Raising The Bar On Open Web Standards: Supporting More Openness

on (ttk.me b/4ZR1) using BBEdit

Tantek Çelik wears a blue beanie in honor of the 8th annual Blue Beanie Day Yesterday was the 8th annual Blue Beanie Day celebrating web standards. Jeffrey Zeldman called for celebrating community diversity and pledging “to keep things moving in a positive, humanist direction”. In addition to fighting bad behaviors, we should also push for more good behaviors, more openness, and more access across a more broadly diverse community.

I've written about the open web as well as best bractices for open web standards development before. It's time to update those and raise the bar on what we mean and want as "open".

In summary we should support open web standards that are:

  1. Free (of cost) to read (as opposed to "pay to download" as noted)
  2. Free(dom) to implement (royalty free, CC0)
  3. Free(dom and of cost) to discuss
  4. Free(dom) to update (e.g. by republishing with suggested changes)
  5. Published on the open web itself
  6. Published with open web formats

While some of those criteria have an obvious explanation like no cost to download, others have more subtle and lengthier explanations, like supporting standards licensed with CC0 to allow a more diverse set of communities to make suggestions, e.g. via republishing with changes, as well as direct incorporation of (pseudo)code in those standards into a more diverse set of (e.g. open source) implementations.

Not all web standards, even "open" web standards, are created equal, nor are they equally "open". We should (must) support ever more openness in web standards development as that benefits more contributors, as well as a more rapid evolution of those standards as well.