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OpenJS Foundation welcomes AMP project to help improve user experience on the web

By | Announcement, Blog, Project Update

AMP enters the open source foundation to broaden open governance, drive diverse, cross-industry adoption and continue improving the web for all.

NEW YORK– October 10, 2019 — The OpenJS Foundation, providing vendor-neutral support for sustained growth within the open source JavaScript community, announced today that the open source web component framework AMP will be joining the Foundation’s incubation program. The news was delivered at the AMP Contributor Summit 2019 in New York City. 

“AMP is a great example of a community and technology focused on improving web performance and experience for all,” said Robin Ginn, Executive Director of the OpenJS Foundation, “On behalf of the Foundation, I am happy to welcome AMP and I look forward to seeing their progress to support a faster, open web.”

Now in its fourth year, AMP, a multi-stakeholder open source project initially backed by Google and used across a broad range of organizations, allows any publisher to have pages load quickly on mobile devices. Used in billions of pages on more than 30 million domains, AMP integrates with countless products and companies, including Google and Microsoft who each implement their own AMP Cache.

As a continuation of its adoption of an open governance model in late 2018, AMP’s cross-industry Technical Steering Committee agreed that the next step would be to submit an application for the project to join the OpenJS Foundation. This decision was further supported by its Advisory Committee representing constituencies from publishers, CDNs, browser vendors, open web advocates, and e-commerce and platform companies.

After completing the incubation process and officially joining the OpenJS Foundation, AMP will enable a wider variety of contributions from a wider audience, both technical and strategic. Additionally, a move to the OpenJS Foundation aims to develop and showcase the entirety of AMP’s benefits and capabilities, outside of the advantages to publishers. 

“Now in our fourth year, AMP is excited for the next step on our journey,” said Malte Ubl, Member of the AMP Project Technical Steering Committee. “We’ve been considering the best home for AMP for some time. We decided on the OpenJS Foundation because we feel it’s the best place for us to help us to cater to our diverse group of constituencies. This step builds on previous moves we’ve made toward open governance and helps us focus on transparency and openness.”

“As a Platinum member of the OpenJS Foundation and huge proponent for thriving open-source communities, we are thrilled to see AMP take this step with the Foundation,” said Myles Borins, Developer Advocate for Google and OpenJS Foundation Board Vice Chairperson.“The opportunity to improve the web is vast, and AMP has a role to play in that. We see no better place for AMP to accomplish these goals than with the OpenJS Foundation.”

“As an AMP contributor and framework user having integrated AMP into different products including owning our own AMP Cache, we fully support and encourage this move,” said Saulo Santos, Engineering Manager, Bing Experiences, Microsoft. “AMP is helping to improve the web, and entering it into the Foundation will only be a continuation of these efforts.”

About OpenJS Foundation 

The OpenJS Foundation is committed to supporting the healthy growth of the JavaScript ecosystem and web technologies by providing a neutral organization to host and sustain projects, as well as collaboratively fund activities for the benefit of the community at large. The OpenJS Foundation is made up of 32 open source JavaScript projects including Appium, Dojo, jQuery, Node.js, and webpack and is supported by 30 corporate and end-user members, including GoDaddy, Google, IBM, Intel, Joyent, and Microsoft. These members recognize the interconnected nature of the JavaScript ecosystem and the importance of providing a central home for projects which represent significant shared value. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is AMP joining the OpenJS Foundation?

AMP has been taking very thoughtful steps to ensure its long-term commitment to its vision (A strong, user-first open web forever) and mission (Provide a user-first format for web content, supporting the long-term success of every web publisher, merchant, and advertiser).

In 2018, after community concerns around its ties to Google as well as concerns around scaling the project, AMP adopted an open governance model that is mirrored after the Node.js Foundation and JS Foundation. They adopted this model to scale as well as to give a voice to all constituents of the community, including those who cannot contribute code themselves, such as end-users. 

How will joining the Foundation solve some of the past issues pertaining to governance  AMP has faced and currently faces?

The OpenJS Foundation prides itself on vendor neutrality. Our vested interest resides solely in the ecosystem and the projects that contribute to that ecosystem. The OpenJS Foundation’s Cross Project Council is committed to supporting AMP in addressing these issues and ensure continued progress. During onboarding, AMP will also go through a multi-step process including adopting the OpenJS Foundation Code of Conduct, transferring domains and trademarks and more to graduation from incubation.  AMP has made incredible strides by adopting a new governance model and by joining the OpenJS Foundation, they’ve made their intentions clear-AMP is committed to its vision of “A strong, user-first open web forever.” 

Currently, the AMP runtime is hosted on the same infrastructure as the Google AMP Cache. Doesn’t this present serious issues?

The end goal is to separate the AMP runtime from the Google AMP Cache. The Project is currently in the incubating stage and Project leaders are still determining the next steps. Ideally, hosting and deployment of the AMP runtime to the CDN would fall under the purview of the OpenJS Foundation, much like the foundation is handling other projects CDNs, such as the jQuery CDN.  

Untangling the runtime from the cache is a complex endeavor requiring significant investments of time and effort which would be planned and implemented in collaboration with the foundation and industry stakeholders during and after incubation.

The OpenJS Foundation CPC is committed to having a long-term strategy in place to address this issue by the end of AMP’s incubation. 

How will AMP joining the Foundation address the lack of contributor diversity/inclusion? Currently, only past or current Google employees have commit rights.

AMP has taken key steps to guide how decisions are made in a more open and transparent way. The first step was to adopt a new governance model represented by multiple stakeholders. By joining the Foundation, which is a vendor neutral organization,  AMP will be able to continue down this path. One of the reasons AMP is joining the Foundation is so they can have more of an inclusive contributor base. The Cross Project Council and AMP will be working on this together.

OpenJS Foundation welcomes first Incubating project: Node Version Manager (nvm)

By | Blog, Project Update

If you build Node.js applications, you may end up needing to use different versions of Node. Fortunately, there is a convenient way to install and manage different versions thanks to Node Version Manager (nvm). nvm is a POSIX-compliant bash script to manage multiple active Node.js versions.

nvm will be the first project to enter the OpenJS Foundation’s incubation process after the merger of the JS Foundation and the Node.js Foundation.  nvm is the most common and widely used method to install Node.js, and the most common tool to manage multiple installed Node.js versions. 

 

nvm offers many benefits to help developers accomplish tasks in a more efficient way. Some of these advantages include:

 

  • The ability to easily switch between node versions per-shell, which enables testing of both libraries, for maximum backwards compatibility, and apps, for smoother node upgrades on multiple node versions.
  • The ability to install node on any posix-compliant system that has curl/wget
  • Stores node versions, and thus globally installed modules, inside the user directory, removing the need for sudo when used with npm
  • Handles compilation for most systems that don’t have prebuilt binaries available, simplifying the install process
  • Provides the ease and convenience of a package manager without needing to obtain node from an unofficial distribution channel which cuts down on delays before newly released node versions are installable.

 

By joining the OpenJS Foundation, there are multiple organizational and infrastructure areas that will be better supported, helping both current users and future users including ensuring no single point of failure for the nvm.sh domain, GitHub repo, and more. Furthermore, nvm will be able to ensure governance and Code of Conduct enforcement to make sure that nvm will continue to be stable if there are personnel changes with the sole maintainer. Joining will also help nvm to grow and gain contributors, providing more overall stability for the project. If you are interested in getting involved, check out contributing guidelines on GitHub.

 

Quotes from the Community

 

“It’s great to have nvm join the OpenJS Foundation because it’s an important part of the overall ecosystem and a tool that makes Node.js version management easier for our users,” said Bethany Griggs, member of the Node.js Release Working Group and Node.js Project Technical Steering Committee. “nvm is a valuable tool that makes upgrading to new or switching between existing versions of Node.js much more simple. This is especially useful when developers are working on various projects that have different minimum required Node.js versions.”

 

“Having nvm enter into the incubation phase is an important and exciting milestone for the Cross Project Council and the OpenJS Foundation,” said Joe Sepi, CPC Chair. “As the first project, it shows forward progress and momentum. On behalf of the CPC, I look forward to nvm’s success as well as onboarding more projects crucial to the ecosystem”

 

“It’s really exciting to have node version manager (nvm) as the first project to enter into the incubation process,” said Michael Dawson, IBM Community lead for Node.js and Node.js Board representative. “nvm is an important and widely used part of the Node.js and JavaScript ecosystem, and by joining as a hosted project, nvm is ensuring its growth and impact well into the future.”

“I’ve been a user of nvm since 2011, and it is the best way to install Node.js on a developer’s machine,” said Matteo Collina, Node.js Technical Steering Committee member, and Node.js CPC representative. “It’s fantastic to see new energy on the project, and I wish nvm a brilliant future in the OpenJS Foundation.”

 

Say Hi to nvm yourself

Project Champions:

 

  • Jordan Harband – nvm 
  • Jory Burson – OpenJSF CPC

#nvm on freenode IRC
or
https://gitter.im/nvm-sh/nvm

 

Vital stats

 

nvm is joining the OpenJS Foundation as an incubating project, and upon successful completion of onboarding, it will become an “At-Large” project. An “At -Large” project is one which is “stable projects with minimal needs.”

 

Apply for Hosted Project Status at the OpenJS Foundation!

 

The OpenJS Foundation hosts some of the most important projects in the JavaScript ecosystem. As a neutral non-profit organization, our goal is to provide a home where projects can build and support a sustainable community of diverse contributors.

 

Projects hosted by the OpenJS Foundation fall into one of four categories:

 

  • Impact stage is generally for large, mature projects.
  • Growth stage is for projects which are actively mentored, and which intend to graduate to Impact stage.
  • At-Large stage is for new projects, stable projects with minimal needs, and everything in between.
  • Emeritus stage is for projects which have completed their lifecycle and are retired.

 

Read through the project lifecycle Project Progression proposal to find out how the OpenJS Foundation can best support your project, and apply today!

Project News: The webhint browser extension v1 release

By | Blog, Project Update

Congrats to the webhint team on their v1 release! webhint, a linting tool for the web focused on best practices and flexibility for the end user, is a Growth project here at the OpenJS Foundation. The below post originally appears on the webhint blog.

We are thrilled to announce that the webhint browser extension has moved from beta to its v1 release and is now available for Chrome, Edge (Chromium), and Firefox!

Nellie and Firefox playing with a Chromium toy

The webhint browser extension allows you to easily scan a website and get feedback on accessibility, browser compatibility, security, performance, and more within the browser DevTools. Read more at https://webhint.io/.

Try the webhint browser extension

Once you’ve installed the extension for your browser, simply open DevTools and select the Hints tab. From here, you’ll be able to run a customizable site scan. You can select what browsers are relevant to you by using the browserslist syntax. (browserslist is the defacto standard for creating browser support matrix, and it’s used by tools such as autoprefixer.) You can also ignore certain cross-origin resources in your scan, letting you focus on the code you care about most.

What’s new for v1

Since announcing the beta in July, we’ve made a number of bug fixes, improvements, performance enhancements, and all-new features to the browser extension based on your feedback. Here are a few of the highlights.

Improvements to cross-browser compatibility hints

Making sure your website works in all the browsers you care about is a difficult task. webhint’s compat-api uses MDN’s browser compat data to help you identify possible gaps in your browser support matrix.

In v1, we added suggestions for missing vendor prefixes. These hints are especially helpful for testing cross-browser compatibility. We also improved the way in which browser versions are listed in compatibility hints, as shown in the before and after screenshots below.

Grouping of similar hints

Previously, if a hint affected numerous elements on a webpage, it could produce an overwhelming number of recommendations. We’ve improved this experience by grouping similar hints together.

Similar hints are grouped together.

More insights on accessibility

Previously, the browser extension surfaced color contrast hints but did not display the current color contrast ratio. In v1, this information has been added to color contrast hints.

We’ve also made more granular category breakdowns for accessibility to help you quickly sort through recommendations.

…and more!

webhint now utilizes axe-core version 3.3.2, giving us a great performance boost. Browser extension scans now take an average of 9 seconds. We’ve also added hints for inline SVG styles, bug fixes, and more! You can see the full changelog here.

webhint ❤ open source

We saw about 30 unique contributors active on our GitHub repo since our last browser extension announcement at the end of July. That rules! 🎉 Thank you all for being part of the webhint community!

If you have feedback or would like to get involved in the future development of webhint, please find us on GitHubGitter, or Twitter.

Introducing OpenJS Foundation “Ask Me Anythings”

By | Blog

This October, the OpenJS Foundation, in collaboration with our hosted projects, is starting a brand new “Ask Me Anything” series where community members, developers, and other curious parties can get burning questions answered regarding specific projects and topics.

We are starting this initiative because of the popularity of the live AMA from the last Collab Summit in Berlin. We know not everyone can make those events, and why should we wait 6 months or more to talk about the cool things that are going on in the hosted projects?

We are kicking off this initiative on October 16 with The Node.js Project on “HTTP, Streams”.  It will be from 7:00 am to 8:00 am PST. Our panelists will be Anatoli Papirovsk and Stephen Belanger.  

If this is a topic you’d like to join us for, fill out this form and we’ll get all the details delivered to you! To make sure we have plenty of things to discuss and answer, you can also send us your questions on this topic. 

Fill out the form here: https://forms.gle/Bhw39NT6si66mB1f9
We look forward to hearing from you!

Press Release: OpenJS Foundation Names Robin Ginn as Executive Director

By | Blog

Former Microsoft executive to take the helm of recently merged foundation to accelerate the next phase of JavaScript ecosystem growth


SAN FRANCISCO–September 25, 2019 — The OpenJS Foundation, providing vendor-neutral support for sustained growth within the open source JavaScript community, today announced Robin Ginn, a longtime executive at Microsoft, is joining as its Executive Director. The OpenJS Foundation, formed in March of 2019 by the merger of the JS Foundation and the Node.js Foundation, is the neutral home for more than 30 open source projects and aims to drive broad adoption and ongoing development of key JavaScript solutions and related technologies. 

Robin Ginn, OpenJS Foundation Executive Director

“I’m honored to represent the OpenJS Foundation because developers and the communities that support open source projects have long been my heroes,” said Robin Ginn, OpenJS Foundation Executive Director. “JavaScript, with its vast developer base and engaged community, has all the right ingredients to grow and flourish. I’m excited to jump in and start working to support the future of this valued and necessary ecosystem.”

Ginn joins The Linux Foundation and the OpenJS Foundation from Microsoft, where she led many key open source initiatives. While there, she co-founded @OpenAtMicrosoft and was instrumental in Microsoft’s contribution and involvement in the Node.js project. 

As early as 2012 at Microsoft, Robin was a technical evangelist engaging with the Node.js community about new opportunities with Microsoft Azure through blogs, hackathons, and more. She helped shape Microsoft’s position for co-founding the Node.js Advisory Board in 2014 – the entity that preceded the formation of the Node.js Foundation with the Linux Foundation in 2015. She served on the marketing committee for the Node.js Foundation from its start, including hosting Node.js on the Road in China.

Most recently, Ginn led marketing and communications at Healthcare NExT, an AI-focused healthcare incubator in Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence & Research division. Ginn was a driving force behind go-to-market strategies that introduced commercial AI and machine learning projects, and she worked across the industry to advance health data standards through open source projects.

During her tenure at Microsoft, Ginn led strategic business and marketing initiatives for Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft’s Developer Division.

“After a thorough search process, the OpenJS Foundation board is pleased to welcome Robin to lead the next phase of the Foundation and support the ever-growing JavaScript community,” said Todd Moore, OpenJS Foundation Board Chairperson. “Robin is no stranger to the community and helped us launch the original foundation. Her stellar track record, diverse mix of skills and second-to-none leadership will serve the Foundation, its members and the entire community well. This, combined with her deep industry knowledge and business acumen, makes Robin uniquely qualified to lead the Foundation successfully into the future.”

“As chairperson of the Cross Project Council (CPC), I look forward to partnering with Robin to drive progress for the CPC, the community, the ecosystem, and the Foundation,” said Joe Sepi, the community-elected OpenJS Foundation CPC Chair. “Ultimately, we are aiming to grow a healthy environment for our more than 30 projects, and as our momentum builds, I’m excited to work with Robin on valuable programs and processes for the benefit of our hosted projects.”

About OpenJS Foundation 

The OpenJS Foundation is committed to supporting the healthy growth of the JavaScript ecosystem and web technologies by providing a neutral organization to host and sustain projects, as well as collaboratively fund activities for the benefit of the community at large. The OpenJS Foundation is made up of 32 open source JavaScript projects including Appium, Dojo, jQuery, Node.js, and webpack and is supported by 30 corporate and end-user members, including GoDaddy, Google, IBM, Intel, Joyent, and Microsoft. These members recognize the interconnected nature of the JavaScript ecosystem and the importance of providing a central home for projects which represent significant shared value. 

Diversity Scholarship Recipient talks Node+JS Interactive

By | Blog

OpenJS Foundation is excited and proud to offer the Node+JS Interactive Diversity Scholarship. The Node+JS diversity scholarship program provides support to those from traditionally underrepresented and/or marginalized groups in the technology and/or open source communities (including, but not limited to: persons identifying as LGBTIQ, women, persons of color, and/or persons with disabilities) who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the event for financial reasons.

The scholarship application deadline is August 30, 2019. If you have been considering applying, don’t delay! For details, check out the application form.

To learn more about Node+JS Interactive from the vantage point of a previous diversity scholarship recipient, we asked Amanuel Ghebreweldi to give us his thoughts on attending the event.

What did you get out of attending Node+JS Interactive?

Since this was my first foray into the Node.js Community and Canada, I had meticulously worked out a schedule of which talks and workshops I want to attend. The plan was to attend those talks and workshops that are most relevant to my knowledge and skills. But my flight got canceled, and I arrived later at the conference with jetlag straight from the airport. So, I decided instead to go with the flow and attend rather talks covering unfamiliar topics (and try to stay awake 🙂 )

In retrospect, it was the right choice because it allowed me to learn more about things outside of my comfort zone like IoT, ML, and Kubernetes, etc. And it made me realize how vast the Node.js and JavaScript ecosystem has become.

One of my highlights was Code + Learn, where I made my first Node.js core contribution. The whole setup of the event was great. Also, out of curiosity, I briefly attended Contributor Days. It was really interesting to get a rare “behind-the-scenes” look at the foundation and community.

Would you recommend attending? 

Yes, absolutely. It was a well-organized conference with many friendly faces, excellent speakers, and a broad range of topics covered (and Vancouver, Canada is wonderful 😉 )

What would you tell folks considering applying for the Diversity Scholarship? 

If you have the chance, go and apply for the scholarship! NodeJS + Interactive was a fantastic experience. The best moment I had during the conference was when I looked around and saw faces who looked like me and were interested in the same things as me. I felt absolutely inspired! I’m so thankful I had an opportunity to attend all the way from Germany.

With the deadline closing soon, head over to the application form and apply today! Good luck to each applicant and we hope to see you in December!

Kris Borchers Joins the OpenJS Foundation Board as First Community Director

By | Blog

The OpenJS Foundation is pleased to welcome Kris Borchers as the board’s representative from the Cross Project Council (CPC). 

Kris is an experienced leader and advisor who works to build and strengthen relationships with and between some of the largest corporations and most creative individuals that are using, creating and sharing open-source technology. He is now leveraging those skills to help drive adoption of an inner source culture within Azure and across all of Microsoft.

Kris is no stranger to open source communities or JavaScript and has held many leadership positions including the executive director of the JS Foundation and jQuery Foundation, as well as advising organizations such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the Mojaloop project and OASIS as part of their Open Projects Advisory Council. His experience spans a broad coverage area including managing websites and web applications early in his career to leading engineering teams developing enterprise open source mobile tools, to running a successful consulting business to leading nonprofit organizations supporting some of the most widely used open source projects in the world. 

Along the way, Kris earned a Master of Applied Computer Science and an MBA. In conjunction with his hands-on experience, these help him view things with a strategic eye while building relationships and empowering technical leadership to drive an organization’s open source strategy.

As the Board of Directors’ CPC representative, Kris says his goal is to serve the community to the best of his abilities. He’s looking forward to being a conduit between the board of directors and the project community and intends to be the projects’ voice in all board discussions while bringing the board’s thoughts and guidance back to the community.

Kris says, “Having run an open source foundation for a number of years gives me an understanding of the business, legal, and strategic processes involved in operating the OpenJS Foundation,” said Kris. “I’ve also worked closely with many of the current board members and Linux Foundation staff who support the foundation. I’m excited to jump right in and be a productive member of the board right away.”

Kris’ fascination with the JavaScript language began from his very his first exposure to it, and it was through JavaScript that he was introduced to open source. When asked what draws him to JavaScript and open source, Kris says, “I think the thing that really draws me in is the people side of the open source community and specifically the people in the open source JavaScript community. I have made some of my best friends through this community and that welcoming nature is something I want others to experience.” Ultimately, Kris wants the OpenJS Foundation to be the place people think of when they hear “open source JavaScript projects”. He feels it should be the clear place JavaScript projects go when they have reached the point where they need the support that a foundation can provide. 

A First Look at the Node+JS Interactive Schedule

By | Blog

The Node+JS Interactive schedule is live! Node+JS Interactive is an annual event that brings the wider Node.js and JavaScript communities together to collaborate face-to-face, network, and share their experiences deploying IoT, serverless, cloud native and progressive web apps, and much more. The conference takes place from December 11-12, 2019 in Montreal, Canada.

Attendees will benefit from face-to-face interaction discussing a variety of important topics like accessibility and internationalization. Additionally, the program will provide content that is appealing to a broad spectrum of members of the JavaScript ecosystem including topics like Node.js, frameworks, best practices and success stories from some of the world’s biggest companies deploying innovative applications at massive scale. Register here by September 20, 2019 to save up to $549USD on registration. 

The OpenJS Foundation is excited to share the initial schedule today. A few sessions to look forward to include:

  • Looking at the Future of Express: Using and Contributing to Express in 2020 – Wes Todd, Senior Software Engineer, Netflix
  • Node.js 12: A Decade of Node.js – Beth Griggs, Open Source Engineer, IBM
  • Hacker-Powered Data: The Most Common Security Weaknesses and How to Avoid Them – Miju Han, Director of Product Management, HackerOne
  • The State of the Art in Localization – Eemeli Aro, Library Developer, Vincit
  • Hands-on Intro to Kubernetes (and OpenShift) for JS Developers – Jan Kleinert, Developer Advocate, Red Hat & Ryan Jarvinen, Developer Advocate, Red Hat

There are plenty more to come, which will cover everything from diagnostics testing to progressive web applications to security and more.

Sponsors
As always, thank you to our awesome sponsors for supporting Node+JS Interactive!
Gold Sponsor: Sentry
Silver Sponsor: Red Hat
Bronze Sponsors: Linode, NodeRun

Visit the event website for more info on sponsoring the event.

Stay tuned for more as the full schedule, with keynotes, will be available in the coming weeks. 

Keep informed on everything that is happening by following us on Twitter (hashtag #NodeJSInteractive). You can find all the details for the upcoming event by visiting the Node+JS Interactive website.

Vincit Joins the OpenJS Foundation as a Silver Member

By | Blog

Vincit, a 12-year-old global software development and design agency from Finland with US headquarters in Irvine, CA, has joined the OpenJS Foundation as a Silver Member.  Vincit builds custom web, mobile and embedded solutions for its customers, and is a heavy user of many OpenJS Foundation Projects including Node.js, webpack, Appium, WebdriverIO, Mocha, ESLint and more.

“Vincit values open source and the collaboration it brings, so it made perfect sense for us to join the OpenJS Foundation,” said Mikko Salokangas, Vincit’s Head of Development in California. “As a heavy user of open source, JavaScript, and the projects within the OpenJS Foundation, we are thrilled to be members and to add to the continued success of this thriving ecosystem by giving back as a member.”

Vincit is dedicated to providing a collaborative work environment that supports continuous learning among its highly motivated and engaged employees. This culture has led to their recognition by Inc. Magazine as a Best Workplace in America and previous title of Best Place to Work in Europe by Great Place to Work® Institute. 

Becoming a member is one of many ways Vincit has supported open source and the developers within the community and ecosystem. They also work with external developers to help connect the community through events and meetups, including its own Vincit Dev Talks and co-founded the non-profit Coded in OC in Orange County, CA. Creating an environment ripe for collaboration and connection is key to the success of open source. 

The OpenJS Foundation’s mission is to support the healthy growth of JavaScript and web technologies by providing a neutral organization to host and sustain projects, as well as collaboratively fund activities that benefit the ecosystem as a whole. The OpenJS Foundation warmly welcomes Vincit as their support and commitment helps the JavaScript community at large with resources required to be stewards of stable, secure, and long-lasting codebases.

Meet Joe Sepi: Inaugural Cross-Project Council Chair

By | Blog

With the merger of the Node.js Foundation and the JS Foundation complete and the newly formed OpenJS Foundation taking shape and coming into its own, there are many exciting things happening, including electing new leaders within the Foundation’s governance. Recently, Joe Sepi was elected as Chairperson of the Cross-Project Council (CPC), which is the top-level advisory and technical governance committee within the OpenJS Foundation.

As the first-ever Chair of the CPC, Joe will play an integral part in the success and progress of the council and Foundation. We caught up with him to learn more about his vision and what he hopes the CPC will accomplish. Read on to learn more about Joe, his passion for open standards and his vision for the OpenJS Foundation.

What does a day in the life as community chair look like?  What is the impact of this position?

For me, this role is all about facilitating productive conversations in our weekly meetings, forward motion in our GitHub issues and pull requests, and in general, a healthy environment for the folks working in our community. At the end of the day, I want to champion progress for the CPC, and ultimately for the community, the ecosystem, and the Foundation. Being new to this role, part of my strategy for success is to be familiar with each open issue and pull request and to know who the subject matter expert or person with the most context is, so I can ensure those folks are being heard and able to help drive the conversation. Yes, part of this job is to lead meetings, but I’m always looking to hand the mic off over. Often times, the best way to facilitate good conversation is to stay out of the way. Additionally, this role encompasses a certain level of diplomacy, efficiency, and fairness, especially making sure all voices are heard to prevent lopsided conversations.  

I’ll also add that transparency is super important in open governance — we aim to do the majority of our work through issues and pull requests. We have open meetings and publish our meeting notes and try to capture any verbal decisions in the accompanying issues or pull requests so that the community can see the work and have an easy and familiar way to get involved. This process is at the core of what we do and how we work.

While new to the particular role, you are no stranger to open source communities or open-source collaboration. In fact, you are heavily involved in the Node.js Project and community. How has that experience shaped you for this new role on the CPC?

Yes, I’ve been a software engineer working with JavaScript for many, many years, and have had extensive experience on the Node.js Community Committee (CommComm). Many of the operations adopted by the CPC were born out of Node.js Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and CommComm. These allow the council to focus on the important things such as good discussion and landing issues. What I can really appreciate about Node.js meetings is the high level of transparency and process-driven decision making. By adopting the operationalized aspects of the Node meetings, such as how to get something on the agenda, and how to capture important topics during the meetings, I feel like we have a bit of a head start. It’s great to bring these best practices to the CPC.

As CPC Chair, what do you hope to accomplish?

My main goal is to be a good steward of the council and advocate for the projects. I was elected from the Node.js Project, but I’ve been involved in other projects (within the foundation and beyond) and I feel a certain responsibility to advocate for all projects within the OpenJS Foundation and even beyond the foundation bounds.

Additionally, I believe it is critical to have a wide range of voices in the conversation and will be proactive in inviting and encouraging a more diverse group of folks to be involved in our work.

What are your goals for the Foundation, and how do you plan to accomplish them?

We have the successes of two foundations under our belt, and a great opportunity to take what’s been done, and build upon it within the OpenJS Foundation. I’m excited to leverage what’s been previously achieved to help improve the overall JavaScript ecosystem and community. An example of this is the first-ever OpenJS Collaborator Summit. Previously, it was only Node maintainers, but by opening it up, I found it to be a very positive experience. Cross-pollination within the open-source community is crucial for progress. It was inspiring to see standards bodies, browser implementers, platform and tool authors and collaborators in the same room. These broad discussions will build and strengthen our community. 

Give us a brief background of your career and how open source has impacted it.

I started my tech career as a software engineer in 1998. Currently, I am an Open Source Engineer & Advocate at IBM.  In addition to CPC chair, I am also the Node.js CommComm rep to the CPC, and a TC39 delegate from IBM. I am fascinated and inspired by the way JavaScript open-source projects have been key to the success of the web; projects like jQuery, Dojo, Backbone, CoffeeScript, Babel and of course, Node.js. Having seen a few false starts with JavaScript on the server side, it’s been incredible to watch Node take off. Even more so, it’s been an honor to have played a part in its growth. 

For folks wanting to get involved in the CPC, what’s the best first step? 

Definitely follow us on Twitter (@openjsf) to get alerted to meetings, news, and tidbits. We publish our meeting agendas as Github issues which always include a link to access the meeting — we encourage observers to join the meetings and get involved. I also suggest folks subscribe to the Youtube Channel and click the bell to get alerts when meetings are streaming. And finally, watch the GitHub repos and peruse the issues and pull requests to see what work is being done; its the best way to get involved in the conversations and to find ways to contribute to the effort! 

What else should folks know about you, and what’s the best way to get in touch?

I enjoy talking to people so please don’t hesitate to reach out! For those wanting to connect feel free to hit me up on Twitter @joe_sepi (DMs open) or in person at events or out on the streets. I’m always down to talk about everything open source, open governance, punk rock, dirt bikes or whatever. :wave: