Chapters - an experimental effort at increasing developer involvement

(Let’s hope that this is deemed relevant and I am not subject to harsh punishment)

Specifiction is a great way to widen participation, but all of these means so far have some similarities in that it is difficult to imagine what would happen if even 1% of developers suddenly actually got involved in Web Standards. Since one of the aims of the Extensible Web Manifesto is to dramatically increase developer involvement, I think we need some new thoughts and experiments in how to accomplish this.

A few of us are putting together pilot programs, and I’ve written about it here. I’m interested both in your thoughts, as well as just spreading word to get people thinking about the problem above.


I love the idea, and would like to try it out in my local dev community; that being said, it would probably be easier for me to do so after some people have gathered experience with it, and ideally formalized some of that experience in some kind of how-to-organize-your-Web-standard-chapter :slight_smile:


Having witnessed a similar effort with Test the Web Forward, my overall feeling is that while good for evangelization, the actual output of such gathering isn’t of high quality/very useful. This doesn’t mean that the exercise is futile, just that if your purpose is other than evangelization, there might be more effective solutions.

As @briankardell knows well, I am very supportive of this idea :smile:

I’m happy to set up a Paris chapter (and certainly happy for help with it).

@tobie I agree that we shouldn’t be overly optimistic about it and we should start with simple expectations. Already having a place for Web developers who care about standards to socialise is a good first step: that’s how a lot of stuff got started.

Then as we start building extra infrastructure, people can start contributing progressively. Keep in mind that TestTWF suffers from a limitation that this idea doesn’t: here we are talking about local user groups that could for instance meet every months. If they did that for testing, the quality and commitment would certainly increase over time! In fact, Chapters could take responsibility for local TestTWF/WPT hacking.

TestTWF is trying to transition into something like that, see

Yeah, I’d like to throw out there too that it’s not necessarily apples to apples WRT TTWF. Even people who write specs and implementations don’t want to write tests, that’s why they aren’t there already. It’s kind of a pain in the ass, we even lack some good mechanisms. I’m not trying to knock it, I think TTWF is a great effort, but it seems hard to have it exist on its own like that and be -really- productive. By being more encompassing and promising to potentially deliver some value both ways, I’m hoping this idea is a little more palatable and interesting with some staying power. We’ll see I guess.

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@marcosc and I are interested in doing a Toronto chapter.


I’d love to be involved in a Seattle chapter. I know we have some of the developers on Chrome up here (and of course, we have Microsoft on IE): unfortunately, I don’t really know how to reach out to them with this idea.

Tonight, our pilot group for Chapters started looking at Element.closest and specifically, were interested in posting up to MDN a prollyfill (essentially Jonathan Neal’s) and porting some relevant tests from jQuery which pioneered the basic API. The aim would simply be to provide a set of tests that native implementations should also pass and attempt to think of edge cases and so on – but the question quickly came up of how exactly. We’ve had a number of efforts like this (promises, for example or my own ref-tests for things in selectors L4, and we have others that use qunit) and they’ve all done something different. I suppose creating tests that are easy to port is one thing, but it might be nice if as a community at least we could synchronize on a way that works commonly… Anyone have thoughts? Would TTWF, for example, even touch this in its current state - as far as I am aware it isn’t in a W3C draft anywhere even. We can assume it will eventually I think since there are already implementations and it’s in the DOM Living standard…

You can definitely add tests for Element.closest to the DOM tests (note that WPT is jointly operated by W3C and the WHATWG, or more broadly by the Web community).

Also, in general, I don’t think there’s any issue with adding tests for things that are being implemented even without a spec. If we get tests before a draft, I for one won’t complain :slight_smile:

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Definitely use web-platform-tests format. Even if it isn’t accepted into the main repo, it’d still be best to have tests in that format so they can be eventually run by browsers and incorporated into web-platform-tests.

(Promises ideally would have been written in test262 format, which is the other major shared-among-vendors format.)

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Actually looks like there is already a spot for it under in the WPT - dom/nodes/Element-closest.html

I’m looking around Montreal to see if teachers and peers around would like to make this happen. I come from time to time to Toronto, I’ll be on the lookout if I happen to be in town and if there are events while i’m there.

/me just purchased – who wants to help us make a nice site? Does anyone here know someone who knows how to write HTML or CSS? :smile:


Is there any way in which sessions could use video conferencing style contributions too and play back the events?

It’s unlikely I would be able to attend any of these events from the UK however I would be very keen to be listening in.

@jonathank Where are you in the UK, I know there are people interested in starting them up there - in fact - I just got an email this morning!

Nottingham and Leicester.

I would still be keen on the video conferencing idea too at the more popular events :slight_smile:

I’d like to create one in the UK @jonathank and would definitely be looking to include video conferencing as part of the event. I have facilities available to start this, and I know there’d be enough interest near me (Manchester).

I would struggle to attend an event in Manchester unless it were a weekend. I would certainly login / watch a video however (I get that the whole point is to meet in person).

This seems relevant here (however slightly off topic):

I would like to see more of this and happy to make one happen in the UK some how.