by Dave McAllister

Created

June 5, 2014

This month marks the fourth anniversary of the Open@Adobe initiative,  a site presenting a view of  the openness efforts at Adobe. We’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on how Adobe has taken an active and leading role in helping to enhance, expand and make the Web open over the past few years.

 Active Participation

Being active is an important part of driving innovation. These innovative new concepts continue to power the Web, making it a rich and exciting experience for all. Be it desktop or device, Adobe has continued to increase its active participation in standards and in open source. Our involvement has naturally been widespread, and over the last 10 years has grown into various areas, actively adding new concepts to standards. Over the past few years, we have built a large roster comprised of active members, chairs/co-chairs and authors of numerous W3C standards like CSS, WCAG and ARIA. In addition, we co-fund the current W3C HTML5 editor along with Google and Microsoft and we created, donated and contribute to the W3C’s Test the Web Forward activity to help deliver a robust and interoperable Web. We are also an editor for Canvas 2D, work with SVG and co-chair the TPE specification. We are constantly releasing new technologies under open source terms to allow others to continue to drive new innovations.

 Standards Bodies

Adobe also plays a major role contributing to an open and expressive web by participating in various standards bodies such as IETF, ECMA, ISO. While Adobe has always taken an active part in driving standards development forward, over the last few years we have taken  those efforts to a new level in Web standards as well as related standards. Several of these are long time Adobe specifications, such as XMP and  PDF.  PDF, otherwise known as ISO 32000, is one of the most popular and widely used, a key component of HTML 5 and is a recognized  international standard. Other examples of Adobe contributing to opening technology through standardization include involvement in ICC, Unicode, OpenType and JPEG.

 Open Source Technologies

Open source as a development philosophy is recognized to both increase innovation and drive adoption. Adobe recognized this early, starting with the contribution of Tamarin to the Mozilla Foundation. We have released more than 150 pieces of technology under open source licenses. On GitHub alone, there are currently 177 public repositories, more than 10 GB of code and represent 13 organizations within Adobe. Open source projects such as Brackets, Source Code, Topcoat and snap.SVG are all top-rated projects on GitHub and actively extend the capabilities of the open Web. Our teams also continue to contribute to open source browser applications, such Gecko, Blink and WebKit. The Adobe Web platform repository is a great resource that highlights a number of significant open source contributions  for such capabilities as CSS shapes and regions. Adobe has been equally active and ambitious in our release and support of open source technologies and communities. We are extremely active in the Apache foundation including the Apache Web server, as well as active involvement and heavy contribution to Apache Felix, Apache Oak, Apache Aries, Apache Jackrabbit, Apache Sling and Apache Stanbol. Additionally, such projects exist within Apache that originated with the larger Adobe, such as Apache Flex and Apache Cordova.  

At Adobe,  the Web is not only about the technology and code but also about the content and its delivery. The benefits of an “open” Web that it allows content providers to choose what and how they wish to delivery content, and we hope to move this needle even further in the years to come.