Next steps for Swagger Governance

  May 26, 2015


Governance of the Swagger Specification and Tooling has, up to now, been very informal. Tony Tam (the founder of the Swagger project) has historically had the role of the benevolent dictator which, together with his clear vision for Swagger and what problems it should and should not solve, has worked very well. A large number of people have contributed code (and continue to do so) in line with his ideas and Tony has been extremely open to accepting any contribution that make Swagger more appealing to its users.

Version 2.0 of the Swagger Specification, which released last year, was discussed within a workgroup of over 400 participants - many of which were actively involved in the discussion - and the final decisions were made by Tony under guidance of the group.

Where are we now?

Swagger has grown tremendously over the last year, and the project stewardship was moved from Reverb to SmartBear Software in mid-March 2015. With this growth and transition, the need for an updated governance model for Swagger has become evident - aiming to handle the increased scale of the project and answer questions around ownership, openness, licensing, collaboration, vision, etc.

Over the last few weeks, we have had initial discussions with members of the Swagger community to gather their needs and concerns in regard to governance of the specification, the core tooling and the project at a higher level. The questions discussed at these meetings are core to moving this forward. For example:

  • Should we continue with a benevolent dictatorship or open up for a more meritocratic approach?
  • Should the governing structure and process around the specification be different than around the supporting tools?
  • Should participation in governance and processes be based strictly on code contributions or also on other aspects?
  • How can we find a model that empowers both vendors and individual community contributors to influence the future of Swagger?
  • How can we find a model that continues to support rapid evolution of the tools and spec in a collaborative fashion?
  • etc...

Meeting notes from these discussions have been collected by Marsh Gardiner and are available at

What's next?

Going forward, we want to suggest a governance model for Swagger within the coming 4-6 weeks based on continuous feedback from the Swagger community. A separate Google Group for discussing governance of Swagger is available at!forum/swagger-governance and we highly encourage you to comment there to make us aware of your needs and concerns in this regard. Also, follow swagger-api on twitter to make sure you get the latest announcements as this moves forward.

If governance of Swagger is an important issue for you, please participate in these discussions and make your voice heard. We really want to find a governance model that keeps the community empowered and passionate about the future of Swagger.

/Swagger team @

SmartBear Software