Florian Rivoal’s Campain Statement for the 2022 W3C AB election

This text is also available in 日本語 and français.

Many aspects contribute to making W3C a great venue to work on standardisation, but we are facing an increasing number of challenges, and we need to constantly work at making W3C better, to make it thrive as an organization, so that existing projects and working groups have the best working conditions possible, and so that we get a healthy inflow of new projects choosing the W3C as the best host for their standardization efforts.

I have had the opportunity to wear many hats at the W3C: specification editor from incubation to Recommendation, member representative, Invited Expert, and AC representative, Community Group chair, Workshop organizer, and participant in PSIG, and I have served two terms on the AB. All that to say that I know how things work at W3C, and also how they sometimes don’t.

A major ongoing project is our move towards W3C becoming a standalone legal entity. In my opinion, it has been challenging for the host universities and the W3C staff to deliver, not just because it is hard to come to agreement about what is desirable, but also for the same reasons that make this reform desirable: the current set up is not good at enacting change. There is a lot of inertia to overcome, and I will be advocating for pragmatic steps that gradually improve W3C’s ability to take action and get out of the rut. I have been, and will continue to be, active in the governance, finance, and bylaws task-forces, making and promoting proposals to make the future entity live up to expectations in terms of robust member-led governance, improved coordination, operational effectiveness, and sound financial management and transparency.

Since joining the AB, I have also taken on the role of Editor of the W3C Process document. In this capacity I have delivered yearly updates, notably including improvements to the Recommendation Tracks to support continuously updated standards without compromising on W3C’s values (along with the first Patent Policy update in many years to provide earlier Patent coverage), the introduction of Registries, and a variety of other improvements to operations or governance, while also working at making the Process document itself more readable.

The Process document also defines many of the responsibilities of the W3C Director. As we are preparing for the date where our founding Director eventually steps down, the AB has started to evolve the Process and other related documents to define how W3C would work without him. Some progress has been made but a fair amount remains to be done, notably with regards to Formal Objection processing, Group chartering, and TAG appointments. This is now the main focus of the work on the Process, and I want to make sure this shift puts the Membership squarely in control.

Other topics I am interested in for the AB include:

I am French, live in Japan, have lived and worked in Norway and China in the past, have done business with Korea, the US, Sweden, Canada… Initially trained as a software engineer in France, I later complemented this with an MBA from INSEAD. I’ve worked as an engineer in companies large and small, as a product owner and an executive in two startups, and been a non-profit board member (currently chair of the board at the Kyoto French International School).

I run my own consulting company and am an independent W3C participant; however my expenses for this role will be covered by Shueisha, Kodansha, Shogakukan, Kadokawa, and Media Do (5 major actors of the Japanese publishing industry).

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