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W3C Community Group Proposal

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W3C Community Group Proposal

Postby Michael Good » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:57 am

Back in April, we discussed moving further development of MusicXML and SMuFL to a Music Notation Community Group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Joe Berkovitz from Noteflight summarized the advantages in his presentation:

  • Consortium-based governance is the best way forward
  • Standards-track process will force clear specification
  • Consortium ownership assures openness and fairness
  • Membership supplies diverse, fresh viewpoints
  • Leadership supplies continuity, domain expertise
  • Consortium supplies adjacent expertise, technical/legal/process support

The overall sense of the meeting was that moving to a W3C Community Group was a good idea. Even some who had reservations based on past standards experiences concluded that if Joe, Daniel, and me all thought that the W3C was the best way forward, that was good enough for them. You can read the full presentations and a report on the meeting discussion at:

http://www.musicxml.com/the-2015-musicxml-community-meeting-at-musikmesse/

Since that time, Daniel and I have been working with senior management at our respective companies to get approval to move development of these music notation software standards to a W3C Community Group. We have made good progress so far. We are optimistic (but not certain!) that we will have something to announce relatively soon.

In the meantime, I would like to reopen the discussion to address any questions and concerns that MusicXML community members may have about this potential change. Please note that W3C Community Groups are a much lighter-weight organization than a W3C Working Group. Community Groups produce reports rather than recommendations as their specifications. W3C membership is not required to participate, and there are no membership fees or travel requirements. Companies may of course join the W3C to access the full benefits of the consortium's web standards resources, but this is in not required.

You can learn more about W3C Community Groups at:

https://www.w3.org/community/about/

Members of the Community Group do need to sign a Contributor License Agreement to belong to the group and contribute to report and specification development. That agreement is available at:

https://www.w3.org/community/about/agreements/cla/

Final specifications (for instance, a potential MusicXML 4.0 developed at the W3C) are released under a Final Specification Agreement, available at:

https://www.w3.org/community/about/agreements/final/

You may want to have your legal team review these agreements in advance to address any questions about signing up to participate in the community group.

Please feel free to ask any questions or raise any concerns about this potential move here.

Daniel, Joe, and I are excited about the potential of this move to build on the successes of MusicXML and SMuFL, and make them even more powerful tools for representing music notation on the Web, in print, and in new interactive media yet to be invented.
Michael Good
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MakeMusic, Inc.
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Re: W3C Community Group Proposal

Postby Daniel Spreadbury » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:30 am

Further to Michael's message, I have posted a corresponding invitation to the members of the SMuFL community to share any questions, comments, or concerns they may have about this potential move on the SMuFL discussion list. You can read my post on the web here:

http://smufl-discuss.50501.x6.nabble.com/smufl-discuss-Proposal-to-move-development-of-SMuFL-to-the-W3C-td818.html

but if you would like to post any SMuFL-specific questions or comments, please do so via the mailing list interface (posts sent via Nabble don't seem to reliably reach the list), details of which you can find here:

http://www.smufl.org/discuss

Thanks,

Daniel
Daniel Spreadbury, Steinberg
http://blog.steinberg.net
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Re: W3C Community Group Proposal

Postby JoeBerkovitz » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:25 pm

Hi Michael, Daniel,

Thanks for the update and for your support for this idea. I'm very excited about the future of music notation standards at W3C and look forward to further developments, as well as thoughts from members of this forum.

Best,

...Joe Berkovitz
President
Noteflight, LLC
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Re: W3C Community Group Proposal

Postby ahankinson » Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:24 pm

Dear Michael,

This sounds like a great idea!

In the Music Encoding Initiative community we've been talking about many of the same issues that are being discussed within the MusicXML community, including SMuFL compliance and CSS for notation renderers. While I don't speak for the MEI community as a whole, it would be great to "join forces" within the context of a W3C community and leverage each community's expertise to build a standard for encoding music notation.

I look forward to participating in this initiative!

Cheers,
-Andrew
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Re: W3C Community Group Proposal

Postby Michael Good » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:41 pm

Thanks for the encouragement, Andrew.
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Re: W3C Community Group Proposal

Postby Michael Good » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:42 pm

I will be on vacation from June 10 - 23, so my answers to questions here and elsewhere on the forum will be delayed during that time.
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Re: W3C Community Group Proposal

Postby Michael Cuthbert » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:15 am

Dear Michael, Daniel, Joe, and others:

Congrats on this great work. I fully support the move. The leadership of the community group should primarily consist of the major contributors to XML and SMuFL and others from industry whose weight of support for the initiatives have made them not be just specifications but real standards. I hope that at least one researcher or academic can also be on it since our interests do not overlap 100% but we sometimes have ideas that can migrate to commercially viable products.

My only hesitation (slight) is that the Community Groups vary in dedication from extremely committed with a lot of community and business support (Web of Things; Automotive Web Platforms) to absolutely dead (Linked Data Query Language) or Crank. If we go this route will we be losing the opportunity to move later to a more, say, distinguished, formal, ownership/development community besides the full W3C? I'm not too bothered, since the publication of a Community Group final report seems to be the real distinguishing feature between a major Community Group and an inactive one.

MIT seems to be a coordinating organization for W3C, but strangely, not a member.
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Re: W3C Community Group Proposal

Postby JoeBerkovitz » Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:12 am

Hi Mike [Cuthbert],

Not to worry. Community Groups can definitely be a precursor to a full standards-track W3C spec. They are not a fork in the road: all opportunities are still open after the CG is formed. Of course, it'll be up to us (the notation community) to make this Community Group one of the active, alive ones!

As far as membership, roles and process goes, CGs are very open and flexible and there are no W3C membership requirements. Once this CG is formed, I expect there will be a document describing these points.

...Joe
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Re: W3C Community Group Proposal

Postby Hans Vereyken » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:43 am

The longer I think about the more I'm sure that this move is the way to go. Looking forward to this!
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Re: W3C Community Group Proposal

Postby Michael Good » Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:38 am

Good news! Daniel and I have gotten approvals from our respective companies to transfer development of MusicXML and SMuFL to a W3C Community Group. Our companies's lawyers have reviewed and approved the Contributor License Agreement and Final Specification Agreement for W3C Community Groups. Together with Joe Berkovitz, we are now working with W3C staff on the logistics for setting up the Community Group. We hope to have something further to announce soon.
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