Anne van Kesteren

Web architecture

Together with Alex Russell, Marcos Cáceres, Peter Linss, and Yehuda Katz, I am running for a position on the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG). Four seats are open, so if you are eligible to vote please pick four out of the five of us for a change in direction.

I am not a big fan of the TAG. It typically discusses issues outside what I would consider the technical architecture of the web and things that greatly impact it go by unnoticed. As an example of the latter, that the web effectively has a little-endian hardware dependency (worst case; best case it performs better on little-endian) has not been discussed. What I miss is an overview over how the platform fits together. What exactly is the web platform? What is still missing documentation? What is the best way to extend it? What have we learned thus far?

What I see is that the TAG still largely views the world as defined in Architecture of the World Wide Web, which is a gross mismatch with reality. For instance, the user should not be informed at all about most “errors”, impact of JavaScript and client-side applications is missing, and HTML is pretty much the sole markup format in use, and also where the innovation goes.

The web is everything from simple documents (cat pictures) to complex applications (cat picture meme generators). The TAG should document the technical architecture that underpins that web and provide guidance to those enhancing the web ever further. If I am elected that is what I will be focusing on.