Open Web foundation presentation .. Who polices the Open Web?

This is an interesting presentation and I am following this space with some interest. The issues addressed are important but do we need yet another such body? Seems very ‘west coast’ again. The companies which they claim work with the open web are also strange – BBC (funded by the British taxpayer), Facebook(open API but not interoperable API), Plaxo(dubious record on spamming individuals at least in it’s early days), six apart is included but not wordpress(a better product and a more open/free architecture in my view – although I use Movable Type for my blog – if I had a choice again, I would go wordpress)

There appears to be a focus on individuals but the individuals mentioned seem very US/west coast centric

Companies like Opera software (long a bearer of the web standards) is missing

In the list of people talking about these issues ..names like Tantek Celik are missing(as is more a discussion of microformats in general – which is important in my view)

So, how does such a group get created? and what gives them the authority to police/standardise the Open Web(and the definition of which is not very clear to me in this presentation)

To reiterate, I do believe that there is a key issue here .. and I have pointed this in previous blogs(Open source or open standards – co-operating or competing) i.e. the standardization process – although with worthy goals – has some drawbacks.

In my view, we need LITE standards and a simpler process(like microformats) and not ‘One organization to rule them all’ as the OpenWeb foundation appears to be!

Seek comments on this – more blogs coming soon. Responses slower since travelling


  1. Nicola says:

    I am in favour of trying to produce web standards too in order to produce reliable and accessible web applications and pages. I am not a technical specialist in this area and can’t visualise how you can bring openness into one foundation, or how that is possible to achieve?

  2. Hi Ajit,
    I don’t really disagree with a lot of what you’re saying. We started out very “West Coast” centric with the exception of the BBC, though certainly want to change that. I think if you take a look at the mailing list ( you’ll see that we’re actually starting to build a diverse community.
    I certainly respect the work that the Microformats community has done and I hope that had come through when I talked about Microformats on slide ten. The idea of “small pieces loosely joined” is certainly one which has since been embraced by OAuth, OpenID, and other communities as well.
    Our goal isn’t to create one organization to rule everything; just like there are many different places to go and do Open Source work today. Rather try to start standardizing the legal policies between these open web specs, like Open Source licenses did many years ago, and provide a body where they can come together and work if they’d like to.

  3. Ajit Jaokar says:

    Hello David
    Thanks for the comment. I did not mean to be too critical! Also, as I said the issue is critical and I shall be blogging about it in greater detail. An international focus is definately good. The BBC is an odd beast here .. ie the state funding means that they can pontificate .. (and we pay them license fees) – yet they reduce programming on science and tech(see David Attenborugh link . I shall be happy to join and also promote this organization since it addresses a critical issue which I think many people do not recognise yet(and blogs on this coming soon!) many thanks again kind rgds Ajit