We are a group of software engineers from all over the world who have come together to advocate for the future of the open web by providing regulators, legislators and policy makers the intricate technical details that they need to understand the major anti-competitive issues in our industry and how to solve them.
What is at stake?
The entire future of Application Development is at stake. Without regulatory or legislative change, we risk losing a universal, free and open, write once, deploy anywhere, application distribution and deployment system which will dramatically lower costs for businesses and consumers.
Without these changes, funding will shift to proprietary ecosystems and gatekeepers can extract heavy taxes. It will lock in their control and reduce innovation for mobile apps for many years to come.
Where do we start?
As an ad hoc group of web developers, we became convinced that the #AppleBrowserBan represents a major threat to the future of the open web. When the UK monopoly regulator, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched its market study into mobile ecosystems, some of our UK “members” were invited to brief the CMA.
We wrote our Regulatory Submission, “Bringing Competition to Walled Gardens” as part of this investigation.
Our top three priorities
- Apple's ban of third party browsers on iOS is deeply anti-competitive, starves the Safari/WebKit team of funding and has stalled innovation for the past 10 years and prevented Web Apps from taking off on mobile.
- Deep System Integration
- Web Apps need to become just Apps. Apps built with the free and open web need equal treatment and integration. Closed and heavily taxed proprietary ecosystems should not receive any preference.
- Web App Equality
- All artifical barriers placed by gatekeepers must be removed. Web Apps if allowed can offer equivalent functionality with greater privacy and security for demanding use-cases.
We are not working on behalf of a major company
(Update 1 March 22) We didn't initially sign this document for two reasons: firstly, we want discussion to be about the facts, not personalities. Secondly, some of our livelihoods depend on Apple allowing our products in the App Store. Here are some of our members who are comfortable being named, to show we are “real people” and not Google/ Mozilla/ Microsoft PR.
None of the big companies were advocating for the open web and web apps, that's why we rely on unpaid, volunteer time from software engineers. We have not received any funding, and are not working on behalf of any major company.
- Matthew Thomas, UK. Web Developer, Small Business Owner
- Stuart Langridge, UK. Developer and Consultant
- Bruce Lawson, UK. Accessibility and Web Standards Consultant
Stuart and Bruce were recently interviewed for a piece in The Register – Web devs rally to challenge Apple App Store browser rules, and we have listed all coverage on our press page.
How can you help?
We need you to contact your regulators / legislators / representatives and galvanize support for change in your jurisdiction.
If you believe in the future of the web, you can help make that future a reality.