What make a good Standard?

Below are some of the considerations when looking at standards we should adopt as a group

  1. Adoption - How well is the standard adopted by systems and respected by practitioners forums
    • Deployment - is it a defacto standard that is in widespread use, and therefore needs support anyway? (a la .doc or ESRI shapefile). Are there existing implementations that we can either draw upon, or can we implement a library so that ourselves and others are able to ease deployment of the standard?
  2. A liberally licensed specification - Not all standards are free and some require royalties to obtain. Licenses should be aligned to the Free and Open Source principles.
    • Accessibility - the standard specification should be freely obtainable, and there must be no licensing or royalty costs associated with implementation or promotion.
  3. An Open Source implementation - This is not a must, but it certainly helps assure that the standard has been implemented transparently. It also help propagate the standard as any one can adopt these libraries into their products.
  4. An Open Community Process - Not all standards are defined and refined in an open community process. Some require exclusive memberships before you can participate
    • Representation - can anyone join? Does it cost to join? Can everyone comment? Can everyone vote? Is the breakdown of representation truly representative of end users? Does the body developing the standard have awareness and recognition of end users that are likely to adopt the standard?
    • Approval - is it a democratic vote using a formal process (e.g. OASIS or W3C) or is it a 'push' by a benevolent dictator (e.g. PFIF). We should encourage and support standards processes that use democratic and defined voting processes, and not those pushed by a benevolent dictator - and this could be either a well meaning person, or a corporation (a la Microsoft OOXML, and possibly less than benevolent). Note that the approval process is different from representation.
standards/open_standard_definition.txt · Last modified: 2010/12/18 17:35 (external edit)
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