Open Standards, Open Web Platform, Web on Everything
On 29 August 2012 five leading global organizations jointly signed an agreement to affirm and adhere to a set of Principles in support of The Modern Paradigm for Standards; an open and collectively empowering model that will help radically improve the way people around the world develop new technologies and innovate for humanity. The result is a global community called “OpenStand“.
The reason behind open standards is like what Steve Mills, IEEE-SA president, stated in the white paper “White Paper on the Future of Standards in the Emerging Global Economy.”
Today, more than ever, the world needs international standards to enable the creation of products and services that will be implemented and used by customers globally.
In multiple ways, globally deployed standards are essential to bringing about the world that humankind desires. A prime example of this dynamic is the Internet. Collectively, the W3C, IETF and IEEE represent a suite of standards, which are the foundation for the Internet. Together, these standards have been a key facilitator for the growth of a global economic and social model that has touched billions of lives, but they were not deployed via the traditional, national-representation model of standards adoption. These organizations, through their constituents, instead were and are driven by the momentum of the market to innovate and provide products for global consumers.
The OpenStand principles convey the power of bottom-up collaboration to the standards of any technology space that will underpin the modern economy moving forward. The principles demand: cooperation among standards organizations; adherence to due process, broad consensus, transparency, balance and openness in standards development; commitment to technical merit, interoperability, competition, innovation and benefit to humanity; availability of standards to all; and voluntary adoption.
“One Web” is a vision from W3C based on Open Standards principles. “One Web” means making, as far as is reasonable, the same information and services available to users irrespective of the device they are using. However, it does not mean that exactly the same information is available in exactly the same representation across all devices. The context of mobile use, device capability variations, bandwidth issues and mobile network capabilities all affect the representation. Its vision includes:
- Web for all
- Web on everything
- Web for rich interaction
- Web of data and services
- Web of trust
W3C standards define an Open Web Platform for application development that has the unprecedented potential to enable developers to build rich interactive experiences, powered by vast data stores, that are available on any device. Although the boundaries of the platform continue to evolve, industry leaders speak nearly in unison about how HTML5 will be the cornerstone for this platform. But the full strength of the platform relies on many more technologies that W3C and its partners are creating, including CSS, SVG, WOFF, the Semantic Web stack, XML, and a variety of APIs.
Web Platform Docs is a comprehensive, community-run source for Open Web Platform documentation for developers, convened by W3C. Lots of valuable content are on the site, including:
- How to use features of the open web, with syntax and examples
- What platforms and devices you can use various technologies on
- The current standardization, stability and implementation status of each technology specification
With the surge of powerful mobile devices in the past few years, the role of the Web as a platform for content, applications and services on these devices is increasingly important. Mobile Web Initiative is from the vision of “Web on everything”. An array of resources present the effort toward the goal.
- Standards for Web Applications on Mobile
- Mobile Web Best Practices
- Mobile Web Application Best Practices
- Mobile Accessibility
- Mobile Web Best Practices Flip Cards
Mobile users operate in a very different usage context than PC users, and providing them with an experience customized to their needs is likely to be the best service to them. A number of the barriers that mobile users face are similar to those experienced by people with disabilities. These similarities make it natural to aim at developing Web sites that are accessible both for people with disabilities and for mobile devices. (The two reference documents in this space, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the Mobile Web Best Practices have thus a number of links and similarities.)
Mobile devices are available in areas of the world where computers and fixed Internet access might not be available. The versatility of personal mobile devices is the hope for all users with special needs. The Open Web Platform is a technology platform blueprint that can enable World Wide Web to reach all users for the benefits of humanity.