Friday, February 11, 2022 · 8 min read

JSON Schema joins the OpenJS Foundation and 2022 updates

Joining Postman to work full time on JSON Schema has been a great move for me personally, and I feel for the JSON Schema project. Working full time on JSON Schema has been something I never expected, but I'm grateful and honoured to be able to do.

It's been almost a year, and one of the first meetings I organized was to chat with the OpenJS Foundation to learn more and discuss the potential for JSON Schema to join the foundation. That's why it gives me great pleasure to announce that JSON Schema has joined the OpenJS Foundation!

I'll give a few other small updates, but joining the OpenJS Foundation is our headline.

Joining the OpenJS Foundation

The application to join could have been put in a year ago, but that wouldn't have been in line with the way we operate, and we wanted to do it right. JSON Schema works as a loose collective of individuals looking to form general consensus, and act accordingly.

There had long been a question over where JSON Schema would call home in terms of belonging to an organization. Would we formally join the IETF or the W3C, or maybe even some other open source / open standards organization? While myself and others had done some investigating and had a few calls, we were still unsure. We had made a few connections and could pick up threads again if required.

However, with the prospect of working on JSON Schema full time, I decided we should re-engage with the OpenJS Foundation. I wanted to provide confidence to the core team and community that JSON Schema would remain neutrally owned, and have an assurance of continuation should myself or others vanish from the space.

You can read my full proposal and report in a JSON Schema Community GitHub Discussion:

I primed the application, which was then reviewed and revised by the team and community. You can read the full application in our Community GitHub Repository:

OpenJS Foundation announcement

Here's the majority of the OpenJS Foundation announcement regarding JSON Schema joining the foundation. You can read the full announcement here:

JSON Schema is the newest technical project hosted under the OpenJS Foundation!

JSON Schema is a vocabulary that allows you to annotate and validate JSON documents. It defines how a JSON should be structured, making it easy to ensure that a JSON is formatted correctly, and it is useful for automated testing and validating. In addition, JSON Schema provides clear human- and machine-readable documentation.

"We are thrilled to welcome JSON Schema into the OpenJS Foundation. Building a community requires dedicated people and great technology, which JSON Schema already has. It also requires a reliable structure for open governance and legal support that allows worldwide communities to grow. As the vendor-neutral home to almost 40 open source projects, JSON Schema already fits in well with our ecosystem of projects," said Robin Ginn, OpenJS Foundation executive director. "We look forward to providing resources and support to JSON Schema to help their community to grow."

"JSON Schema's supportive community has in part enabled us to get this far. This has been critical to its success. JSON Schema is primarily a validation tool, plus it's gaining additional uses such as generating forms, generating databases, or generating other UIs. We want to make sure the community and technology can continue to grow, possibly in unforeseen directions," said Ben Hutton, JSON Schema specification lead at Postman. "By joining the OpenJS Foundation, we gain the community structure and support - with a strong focus on open governance - to continue to build and enlarge the community. We remain committed to being an interoperability focused standard, and want to provide assurance that JSON Schema will remain open and owned by the community that needs it."

"The OpenJS Foundation continues to grow, and JSON Schema is a great addition. It is a key foundational technology, and by joining the OpenJS Foundation, it now has a strong home for further growth," said Todd Moore, OpenJS Foundation Board Chairperson and Chief Developer Advocate IBM. "We are looking forward to working with and supporting JSON Schema."

"The OpenJS Foundation is continuing to support key technologies that JavaScript communities rely upon. JSON Schema is an important addition," said Joe Sepi, Open Source Program Director at IBM, and chairperson of the OpenJS Foundation Cross Project Council." JSON Schema is a great example of how interconnected JavaScript technologies can be. Providing a structure for sharing data is critical."

"The Cross Project Council carefully considers the projects that join our neutral home at the OpenJS Foundation. We are pleased to have JSON Schema onboard so we can support the project's growth, and the maintainers can contribute their expertise to the broader JavaScript ecosystem through OpenJS," said Eemeli Aro, Staff Software Engineer at Mozilla, and OpenJS Cross Project Council (CPC) member.

JSON Schema will be designated "At-Large," which includes many different types of projects but is most often used for stable projects with minimal needs. They are now officially in the incubation process where projects complete their on-boarding to join the foundation.

JSON Schema is hiring! (at Postman)

On joining Postman, one thing we discussed is the potential to bring on more people to work on JSON Schema full time. While JSON Schema currently does not provide or maintain any software as such, that could change.

In the immediate future, we're looking to hire for Software Engineer and for Technical Community Manager / Developer Relations roles.

Feel free to reach out to me directly via Twitter or Slack should you have any questions.

Regular calls

JSON Schema now holds two regular calls. We hold weekly Office Hours and twice monthly Open Community Working Meetings.

Office Hours are 15:00 UTC every Tuesday. The objective is to provide a space for people to ask questions or just chat about JSON Schema in real time with video.

Open Community Working meetings are every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. We have split the time across multiple zones, but we will be consolidating the time to 12:00 PT for both calls moving forward due to low attendance.

We still want more people to join us on these calls. If you want to have a voice in the future of JSON Schema, please join!

Links to both regular calls can be found on our home page:

Community, Slack, and GitHub Discussions

We started using GitHub Discussions as a place for our community outside of Slack. The free tier of Slack limits history, and the valuable answers and discussions are lost. While they can be deep-linked, people still have to be registered with the JSON Schema slack to read the content, and it's not search engine indexed.

After joining the OpenJS Foundation, I reached out to Slack again to see if they would bless us with a free Pro account. This time, they agreed! Enjoy access to the full history of our Slack server!

As we expand the ways in which we interact with our community, it feels fitting to enable the community to discuss how they would like to see things develop, and have an open space to see and read proposals. Our Community repo is that space:

JSON Schema Blog

JSON Schema now has a blog!

We wanted a space to provide best practice examples, thought pieces, case studies, and updates. You may even be reading this article on the blog itself!

Currently there are only a handful of articles, but several more case studies are in the works.

The blog has an RSS feed, so if you're still using an RSS reader you can catch every new update.

There were long time plans to rebuild the website as a whole, but our need for a blog escalated after some discussion around referencing on Twitter. Our first article was a joint post between myself and Mike Ralphson on the new JSON Schema bundling process.

We've published one case study in two languages, English and Japanese.

If you're interested in writing a guest post or collaborating on a case study, please reach out.

JSON Schema on YouTube

In addition to our written case studies, we wanted to provide some easy watching chat style case studies. This series is called JSON Schema in Production.

We needed a YouTube channel to host the videos, which you can now subscribe to - We need 100 subscribers to claim a custom URL, so any sharing is appreciated.

Open Objectives

With updates to GitHub Projects, I figured I'd see if they could be useful for tracking JSON Schema work in a more public way. Ultimately, I've ended up using task lists in issues, which seems to be working just fine for now. (Projects are still in beta.)

Postman uses the Objective, Key Results (ORK) approach to defining work. I created OKRs for JSON Schema.

Here is a Project view for 2022 Q1 OKRs grouped by objective.

Here's the Issue which lists all the Key Results as individual tasks.

In Summary

If you've read this far, you must be interested in what we're doing at JSON Schema and our plans for the future.

The most effective way to keep up to date is to join our Slack server. We're also using Twitter, which is our primary way to reach out to our community when we have questions.

There are lots more things we want to bring you, including essential tooling to enable a modern JSON Schema ecosystem.

Photo by Abraham Barrera on Unsplash.