Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.


Two days ago I dusted off the rarely-used voting procedure for Dojo Foundation projects in order to kick off a transition that I'm very excited about: as of this afternoon, the committers of the Dojo project have elected Peter Higgins the new Project Lead for the toolkit project.

I've had the pleasure of working with Peter both in the Dojo project and at SitePen and his energy and enthusiasm for making Dojo better and helping designers and developers work better together is infectious.

For anyone not familiar with Peter's work, he's been instrumental in the creation of the amazing Dojo Campus website (along with the Uxebu chaps) as well as being primary author of many DojoX components. His work in shepherding new contributors through the contributor to committer process is nearly legendary inside the project, and Peter has been a one-man outreach and support machine via the Dojo blog and his endless patience on the forums and IRC (#dojo on I couldn't be happier about where Dojo is headed under his direction.

There have already been some recurring questions about this transition amongst the committers and on today's Open Web podcast, so let me quickly recap them here:

Q: Will you still be involved in Dojo?

Absolutely! I'm excited that Pete is taking on the figurehead and "vision thing" duties which is a role that he's naturally suited to. Part of this transition is about me wanting more time to focus on experimental and edgy stuff that can make a huge difference in how we work with the web and I have no doubt that Peter is the right guy to help us grow the truly open Dojo community even further. He absolutely gets the importance of a truly open community, the need to be conservative about where IP comes from and meet our promises of backwards-compatibility, and how Dojo can make big changes in the lives of application developers and designers. I'm grateful to be have the opportunity to continue working with him on Dojo and will continue to do so in whatever capacity Peter deems appropriate.

Q: Does this change your role at the Foundation?

Nope. I'm still serving as President of the Dojo Foundation. This transition will allow me to also focus more time on ensuring that the Foundation is running well, that a new Board is elected soon, and that the Foundation's other projects succeed on their own terms. The Foundation has always been about more than just giving Dojo a home, and we're now looking to expand the umbrella of the Foundation to help nurture other JavaScript and Open Web projects more than ever.

Q: Will you still be doing talks on Dojo?

Yep, I'll still be out there advocating the Dojo case, but you can expect to see Peter doing more of that over time as well. If you're planning a conference and are looking for a cogent person to talk about Dojo, Peter is now your go-to guy. I've enjoyed having the opportunity to think and talk about where the Open Web is headed, so I'll also be doing a lot more of that. There are lots of meta-issues that this transition will let me work harder on, so expect more from me there.

My hat's off to the Dojo community and Peter in particular. The work that has gone into 1.2 and will land in 1.3 and beyond under his direction really is changing the way we view what the web can and should be used for.