Making the standards process more participative

I have been meaning to do this blog for a while but got sidetracked due to other things.

In spite of my initial skepticism about the open wb foundation, I have been enjoying participating in the Open Web foundation

For some time now, and especially after the recent debate about the Open Cloud, I have felt that there should be a need to rethink standardization going forward.

The existing W3C standardization process is oriented towards web standards but the evolution of the Web is now rapidly going in directions deeper than the original remit as seen from the Open Web foundation presentation

Much as I like W3C, I feel that it is still not oriented towards grassroots participation. For instance, in Europe it costs 7800 Euros/year to join – something which many including my company – cannot do

Also, the debate in my view stretches beyond code to a more philosophical debate of Data portability, IPR, Open source etc – which is not addressed so much in any specific body for historical reasons.

So, the Open Web Foundation is a good starting point and I hope to organize a London/UK based event for the Open Web foundation along with some other UK based members. If you are interested in this, please comment below.

Finally, I also believe that the standardization process should be more inclusive – especially of emerging economies.

Everybody agrees behind the sentiment of standardization as outlined below by Mosibudi Mangena, Opening address of SATNAC 2005

[...] The tsunami that devastated South Eastern Asian countries and

the north-eastern parts of Africa, is perhaps the most graphic, albeit

unfortunate, demonstration of the need for global collaboration, and

open ICT standards. The incalculable loss of life and damage to

property was exacerbated by the fact that responding agencies and

non-governmental groups were unable to share information vital to the

rescue effort. Each was using different data and document formats.

Relief was slowed, and coordination complicated. [...]


And I think that this discussion will play out even more in the future with the uptake of cloud computing and the meaning of open in that context i.e. the ultimate level of openness would be process level openness (which is not likely to happen) i.e. the ability of any process to invoke any other process from clouds from different providers. Hence, a more practical debate about Open (i.e. open standards, open source etc) is needed in relation to the Cloud

Read write web also has a similar discussion in Should the governments control Open standards

I will also continue to explore this further. I hope to also write a book on this some day since it fits well into the Open Gardens discussion.


  1. karl says:

    I followed-up on the original article.
    Summary: it is not why, but much more how.