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A Question of (Open) Standards

ComputerWorldUK - Glyn Moody - As long-standing readers will know, alongside ACTA, the other main theme of this blog over the last year or so has been the battle for the soul of open standards, which culminated in the UK government's consultation on the subject. We don't yet know what the outcome there will be, but whatever it is, the issue of open standards will only increase in importance.

That makes this independent study on "the costs and benefits of introducing an open standards policy for software interoperability, data and document formats in government IT requirements", commissioned a few months ago by the Cabinet Office, extremely useful.

As far as I know, it's the first rigorous, in-depth look at this whole area, and it makes for fascinating reading (well, it does if you are one of those sad people like me that finds this subject interesting.). Most of it will be familiar enough around here, but it adds plenty of links to original papers that provide further food for thought. And along the way, it brings out a few specific points that are worth emphasising - like this one, contrasting the impact of copyright and patents on software interfaces, which lie at the heart of standards in the computer world: