Spreading the XML paradigm around
W3C member policy is a very unfriendly to individuals compared to other standardization bodies like OASIS and ISO. In W3C there is no individual membership for reasonable fee. I have been criticizing this at different occasions. And finally, I have been invited.
So since January I'm W3C Invited Expert in ITS working group. This is a very small and agile working group. It is fun to work with other folks on WG (thanks, Felix, for inviting me ;–). I'm not even trying to imagine what working atmosphere is in other more exposed WG (e.g. WS-something) staffed with people from large corporations.
During my short period in ITS WG I already managed to get NVDL schema for ITS into specification and now I will start work on integration of DocBook and ITS. What is funny, is fact that I will write my first TEI document because ITS specifications are authored using customized version of TEI.
But back to W3C in general. I will not shut up. If I will try to compare W3C, OASIS and ISO – and I think I can do it, because I'm participating in both three bodies to a various degree – it seems that OASIS is the most friendly body. Why? Because all standards created by OASIS are freely available and you can became individual member of OASIS for just 250 USD per year, which is manageable for me (it is probably still too much for people from developing countries). In ISO membership is free (as long as your national body nominate you to particular WG), but not all standards are available for free. W3C publishes all recommendations for free, but as I already said, there is no chance to get involved unless you are invited by W3C staff or chair of WG. This is not open process, I would say.