Foundations and programming languages

The Node.js Foundation has the following mission:

“…to enable widespread adoption and help accelerate development of Node.js and other related modules through an open governance model that encourages participation, technical contribution, and a framework for long term stewardship by an ecosystem invested in Node.js’ success.”

It’s an entity that guards, grows and promotes node.js (even though it’s not a language we think the same principles of governance apply). An open entity that also brings the community of node.js developer into the development of node itself. People love open source and open governance, being part of it all, and the Foundation offers just that, you can get involved very easily. That means that any Node developer can contribute to future releases, that the community can rally in a single direction. Going strong, forward.

JavaScript also got its own Foundation recently, to unify the ever changing JavaScript ecosystem. The Foundation model goes beyond the JavaScript land, there are several other programming languages that follow a similar model.

Perl: “The Perl Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of the Perl programming language through open discussion, collaboration, design, and code. It coordinates the efforts of numerous grass-roots Perl-based groups, including: International Yet Another Perl Conferences; Carries the legal responsibility for Perl 5 and Perl 6;; Perl Mongers; PerlMonks.”

Python:“The mission of the Python Software Foundation is to promote, protect, and advance the Python programming language, and to support and facilitate the growth of a diverse and international community of Python programmers.”

But it’s not a general rule, Java is owned by Oracle, who take a different approach to governance, defending Java vigorously even in court when other companies try to use it (see Oracle v Google). Swift is owned and developed by Apple, .net (not a language, but still) is developed by Microsoft Go by Google and PHP is supported heavily the Zend Corporation.

Each of these languages (and not just them) have taken different routes over the years, in development, community involvement, releases and so on. The way they are governed has an impact on them, on the direction they are heading, on the updates that are include and how often they are released.

What do you think of the impact of a Foundation governance on Node.js? Which governance model offers a good direction for programming languages (and not just that: frameworks, runtime environments etc) ?