Xavi Drudis Ferran xdrudis at
Wed Mar 31 13:07:11 UTC 2010

That tabel of standards would be nice, but it may be more difficult to produce than it seems.

I'm running out of time, I hope it's ok to send my observations here...

> Open Standards are essential for interoperability and freedom of
> choice based on the merits of different software applications. They
> provide freedom from data lock-in and the subsequent vendor
> lock-in. This makes Open Standards essential for governments,
> companies, organisations and individual users of information
> technology. While Open Standards are generally agreed upon as a very
> important issue and goal, the definition of "Open Standard" is still
> somewhat controversial.

Is not that controversial, it's more like abused. I think open
standards are to software as democracy is to society. We achieve it in
varying degrees, we sacrify it too often in pursuit of misperceived
comfort and we suffer the consequences, we all know what it is about
but we could argue very long to define it very precisely, but we all
agree you shouldn't believe it's there in a particular case merely
because someone says so.

>    2. without any components or extensions that have dependencies on
> formats or protocols that do not meet the definition of an Open
> Standard themselves;

It's not very very clear whether this means any such extension you add
to the standard does not constitute part of the standard and such
extension should be avoided or once somebody adds such an extension to
an standard the standard cease to be open and the standard should be

>    3. free from legal or technical clauses that limit its utilisation
> by any party or in any business model;

Legally encumbered standards are often not encumbered by clauses in
the standard itself. And of course in places with software patents
legal encumbrances might even be submarine. This makes it difficult
to phrase this condition. On the other hands there might be fair
limits to use (GPL ? trademarks not allowing to call an implementation
compliant if it isn't ?).

>    5. available in multiple complete implementations by competing
>       vendors, or as a complete implementation equally available to
>       all parties.

weak? "equally available" is enough ?

> Visible effects of Open Standards are that you can:
>     * Choose any operating system or application and still be able to read and edit all your old documents.
>     * Collaborate with others regardless of which software they are using.
>     * Use any software of your choice to interact with your government.

I agree this is hyperbolic, I'd write it more like

* Greater choice in operating system, hardware or application while still being able to read and edit your old documents.

* Greater possibilities to collaborate with others using different software (which becomes a right
when collaboration is required, like with governments)

* Greater reach by removing requirements to access your message

(interacting with governmetn isn't merely a case of interacting with others? )

>     * lower taxes as a result of more effective governmental IT
>       solutions that avoid the cost of lock-in

Already said. At least we shoudl allow democratic governments to chose
whether any saving go to increased coverages,services or quality or they go to
lower taxes.

> More information on Open Standards

There used to be a definition of Open Standards by IDABC that I liked.
I'm not sure it's still current, unfortunately... I don't know where to
find it right now.

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