Open Prioritization

July 14, 2020

Like Kickstarter, but for Web Platform Features.

That’s about the quickest way to sum up Open Prioritization from Igalia. Igalia is an independent company that works on browsers. They literally commit to all the different open source browsers to implement (and fix) features that we all use. Now they are asking: what browser features are important to you? Are they important enough for you to pledge some money to get it implemented?

I think it’s a clever idea and I’d love for it to get enough legs that it actually starts working and that enough money comes in that Igalia is able to throw resources behind the features that people have voted are the most important with their money.

For example, I pledged $20 to get d: path(); support in Firefox. Heck yeah, that would be awesome! If it starts edging closer to that goal, I know I’d be tempted to up that to get it over the line, but some momentum needs to start building first.

Is this all sunshine and roses? Perhaps not. Some of the pushback I’ve heard so far is about the message this sends to the massive companies behind these browsers. Rather than the message being “please fix these features of your incredibly important piece of software, it will make things better for everyone including you,” the message becomes, “I guess we’ll spend our own money and band together to try to get a third-party to fix your software for you.” A bit like when school teachers need to buy their own classroom supplies.

Rachel Andrew talked to Brian Kardell about some of this nuance in her coverage on Smashing Magazine.

And, oh hey, in related news, I recently came across this Web Platform Contribution Guide. What a nice resource for people looking to get into helping the web literally and directly.