(Presented at JSConf US 2013. Be sure to check out the speaker notes!)
Frustration, a rant, a test suite, a gist. Then, community awesomeness. Boom! Promises/A+ was born.
However, the most interesting aspect of Promises/A+ is not just the code it enables, but how we worked to create it. We didn't join a standards body, but instead formed a GitHub organization. We had no mailing list, only an issue tracker. We submitted pull requests, made revisions, debated versions tags, etc.—all in the open, on GitHub. And, we succeeded! Promises/A+ is widely used and implemented today, with its extensible core forming the starting point of any discussions about promises. Indeed, this community-produced open standard has recently been informing the incorporation of promises into ECMAScript and the DOM. I'd like to share the story of how this happened, the lessons we learned along the way, and speculate on the role such ad-hoc, community-driven, and completely open specifications have for the future of the web.