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The debate about the UK open standards policy – is it a story like the one of the spider and the bee?

Jochen Friedrich's Open Blog - A fierce debate is going on about the UK open procurement policy and the open standards consultation that was issued by the UK government and where final submission is due by end of this month. It is the same (old) debate about open versus closed that we have seen so often before. It is discussed in almost every organisation around the globe, it seems, and culminates in a series of workshops around the topic to which the UK cabinet office has invited.

And as we have seen before, there is a good deal of confusion around and a good deal of FUD is created. There are some articles and blog posts from the workshops that give a bit of an idea of the debate. On ComputerWeekly Mark Ballard published an article where he did some research on how the first workshop went: “Open standards supporters who attended complained it was stacked with opponents who easily dominated a meeting motion against the government's open standards policy.” This was, in a way, countered or put into more balance by a statement from Andrew Hopkirk, moderator and facilitator of the round table – also published in ComputerWeekly.

 In a blog post Linda Humphries, member of the UK cabinet office, asks “Are open standards a closed barrier?” And she outlines in some detail what the actual objective of the UK policy makers is: