[linux-neuchatel] Definition of the notion "open standard"

Norbert Bollow nb at bollow.ch
Thu Sep 17 13:53:45 CEST 2009

Swiss Internet User Group
  an Initiative of /ch/open
Postfach 1908
8021 Zürich

siug at siug.ch

linux-neuchatel at lists.alphanet.ch

Dear Sir or Madam

In our increasingly networked world, the ready availability of
information via the internet is becoming increasingly important
in all areas of life. Open standards ensure that information
can be exchanged, archived, and read.  In particular, situations
of vendor lock-in, of being forced to use particular software
from a particular vendor, can be avoided.

In this context we draw your attention especially to the work of
the Parliamentary Group on Digital Sustainability, see
http://www.digitale-nachhaltigkeit.ch/ (in German) and
http://durabilite-numerique.ch/ (in French).

However this demand for open standards will only be able to
achieve its objectives if there is a widely recognized, precise
and sufficiently strict definition of the notion "open standard".
Otherwise software vendors can simply pretend that descriptions
of their proprietary software offerings are "open standards" even
when the problem of vendor lock-in remains unsolved.

We have therefore prepared a proposed definition for the notion
of "open standards" (see http://siug.ch/ostandards/def-en ). In
order to reach a definition which is supported as broadly as
possible, we would like to ask also you to comment on our
definition proposal. We are asking for comments of any kind -
agreement as well as suggestions for improvement or objections.
If you see problems or weaknesses of the definition proposal, it
will be a great help if you can explain these points as concretely
as possible.

In any case we would be grateful for an official response by
November 20, 2009.

We will continually publish incoming responses on our website at
http://siug.ch/ostandards/a and after the end of the comments
period, we will revise the definition on the basis of the
responses that we have received.  The resulting definition will
form the basis of our campaign for open standards.  If you are
interested in collaboration with us regarding this topic, we
request a brief message to let us know.

In addition, we would kindly request a quick, informal reply
indicating that a response is being prepared.  (Otherwise I will
continue to try to reach someone who is willing to take care of
ensuring that a response will be prepared.)

Yours sincerely
on behalf of SIUG

Norbert Bollow

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