Lachlan Hardy - Building The Open Web

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Lachlan Hardy is a Design Engineer at Atlassian, where he is responsible for their common UI library and leading front end development. He’s spent his career working on projects ranging between massive high-profile sites and pretty little fun ones. Lachlan firmly believes in making a beautiful free and open web.

What is the open web? People like to use the term but what does it actually mean beyond the marketing term? Hardy's definition is as follows:

The open web stems from a common philosophical approach.

So what makes technology open?

  1. Open specification providing the freedom to implement—must be royalty and patent free
  2. Is supported by more than one vendor or provider
  3. Must have public involvement in the evolution of the spec

Some open specifications...

  • OpenID is a decentralized framework for user-centric digital identity (sign in to various applications via a third party authenticator)
  • Microformats are a set of simple, open data formats (calendar parsing between apps and services)
  • OAuth allows secure API authentication from desktop, mobile and web applications
  • WebFinger is a protocol that attached public metadata to email addresses

And some in development ...

  • Portable contacts built around OAuth and vCard

Generally people built these technologies as pieces of a puzzle. Building blocks that can all be used independently but designed to work together.