“HTTP/2 is a protocol by Google for Google.” – Hugo Leisink, author of the security-focussed Hiawatha web server.


Protocols are political. The future of the centralised Web, like its past, is in the hands of surveillance capitalists. The W3C is the standards body of surveillance capitalism.

@aral This is a hardcore accusation but it opens the debate we talked with @Shamar some time ago... Living standards, and the necessity to have a powerful org in charge of a web browser with its own implementation.

We need to make pressure. Google has monopolized the market and now they can make all the pressure they want... We have to fight this. Not with *alternatives* but with *realities* and independent technologies.

@ekaitz_zarraga @Shamar Hardcore? It’s very tame. Akin to peering inside a structure, seeing that it’s full of chickens, and reaching the rather mundane conclusion that it is a chicken coop.

@aral @Shamar It's a hard accusation imo because for example ActivityPub etc is part of the W3C. I wouldn't criminalize the whole thing.
There are some points I'd like to discuss and there's some room to criticism but I wouldn't say it's the standards body of SC.

@ekaitz_zarraga @Shamar I see your point. It’s like all the great open source work that Google and Facebook do. I mean the former have given us Angular, etc. And the latter, React, yarn, etc. And there are lots of really lovely people who work at both. I wouldn’t criminalise the whole thing ;)

(See my point?) :)

@aral @Shamar Yeah but I don't think it's the same. FB and G are facewashing their company with the opensource projects while they find some free time developers to help them with no cost.
I think W3C is making standards in what *people* pushes. People like @cwebber pushed ActivityPub and they went for it. The problem is that G and FB etc make much more noise and pressure than we do.

And, independently if we like it or not, *many* people is aligned with FB's and G's interests.

@ekaitz_zarraga @Shamar @cwebber W3C is 99.99999% corporate. They have a couple of community folks, etc., for the exact same purpose.

@aral @ekaitz_zarraga @Shamar W3C is in general heavily influenced by its corporate members. It's rare to get something like ActivityPub through which doesn't have corporate backing. I wish this weren't true.


@cwebber @aral @ekaitz_zarraga @Shamar
In some way, it's a wonderful time to be alive, because we don't HAVE to get our protocols accepted by the W3C before we can use them. It wasn't always like this.

@cjd @cwebber @aral @ekaitz_zarraga @Shamar That WAS always the case, but adoption is another thing. Standards can of course exist outside the W3C, but reaching official recommendation status is a politically significant qualifier, like a mark of legitimacy.

@trwnh @cwebber @aral @ekaitz_zarraga @Shamar
I'm thinking at some point in history, you simply could not connect a device to the telephone system without it having been approved by the ITU. Picture is an acoustic coupler modem, a legal hack around the problem...

@cjd Right, but that didn't stop you from running an alternative open standard. Which what really matters here: as long as a standard is open and documented, anyone can implement it. Even in the days of IE6 when Microsoft would openly flaunt standards, that still made Microsoft its own standards body. It comes down to adoption, not technical ability.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!