To the question:
• Is a formalized review of SSOs fostering or impeding efficient standardization?
The W3C staff considers that a formalized review of SSOs would foster efficient standardization. We believe that a positive review would help W3C gain additional recognition in the global community for its successes, and that in turn would help W3C earn additional public and private investment in its international efforts.
W3C staff welcome this opportunity for reflection and urges other SSOs to participate as well. Consistent with how W3C values open processes, we suggest that:
• The process of developing SSO review criteria and methodology should be public and open to multiple stakeholders
• The criteria and methodology that result from that process be available at no cost (e.g., so that anyone may perform an evaluation on any SSO).
These SSO evaluation criteria to be developed should be inclusive of the ways W3C or IETF have been operating, given that it has brought us the benefits of the Internet and the Web as we know it (i.e. developed using a transparent and consensual process, open to all stakeholders, and that are free for all to implement and redistribute).
To the question:
• What are the pros and cons of ranking standard setting organizations e.g. fora and consortia and, if done, how should rankings be used?
W3C has endeavored to fulfill the diverse criteria for openness people have posited during its 16 years of existence. We think that SSOs can work together to improve cross-organization communication and simplify the standardization landscape (e.g., by avoiding the proliferation of various licenses).
Ranking done publicly and using clear metrics could be used by all stakeholders to help with their investment choices: e.g. investment in time for their technical participation in SSO committees, investment in adoption and deployment by legislations or corporations, and investment in allocation of funding by various sponsors and granters wanting to support Open technologies. W3C being a small organisation, it doesn’t have the necessary resources to lobby in the area of standardization politics and having a standard in this area would allow us to comply more easily and potentially receive more support. It would also allow a new range of consortia to appear and get immediate support, provided they follow their granter criteria, and the ICT society we’re entering will certainly need all those new consortia to agree on the meaning of online things, that is, of everything, soon or later.
The WTO/TBT criteria are one example of metrics allowing a simple yes/no ranking. W3C and IETF for instance, believe that they both comply to the criteria in principle, but also that the current text is not adapted to non ISO related organizations like us. So more work is needed.
More valuable thank side-by-side comparisons of organizations, establishing agreed to goals would allow all organizations to understand avenues for improvement that they may prioritize according to resources and other considerations.