Feeds

GooHooSoft bear-hugs 'Apache for web specs'

Open source meets open standards

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Facebook, and other web-happy types have embraced a new effort to promote the use of free and open specifications across the net.

Yes, that's Google and Microsoft working arm-in-arm. The wonders never cease.

Today, as part of its ongoing effort apply open-source-software licensing to web specifications, the Open Web Foundation published a new legal agreement for specs known - appropriately enough - as the Open Source Web Foundation Agreement. In essence, this legal boilerplate allows an individual organization - or a group of organizations - to open specs to the world without enduring the interminable hell of the traditional standards body bureaucracy.

"This can be thought of a lot like an open source software license - but instead of for software, it's for specifications," Facebook open guru and OWF board member David Recordon tells The Reg.

"What it really tries to do is allow a group of people to come together to create a specification and then - when they're done - apply this agreement to it, so that everyone knows that the specification really is freely implementable - that they're not going to be sued for patent claims or anything like that."

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Facebook, and others have already applied the new legal agreement to a trio of specifications: OAuth, a protocol that lets users access web services without providing user name and password credentials; OAuth WRAP, an update to the protocol; and the Simple Web Token, an open token-request protocol.

Yahoo! has also applied the OFW agreement to Media RSS (mRSS) spec, a way of, yes, syndicating heavy media across the net - not just text. And Microsoft has opened up a trio of its own standards in much the same way.

"What we're trying to do is spend out money on engineering, and then, when we have something, we simply apply this agreement," says Eran Hammer-Lahav, director of standards development at Yahoo! and the president of the Open Web Foundation. "In the same way you can write software and then give it out under the Apache license."

The Foundation is itself based on the Apache model. It's build around individual members - not companies. Well, and the Creative Commons model. "The Foundation doesn't create standards. It doesn't get involved in the spec development process," says Microsoft senior lawyer and OWF board member David Rudin. "We set up the agreements for others to adopt." ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.