This is the third of a series of posts about my personal priorities for Web standards, and the relationship to the W3C TAG.
Internet Applications = Web Applications
For better or worse, the Web is becoming the universal Internet application platform. Traditionally, the Web was considered just one of many Internet applications. But the rise of Web applications and the enhancements of the Web platform to accommodate them (HyBi, RTCWeb, SysApps) have further blurred the line between Web and non-Web.
Correspondingly, the line between IETF and W3C, always somewhat fuzzy, has further blurred, and made difficult the assignment of responsibility for developing standards, interoperability testing, performance measurement and other aspects.
Unfortunately, while there is some cooperation in a few areas, coordination over application standards between IETF and W3C is poor, even for the standards that are central to the existing web: HTTP, URL/URI/IRI, MIME, encodings.
W3C TAG and IETF coordination
One of the primary aspects of the TAG mission is to coordinate with other standards organizations at an architectural level. In practice, the few efforts the TAG has made have been only narrowly successful.
An overall framework for how the Web is becoming a universal Internet application platform is missing from AWWW. The outline of architectural topics the TAG did generate was a bit of a mish-mash, and then was not followed up.
The current TAG document Best Practices for Fragment Identifiers and Media Type Definitions, is narrow; the first public working draft was too late to affect the primary IETF document that should have referenced it, and is likely to not be read by those to whom it is directed.
There cannot be a separate "architecture of the Internet" and "architecture of the Web". The TAG should be coordinating more closely with the IETF Internet Architecture Board and applications area directorate.