Anne van Kesteren


Quite quickly after the summer vacation period I figured out I was not that passionate about building a new product. What I wanted to be working on was a much smaller territory: URLs. So I started writing the URL Standard. Some time in I learned about the NLnet Foundation and wondered whether they might be able to help me out in this endeavor, as being independent for a while felt nice. It would also ensure I could finish the first 80% of the URL Standard, leaving the remaining 80% (no typo) for when implementations start to align and feedback starts coming in, which for standards work about already implemented technology is usually much later (e.g. the HTML parser was first defined in 2006 and it took until 2012 for it to be mostly implemented across the board).

NLnet is one of the few organisations in the world that funds independent people who contribute to the internet. The projects they have funded range from software running on root servers of the internet to popular security browser plugins such as NoScript, from TOR Hidden Services to Unhosted, from real time kernel updates (KSplice) to finding the security holes in GSM telephony (and then rebuilding it with open source GSM/LTE). All open source and out in the open.

So I made a proposal to work on WHATWG standards budgeted for three months and after handing over a more detailed proposal it was accepted. Putting the work in the public domain and in repositories on GitHub as I had been doing was encouraged. I can heartily recommend them either if you’re looking for an organisation to support this kind of work or if you’re looking to sponsor such an organisation.