30 May 2014
Stripe Open-Source Retreat

UPDATE 2014-06-05: This application got turned down, see below.

Heard of Stripe Open-Source Retreat? This post is an open-source application letter for for-get HTTP - https://github.com/for-GET.


is a collection of software libraries that put together is:

  • functional - it will run an HTTP server
  • complete - it will follow and understand 100% of HTTP specification
  • reliable - it will have functional tests, and the parser uses the grammar the specification comes with
  • redundant - it will be replaceable with another implementation that works on the same data (grammar, tests, state machine)
  • efficient - it is KISS and DRY across programming languages

application form

I’ll get into the details as well, but first things first: fill-in-the-spaces of the “application form” (as they appeared in Stripe’s blog post).

  • to work full-time on an open-source project
    for-GET HTTP
  • internal tech talks
    for-GET HTTP, Keep It to Tools, TDD for HTTP APIs, ...
  • it's some "infrastructure" that every company currently builds in-house
  • Does our grant have the ability to transform this project's trajectory?
    This project asked for such a grant one year ago, so most definitely YES!
  • Are you an influencer within the project?
    I, am your father
  • Will your ability to focus on it full-time move the project forward in some significant way?
    I worked 4+ full time months in my spare time already to bring it where it is today. Last year I gave up that trend as it was breaking me up in two. It's simply not possible to handle such a project while maintaining a healthy life. Being able to focus full-time will make it or break it.
  • Is this a project that people already use and has attracted a lot of attention?
    Bits and pieces of this project's philosophy are already in use (e.g. Webmachine) and has attracted attention, be it in the form of forks to non-Erlang languages, be it in the form of tweets, reddit, hacker news, prismatic...
  • how much potential does it have?
    If-this-then-that illustration:
    • if APIs will eat the world,
    • and most APIs will share common characteristics (request-response pattern, authorization, handling bad/forbidden requests, handling content-negotiation, etc) if not a whole protocol (i.e. HTTP),
    • and most bootstrapping (i.e. frameworks) starts and finishes at a (de)serializing messages, and not at a semantics level
    • -
    • then we won't move past evangelizing/learning the same "best" practices over and over again - 2004, 2014 - nor moving past "HTTP is complicated" - 2010, 2013.
    Time to market a well-defined, standardized and trustworthy HTTP interface is key to delivering better web services!
  • Is it a project that [...] would be particularly exciting if successful?
    YES! As a developer, I would be excited to stop looking at HTTP specs whenever I implement a web service. As an API owner, I would be excited to know that I rely on a trustworthy implementation of the HTTP standards and that my API is not as good as the best HTTP spec reader I have in the company, but as good as framework X version Y is - "We are ISO-foo-bar certified!".
  • Is there a good plan for how these 3 months will be used?
    See below.
  • What indicators are there that you'll be able to pull it off?
  • </li>

In audio & video

In detail

Read through my attempt for a IndieGoGo crowd-funding. The facts, the drive, the goal, … everything is there.

3 month plan

Click events for a brief description.


Disqus bellow or email is your friend.

Fingers crossed.



Thanks a lot for applying to the Open Source Retreat. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to accept your project. We ended up with about 120 applications, and ultimately only had 2 available slots, which meant we had to turn away a lot of projects that we would have loved to sponsor. We’ll be announcing our selectees soon; watch our Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/stripe) for details.

We’re treating the retreat as an experiment, but the strong interest we’ve seen makes it likely we’ll do something like it again (and we hope you’ll apply if/when we do). In any case, we expect we’ll learn a lot from this run and hopefully have lessons to share back with the community. We’ve also had a number of companies express interest in doing something similar, so hopefully other similar opportunities will arise soon.

  • gdb