Technical Architecture Group

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Technical Architecture Group
FounderWorld Wide Web Consortium
TypeNonprofit working group
OwnerWorld Wide Web Consortium

The W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG) is a special working group within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) created in 2001[1] to:[2][3][4]

  • document and build consensus around principles of Web architecture and to interpret and clarify these principles when necessary;
  • resolve issues involving general Web architecture brought to the TAG;
  • help coordinate cross-technology architecture developments inside and outside W3C.

The TAG consists of inventor of the Web and W3C director Sir Tim Berners-Lee, engineers elected by W3C member organizations, as well as participants directly appointed by Tim Berners-Lee.

Role and deliverables

Today, the TAG's primary responsibilities are two-fold:

  1. to conduct specification reviews ("design reviews") of new Web platform features,[5] to ensure API design consistency, and respect for web users' security and privacy
  2. to document the design principles of the Web platform, which is done in the Web Platform Design Principles document,[6] the Ethical Web Principles document[7] as well as various separate "Findings" documents.[8] Notable past publications include Architecture of the World Wide Web, volume one (2004) [9][10]

rendering engine.[11][12] An approving review is also required for a W3C draft specification to be able to become a Recommendation.[13]

While the TAG is a W3C working group, design reviews are not limited to W3C specifications. The TAG is often asked to review

specifications as well.


The current participants (as of December 2021) are:[2]

  1. Daniel Appelquist (Samsung Electronics) (Chair)
  2. Rossen Atanassov (Microsoft Corporation)
  3. Hadley Beeman (W3C Invited Expert)
  4. Tim Berners-Lee (W3C) (Chair)
  5. Kenneth Rohde Christiansen (Intel Corporation)
  6. Amy Guy (Digital Bazaar)
  7. Yves Lafon (W3C) (staff contact)
  8. Peter Linss (W3C Invited Expert) (Chair)
  9. Sangwhan Moon (Google)
  10. Theresa O'Connor (Apple, Inc.)
  11. Lea Verou (W3C Invited Expert)

Despite some participants having a corporate affiliation, when participating in TAG meetings they are expected to act in their personal capacity to find the best solutions for the Web, not just for any particular network, technology, vendor, or user.[4]

Notable past participants include:[17]


2012 Reform

During its first decade, the TAG had a very different role and responsibilities than what it does today.

The primary focus of the first three years of the TAG was on documenting in a clear and easily understood manner the architectural foundations of the Web. The result was published at the end of 2004 as Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One.[10] It is written in a relatively informal style, with illustrations, and many of its conclusions are expressed in succinct 'principles', 'constraints' and 'good practice notes', such as:

  • Principle: Global Identifiers Global naming leads to global network effects.
  • Good practice: Identify with URIs To benefit from and increase the value of the World Wide Web, agents should provide URIs as identifiers for resources.
  • Constraint: URIs Identify a Single Resource Assign distinct URIs to distinct resources.

After this publication and until 2012, the work of the TAG primarily resulted in publishing Findings documents, centered around XML, RDF, and URIs.[26]

In 2012, four prominent web developers felt that the TAG had become disconnected from the realities and pain points of web developers.[27] Led by Alex Russell, they dubbed themselves "the reformers" and participated in the 2012 TAG election for four vacant seats.[28][29][30][31] All of them got elected.[32] It was only after this reform that design reviews of new specifications became a significant part of the TAG's work and the process for requesting a design review moved to GitHub and became streamlined.[5]

First Party Sets Controversy

In February 2019, Google requested a TAG design review of their First Party Sets proposal[33] as required per their shipping policy.[11] The proposal was rejected by the TAG in 2021.[34] The group's review concluded that "the First Party Sets proposal harmful to the web in its current form".[35][36] This resulted in Google updating its timeline for removing third-party cookies and postponing it to 2023.[37]

This follows earlier public statements by the TAG about prioritizing user security and privacy when conducting design reviews.[38]


  1. ^ "News Release: World Wide Web Consortium Forms Technical Architecture Group from Janet Daly on 2001-12-11 ([email protected] from December 2001)". Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b "W3C Technical Architecture Group". Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  3. ^ "W3C Technical Architecture Group". Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  4. ^ a b "W3C Process Document". Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  5. ^ a b W3C TAG Specification Reviews, W3C Technical Architecture Group, 26 December 2021, retrieved 11 January 2022
  6. ^ "Web Platform Design Principles". Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  7. ^ "W3C TAG Ethical Web Principles". Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  8. ^ "Findings of the W3C Technical Architecture Group". Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  9. ^ "W3C Documents the Architecture of the Web - SitePoint". Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One". Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  11. ^ a b "Launching Features - The Chromium Projects". Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Intent to Explain: Demystifying the Blink Shipping Process". Chromium Blog. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  13. ^ "Document Review". Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  14. ^ "TAG Design reviews for TC39 specifications - GitHub". GitHub. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  15. ^ "TAG reviews for WHATWG specifications - GitHub". GitHub. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  16. ^ "TAG design reviews for IETF specifications - GitHub". GitHub. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  17. ^ "TAG members over time". Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  18. ^ a b c d "W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG)". 2 August 2002. Archived from the original on 2 August 2002. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  19. ^ "W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG)". 30 June 2004. Archived from the original on 30 June 2004. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  20. ^ "W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG)". 3 July 2006. Archived from the original on 3 July 2006. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  21. ^ "TAG participants as of 2009 - Wayback Machine". 28 June 2009. Archived from the original on 28 June 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  22. ^ "TAG participants as of 2011 - Wayback Machine". 28 August 2011. Archived from the original on 28 August 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  23. ^ "TAG members as of 2012 - Wayback Machine". 20 May 2012. Archived from the original on 20 May 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  24. ^ "TAG Members as of 2013 - Wayback Machine". 3 July 2013. Archived from the original on 3 July 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  25. ^ a b "W3C Technical Architecture Group as of 2015". 4 July 2015. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  26. ^ "Main Articles: 'The W3C Technical Architecture Group', Ariadne Issue 51". Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  27. ^ "Election Season". Infrequently Noted. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  28. ^ "Reforming the W3C TAG". Infrequently Noted. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  29. ^ Marcos, Author (6 December 2012). "W3C TAG elections". Marcos Cáceres' blog. Retrieved 12 January 2022. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  30. ^ "I'm Running to Reform the W3C's TAG". Katz Got Your Tongue. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  31. ^ "Statements about W3C TAG nominees for 2012 Election". Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  32. ^ "W3C News Archive: 2013 W3C". Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  33. ^ "First-Party Sets · Issue #342 · w3ctag/design-reviews". GitHub. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  34. ^ W3C TAG Specification Reviews, W3C Technical Architecture Group, 26 December 2021, retrieved 12 January 2022
  35. ^ Schiff, Allison (14 April 2021). "Influential W3C Working Group Calls Privacy Sandbox Proposal 'Harmful'". AdExchanger. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  36. ^ Tim Anderson. "W3C Technical Architecture Group slaps down Google's proposal to treat multiple domains as same origin". Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  37. ^ Tim Anderson. "Google updates timeline for unpopular Privacy Sandbox, which will kill third-party cookies in Chrome by 2023". Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  38. ^ "Web feature developers told to dial up attention on privacy and security". TechCrunch. Retrieved 12 January 2022.