27 February 2012

Community-Prioritized Web Standards

Mozilla is happy to support Facebook in forming a Core Mobile Web Platform W3C Community Group in which to curate prioritized, tiered lists of emerging and de facto standards that browsers should support in order for the Web to compete with native application stacks on mobile devices.

The W3C Community Groups do not create normative specifications; their work is informative at most [UPDATED per Ian Jacob's comment]. However I believe they can add significant value, especially by helping developers make their priorities clear to the implementors who tend to control the normative specs (W3C Recommendations).

Standards-making like law-making is definitely sausage-making. How could it be otherwise, with intensely competitive companies trying to work together?

On top of this, consider how conflicted many standards bodies are by pay-to-play, however muted and tamed by “process”. Anyone can join with enough money, and inject a divergent agenda or random noise into the process.

One inevitable outcome of these conflicts is too many proposed and even finalized standards for all browsers possibly to implement correctly and completely. The nice thing about standards is….

Who is best situated to advise implementors (mainly browser vendors) on which standards to prototype and finalize first? In my view, developers. But of course you can’t ask developers questions to answer with one voice. Developer communities must acclaim their own leaders, who then speak to standards bodies.

Last year, Facebook joined the W3C. I thought at the time “there is a company with skin in the Web content game, not only for pages but especially for apps.” Facebook relies heavily on HTML5, CSS, and JS. Facebook has no browser in the market to pull focus or inject asymmetric browser/service integration agendas.

And Facebook has hired long-time Open Web developers who have risen to be leaders in their communities: James Pearce and Tobie Langel.

So I encourage everyone interested in helping to join with James, Tobie and others in the new Core Mobile Web Platform community group. Together we can get the specs that Web developers deserve, completed in the right order with multiple interoperating implementations.

/be

21 Responses to “Community-Prioritized Web Standards”

  1. [...] Note: Brendan Eich, Mozilla CTO, posted on his blog today about Mozilla and community-prioritized Web standards, excerpted below. Mozilla is happy to [...]

  2. [...] announced on the Facebook developer blog and explained in more detail on Brendan Eich’s blog we are one step closer to making the mobile browser market more predictable. Mozilla is happy to [...]

  3. Widget says:

    Here’s a standard: “No LIKE or other social media widget should take more browser memory than the content of the page it’s on”

  4. tom jones says:

    Standards-making like love-making is definitely sausage-making

  5. Ian Jacobs says:

    Hi Brendan,

    Best of luck in the new Community Group. I want to point out that community groups can publish specifications (under the contributor licensing agreement). My understanding is that the Core Mobile Web Platform CG won’t produce new specs; it will identify features developers can depend on.

    I look forward to this CG’s progress.

    Ian Jacobs

  6. [...] who have risen to be leaders in their communities: James Pearce and Tobie Langel,” Eich wrote on his personal [...]

  7. [...] who have risen to be leaders in their communities: James Pearce and Tobie Langel,” Eich wrote on his personal [...]

  8. Loco says:

    “Facebook relies heavily on HTML5, CSS, and JS. Facebook has no browser in the market to pull focus or inject asymmetric browser/service integration agendas.”

    No. Facebook only wants to use humans as cattle for targeted advertising, user tracking and erase any right to privacy that humanity can hope for.

    This announcement and that hypocritical “Focus on the User” again in association with Facebook just shows that Mozilla has lost it’s vision and has betrayed its core principles. Since when did Facebook started focusing on the user?

    Facebook has no moral high ground. Google might be bad, but Facebook doesn’t even come close to be “good”.

    Facebook is a platform for discrimination and censorship. They make that perfectly clear in their terms of service. It has deleted whole groups of users for doing nothing else than exercising their natural right to free speech.

    Facebook has committed every possible violation of the principle of human privacy.

    I’m not just disappointed with Mozilla’s recent course of action, I’m indignant!

  9. [...] « Facebook relies heavily on HTML5, CSS, and JS. Facebook has no browser in the market to pull focus or inject asymmetric browser/service integration agendas, » Mozilla co-founder and chief technology officer Brendan Eich said on his blog. [...]

  10. [...] integration agendas,” Mozilla co-founder and chief technology officer Brendan Eich said on his blog.“And Facebook has hired long-time Open Web developers who have risen to be leaders in their [...]

  11. Brendan Eich says:

    @Ian: thanks, for some reason I thought “no specs” — but “no normative specs (RECs)” still holds, right?

    @Loco: Facebook has fans and critics, it’s not my job to take them on or praise them for anything other than what I wrote here: they are aligned with Mozilla on uplifting web standards so that web apps compete with native apps.

    /be

  12. james says:

    @ Loco

    “Facebook has committed every possible violation of the principle of human privacy.

    I’m not just disappointed with Mozilla’s recent course of action, I’m indignant!”

    Well then I guess its good that Mozilla isn’t indorsing facebook’s privacy policy. They are only complementing facebook on its pursuit of open web app standards.

    Stop being so alarmist.

  13. [...] “Facebook relies heavily on HTML5, CSS, and JS. Facebook has no browser in the market to pull focus or inject asymmetric browser/service integration agendas,” Mozilla co-founder and chief technology officer Brendan Eich said on his blog. [...]

  14. [...] his own post, Brendan Eich, CTO of Mozilla and creator of JavaScript, said, “Mozilla is happy to support Facebook in forming [...]

  15. Ian Jacobs says:

    @Brendan,

    Right – CGs can work on specs (under the contributor license agreement). CG specs are not W3C standards but we’ve designed CGs to facilitate the transition to the Rec Track when the community wants to turn them into RECs.

  16. [...] his own post, Brendan Eich, CTO of Mozilla and creator of JavaScript, said, “Mozilla is happy to support Facebook in forming [...]

  17. [...] Vielzahl an Standards nicht zu erwarten, dass Browserhersteller alle diese Richtlinien umsetzten, erläutert Mozillas Technikchef Brendan Eich das Vorhaben. Daher sollen hier vor allem Entwickler von Apps Einfluss nehmen. So soll es für Webentwickler [...]

  18. [...] “Facebook relies heavily on HTML5, CSS, and JS. Facebook has no browser in the market to pull focus or inject asymmetric browser/service integration agendas,” Mozilla co-founder and chief technology officer Brendan Eich said on his blog. [...]

  19. Hassan says:

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