What people are saying

People are saying all sorts of nice things about us!

From an economic perspective, an organization that provides the scaffolding for technical domain experts to share their knowledge and wisdom is overwhelming beneficial to our society. Far too often, such organizations are hostage to corporate interests that look to exploit, rather than protect the commons. If an organization like Spec-Ops can help some of these do-gooders improve our digital infrastructure, we should do everything possible to support their endeavor to achieve fair governance.

- Matt Schwartz

Spec-Ops brings together the essential ingredients of rich technical skill and deep passion for a market problem to actually conceptualize and develop a workable new standard. This foundation work is indespendislbe for any standards organziation that ultimately adopts and promotes the new work. I love the opportunity that Spec-Ops represents.

- Matt Stone

"Internet standards are a tragedy of the commons. Everyone needs them but no one wants to pay for them. Spec-Ops is a real answer—a solution developed by a great group of standards veterans who know firsthand how badly the commons needs tending. I support Spec-Ops wholeheartedly and look forward to working with them for many years to come."

- Drummond Reed

"Spec-Ops is the right way to accelerate the development of standards. Standards are vital. However, so often standards development lags the innovations in technology, not by days, but by years and this causes no end of problems and costs for everyone down the line. Gone are the days when hard working people in demanding day time jobs can move fast enough to help the industry develop fit for purpose standards in their spare time. By getting these experts together and paying them a stipend to do this vital work we finally have an opportunity to get ahead of the curve. They have my total support."

- Dr. Louise Bennett

Spec-Ops is needed to help speed the development and adoption of standards. Collaboration is something that many praise, but without a group of persons to facilitate and support it, it does not happen because it is no one's job to make it happen. Collaboration facilitation has to be done by someone and Spec-Ops could help the collaboration needed for standards development happen in a more timely and effective manner.

- Richard J. Varn

"Supporting the knowledge commons that include today's internet standards suffers at entry level from the free rider problem and at higher levels from the undue influence of large organizations exerting control for commercial advantage. There's also a lack of ongoing support for updating and securing these standards and their implementations against bugs. We haven't learned the lessons of the TLS Heartbleed bug: 15 years after the standard was finalized, the dominant open source TLS implementation was being supported by a quarter-time engineer — despite the fact that it was securing billions of dollars of commerce and private information! We need to find new ways to support the creation and adoption of standards so that they can be maintained for the long term; supporting Spec-Ops is a possible solution."

- Christopher Allen — Co-Editor IETF TLS 1.0 Standard, Co-Creator the SSLRef 3.0 and TLSRef 1.0 Reference Implementations.

"Spec-Ops is a welcome response to a growing reality in which the crafting, drafting, and implementation of open standards needs a degree of agility that's currently unavailable from existing sources. Ideally, this organization would fill a generally overlooked -- but costly void-- in today's highly distributed and connected technology landscape."

- Kingsley Idehen

"The team putting together Spec-Ops has the right experience to know how to inject targeted support to the most necessary next steps across many developing standards. The challenges and opportunities are large, and Spec-Ops will be a venue to advance standards work that many companies depend on but are moving too fast on product to directly contribute to."

- Nate Otto

"I have been working on web standards continually from the start, chairing one of the first web standards workshops in 1995, and chairing several standards working groups. Coming from the academic community, where ideas are our principle product, one of my great frustrations has been that of the many parties involved in standards not all are interested in the best technical solutions, but rather in advancing their companies' existing solutions, and blocking what would otherwise be exciting initiatives, especially since those parties are often the ones with the most money for advancing standards. It is therefore exciting and heartening to see a new initiative without any corporate agenda other than to get the best-possible standards out into the world, so that they can be used by the people who need them."

- Steven Pemberton, CWI, Amsterdam; co-author of HTML4, XHTML, CSS, XForms, RDFa and many others.

"Standards geeks and orgs (IETF, W3C, ...), are the unsung heroes who have invented the technical foundations of the internet and web (ditto in many other industries). Without such mostly-unknown efforts, these society-changing technologies wouldn't work smoothly, or we'd be locked into proprietary vendor solutions (which would cost money!).

From 15 years' participation in W3C (representing my former company, participating in Working Groups, and on the Advisory Board), I know there is never enough time, money, nor diversity of participation (looking at you, Africa, South America, SE Asia, Eastern Europe!). Nor is there adequate public understanding of the foundational importance of this work.

For all these reasons, I heartily applaud Spec-Ops' goals to help bridge those gaps by funding selected projects needed to further greater interoperability, focused research, and speedier standards-to-market."

- Ann Bassetti

'In the end, the internet works because of an outstanding intrinsic drive of around 400 people that deeply care about interoperability. These people go well beyond the extra mile and typically are not rewarded (well) for their important work. They just care. Because it is by their pure care, that we can connect.

In times when the internet enters into dangerous levels of fragmentation, an important amount of this care comes together in Spec-Ops.

So go Spec-Ops! Keep on caring and bring it to a next level! The world needs it!'

- Floris Kleemans

“An awesome initiative. I’ve had the pleasure of working directly with 3 of the 4 principle drivers of this in the past, and they’ve hit the nail squarely on the head. I strongly support this, and look forward to working with this group in the near future.”

John Foliot – Principal Accessibility Strategist – Deque Systems Inc.

“Accredited Standards creation requires a lot of passion and engagement from participating organizations to get to market. A key asset to any Standards effort is the ability to quickly prototype and develop coding use cases; which greatly enhance the adoptability; but rarely to participants have the bandwidth to contribute this invaluable step. Spec-Ops offers a valuable resource to any Standards organization with the availability of dedicated and knowledgeable experts ready to jump in on worthy projects; to help fill the gaps in Standards process and get the project done and on to implementation.”

- Gray Taylor, Executive Director, Connexus

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