CSS WG chairs appoint Invited Experts; in actuality, they are first proposed by one of our members and approved by CSS WG resolution. While sometimes a WG member will take on the role of representing their company's position, for the most part each member of the WG participates individually, contributing to our discussions much like an Invited Expert. In addition Member representatives often function as a two-way liaison between the CSS WG and the developers and QA on their teams. All of our active members have a strong desire to improve CSS. While we may not all agree on the best way to do that, this overriding common goal, and not the competition and market conflicts among implementers, is what characterizes most of the discussions in the CSS WG.

The www-style community consists of CSS WG members, CSS implementation developers, and various other people with a deep technical interest in CSS. List members post and critique proposals, make feature requests and explain use cases, ask and answer spec questions, review the CSS WG's work, and post feedback to the spec editors. Anyone who wants to become a CSS spec editor starts by participating here: this is where you build the technical and word-wrangling expertise to edit a CSS module.

In addition to their participation as WG members, Peter Linss and Daniel Glazman have a special role as co-chairs: they coordinate the meetings, make sure discussions are making forward progress, and handle various behind-the-scenes interactions with other parts of W3C.

Next up: CSS WG — Communication