Jul 28

A second look at Dare on the OWF

Google, Tech with tags: , 1 Comment »

Dare Obsasanjo took some of my words among many others when he discussed his thoughts on the Open Web Foundation.

When I take a look at his post, I see two things:

Is using a question a way to be more passive?

Dare has used a technique that I have most recently seen in the political scene. He has disparaging words on the OWF and motives, then talks about Google participation using the question technique:

Why would Google decide to sponsor a separate standards organization that competes with the IETF that has less inclusive processes than the IETF, no clear idea of how corporate sponsorship will work and a yet to be determined IPR policy?

There are several Googlers showing up on the list and participating. This isn’t surprising since many Googlers care about the Open Web and find it a good home for them. Also note that there are plenty of contributors from Yahoo!, Facebook, Sun, IBM, various open source folks, and even Microsoft itself!

One of the values of the OWF is that it is individual based and not company, yet Dare takes the fact that some Googlers like myself are involved and claims that we speak for Google in a certain way.

What about the IETF/insert your favourite group

Dare talks about the IETF, a standards org that many of the folks participating in the OWF admire and participate in! There are plenty of groups out there that have attributes that are fantastic. The IETF is particularly light weight, and there is much to learn there too.

However, as others brought up, why have many of the recent APIs not gone through that body? Why didn’t OpenID/OAuth/oEmbed/… go there?

Dare talks about the IPR side of things, but in fact the editor of the RFC actually has a lot of control, so much so that you can’t always tell where you stand and you have to read the fine print. Many of the standards are done 100% correctly, but not having the rules set clearly at the org level can be a worry.

I also feel like community is a part of it too, and something that people often don’t think about. Why do we have the Dojo Foundation? It may have started out as a way to do open source correctly, according to the values of folks such as Alex Russell and Dylan Schieman, and with a safe correct legal structure. New projects come into Dojo though in a way where there is a match on those values, and as such there is a Dojo community feel. The same can be said for Apache. It has a community.

I personally hope that the Open Web Foundation creates a productive community that revolves around the core values that we are all creating as I type this. There is a reason that this is the Open Web Foundation, and not the Open License Foundation. This is about the Web.

And that is the point Dare. Come join us. I have been so happy to see people that have spent a lot of time in IETF, OASIS, W3C, ISO, JCP, and many more orgs, and have strong opinions on what needs to be done here.

Also, we need to hold off on any praise until we have projects coming through incubation. When we see the projects and the community come to fruition, then we can make more judgments.

Jul 23

The Open Web Foundation; Apache for the other stuff

Tech with tags: , , 3 Comments »

I am excited to see the recent talk of Open Web Foundation is now out there. I think that it is poised to become a great new corner of the Web giving us a place for the other stuff.

Let’s take an example. Imagine that you came up with a great idea, something like OAuth. That great idea gains some traction and more people want to get involved. What do you do? People ask about IP policy, and governance, and suddenly you see yourself on the path of creating a new MyApiFoundation.

Wait a minute! There are plenty of standards groups and other organizations out there, surely you don’t have to create MyApiFoundation?

Well, there is the W3C and OASIS, which are pay to play orgs. They have their place, but MyApi may not fit in there. The WHATWG has come up with fantastic work, but the punting on IP is an issue too.

MyApi has some code in there, so how about putting this in Apache? Apache is great for code, but it doesn’t deal with the other stuff, which is fine. That isn’t its mandate. Apache does things very well though, especially when it comes to governance and the incubator process. What if we had a foundation that had some of the same values around people participating (so anyone can, versus companies) and a varied community (not just a few blokes from the same company).

This is why I am hopeful for the Open Web Foundation. It is a new place to look at if you come up with something helpful for the Open Web, a place that may match your values.

But wait a minute, what about this “Open Web” thing again. As I just said on a post about defining the term, people can’t agree on what the darn thing is! There is a lot of gut feel “Flash and Silverlight are not the Open Web, but GWT is!”

I believe that the Open Web Foundation needs to be a leader in working this out. With metrics in place, the foundation can bless projects that meet the requirements. When a project starts it may not be Open Web yet (e.g. multiple browser implementations). We need a place to move forward and push the Web. Can’t wait to see what happens there.