ApacheCon US 2008 Session

Keynote - Learning from Apache to create Open Specifications

Learning from Apache to create Open Specifications

Open source development has reached a stable and remarkable maturity. With services like SourceForge and Google Code for hosting projects, the Open Source Initiative to vet and curate Open Source licenses, and organizations like the FSF and Apache where like-minded developers can work together to build sustainable and open communities around Open Source projects, and the support of hundreds of thousands of developers and major corporations alike, the success of open source is firmly established.

Yet when we turn our attention away from open source and instead to specifications and standards for the open web, much of this infrastructure doesn't yet exist. Formal standards bodies may enforce interoperability, but they don't always guarantee that a standard is freely implementable by everyone or that the development community is open to all potential contributors. As software development is increasingly centered on protocols and formats instead of simply source code, many newer initiatives, like Microformats, OpenID, OAuth and OpenSocial, have had to each invest time and money reinventing the legal and organizational infrastructure required to ensure that the specifications they create are open and their communities are healthy and run in meritocratic fashions.

Isn't there a better way? What can we learn from the open source movement that will help us create open specifications for the web?

The newly created Open Web Foundation is tackling this exact question by borrowing heavily from the proven model established by the Apache Foundation. This talk discusses the Open Web Foundation's progress so far, our goals for the future, and how you can get involved.