What does 'Open' Mean?

Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Nov 29, 2012 2:58 PM EDT
ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove
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If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably have an interest in 'openness' of some kind: open standards and open source software most likely, but you may also feel strongly about openness in other technology-enabled areas, like open data or open government - or openness as a guiding principle, no matter what the digital terrain.

If your interest has taken you into the debates that surround any of these types of openness, you're probably also aware that openness is a term that not everyone defines the same way, or across all situations.

Today, the definition of what an 'open standard' should mean is passing from the academic to the economic realm, as multiple governments (such as the U.K.) are redefining that term for purposes of public procurement. The consequences can be huge not only economically, but also in the disruptive effects they may have in reordering the competitive positions of dominant and smaller vendors.

For that reason, after writing and publishing 68 issues over the past year of my eJournal, Standards Today, I've dedicated almost an entire issue to the question of what 'open standards' should mean.

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