W3C tours Europe preaching interoperability

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is touring Europe to spread its gospel of interoperability and to promote itself to Europeans, the W3C said Tuesday.

“This tour is a reminder,” said Marie-Claire Forgue, spokeswoman for W3C in Europe. “We are fighting for interoperability so the Web does not divide and is not taken over by giant companies that want to control the Web.”

The first of four one-day events was held in Paris on Tuesday. Other events are planned in Vienna, Dublin and Brussels. W3C team members, accompanied by local guest speakers, talk about W3C specifications, such as XML (Extensible Markup Language) and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), and their uses.

The tour, meant for everybody with an interest for the Internet, is “strictly a European thing” and is sponsored by the European Commission, but it is not being held because Europeans, specifically, need an extra push to support interoperability, said Forgue.

“People all around the globe should look better into W3C technologies to make sure that everything is interoperable,” she said.

W3C is also promoting the extended reach of its European offices, also funded by the European Commission. The offices in the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands now also focus on neighboring countries, specifically Ireland, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg, the W3C said.

The W3C, which now has around 500 member organizations from around the globe, was founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee to develop common protocols that promote the evolution and ensure interoperability of the World Wide Web. W3C has developed more than forty technical specifications for the Web’s infrastructure.