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Jul 23

The Open Web Foundation; Apache for the other stuff

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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.

3 Responses to “The Open Web Foundation; Apache for the other stuff”

  1. Ian Hickson Says:

    The WHATWG got around the IP issue by working with the W3C — the W3C provides the IP protection (all the big members are part of the W3C’s group, and are thus bound by the W3C’s patent policy), while the work continues in both groups.

  2. dion Says:


    Totally…. I was talking more past tense, but you are right. Thanks for clarifying.

  3. Kyle Simpson Says:

    I’m all for an open-web group that can proactively start to rally the troops as it were and help get some momentum and consensus behind all these various different and distinct efforts. What does it take to be part of this Open Web? What does it take to be an initial member? Those are some fundamental questions that should be fleshed out early.

    I will say this though, just as an aside, any group who calls themselves “Open” and then makes comments like “but not flash and silverlight” will probably never be something I want to be part of! :)

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