World Wide Web Consortium

World Wide Web Consortium
W3C® Icon.svg
AbbreviationW3C
MottoLeading the Web to Its Full Potential
Formation1 October 1994; 25 years ago (1994-10-01)
TypeStandards organization
PurposeDeveloping protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web.
HeadquartersCambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Location
Coordinates42°21′43.4″N 71°05′27.0″W / 42°21′43.4″N 71°05′27.0″W / 42.362056; -71.090833

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web (abbreviated WWW or W3). Founded and currently led by Tim Berners-Lee, the consortium is made up of member organizations which maintain full-time staff for the purpose of working together in the development of standards for the World Wide Web. As of 21 October 2019, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has 443 members.[3][2] The W3C also engages in education and outreach, develops software and serves as an open forum for discussion about the Web.

History

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was founded by Tim Berners-Lee after he left the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in October, 1994. It was founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT/LCS) with support from the European Commission and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which had pioneered the ARPANET, one of the predecessors to the Internet.[3] It was located in Technology Square until 2004, when it moved, with CSAIL, to the Stata Center.[4]

The organization tries to foster compatibility and agreement among industry members in the adoption of new standards defined by the W3C. Incompatible versions of HTML are offered by different vendors, causing inconsistency in how web pages are displayed. The consortium tries to get all those vendors to implement a set of core principles and components which are chosen by the consortium.

It was originally intended that CERN host the European branch of W3C; however, CERN wished to focus on particle physics, not information technology. In April 1995, the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) became the European host of W3C, with Keio University Research Institute at SFC (KRIS) becoming the Asian host in September 1996.[5] Starting in 1997, W3C created regional offices around the world. As of September 2009, it had eighteen World Offices covering Australia, the Benelux countries (Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium), Brazil, China, Finland, Germany, Austria, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, South Korea, Morocco, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and, as of 2016, the United Kingdom and Ireland.[6]

In October 2012, W3C convened a community of major web players and publishers to establish a MediaWiki wiki that seeks to document open web standards called the WebPlatform and WebPlatform Docs.

In January 2013, Beihang University became the Chinese host.