[Update 2008-07-27 9:47PM: These principles are up on a wiki and being edited there]
The OWF is an organization to facilitate community efforts to create technical specifications that conform to the ethos that anyone can use the specification and nobody “owns” the specification or its ideas.
Towards that end, the following principles guide work in the OWF:
- All specifications produced by OWF groups should be clear of IPR encumbrances (patent, copyright, trademark, etc)
- All participants contributing to specifications are acting as individuals, but both organizations and individuals may contribute IPR.
- Anyone can participate in specifications work in any group in the OWF, so as long as they are not disruptive and are active contributors.
- Working groups are free to manage themselves so long as they adhere to OWF Way.
- It is the OWF’s goal to create as large an intellectual playing field for implementers free from IPR constraints as possible. The OWF working groups should make decisions about which IPR contributions to accept with this in mind.
- All specifications should be created in a meritocratic and transparent manner
- All contributions should be judged on technical merit, and not on the identity of the contributor or their position in the community
- Specifications efforts need not be democratic, but they should be run on rough consensus, with “running code” having special significance (nod to rough consensus/working code)
- All specification work must be clearly documented with a clear audit trail of IPR contributions
- All specification work must be done under the IPR rules of the OWF
- All OWF groups must operate in a manner which maximizes diverse participation across geography, wealth, language, and participant background. In particular, at a minimum, all decisions in OWF working groups (committees?) must be made in email or other asynchronous electronic means.
- There are no specific guidelines around the type of specification work that can be done in the OWF. However, the work should be technical specifications (ie not advocacy, policy, or other specifications that aren’t implementable in code)
- The OWF believes in maximizing the marketplace of ideas. Thus, the OWF does not make any judgement about the quality or market viability of the work produced in OWF working groups. It is perfectly acceptable for OWF groups to produce two specifications which overlap or compete.
- The OWF does not intend to compete with existing standards bodies, and expects work emerging from the OWF to frequently be input to work in other bodies.