Standards wide open

eGovernment

In January, I wrote* about the European Interoperability Framework, EIF. The discussion paper has attracted some attention around various corridors, it seems. CompTIA has written a white paper about EIF, which was presented last week to eBIF. I haven’t found a publically available version to link to, but can tell that it, just as one would expect, is full of the usual “choice” talk. CompTIA has not changed since they launched SoftwareChoice.org (where Bruce Perens responded with his SincereChoice.org.

The central issue is about what an open standard means.

The EIF Draft adopts a definition from the Dutch Programme for Open Standards and Open Source Software in Government (OSSOS) which goes like this:
The word “open” is here meant in the sense of fulfilling the following requirements:

  • the costs for the use of the standard are low and are not an obstacle to access to it;
  • the standard has been published;
  • the standard is adopted on the basis of an open decision-making procedure (consensus or majority decision etc);
  • the intellectual property rights to the standard are vested in a not-for-profit organisation, which operates a completely free access policy;
  • there are no constraints on the re-use of the standard

CompTIA doesn’t like that definition, and wrote a 40 page white paper as a comment to a 24 paged discussion paper, so they must be serious about it.

*: That entry is currently number 1 on Google for ‘European Interoperability Framework’

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