These days, everyone seems to be in favor of “standards.” But not all standards are created equal. When it comes to software, many tend to favor specific vendors, others are preferred by certain types of customers, and some are even enshrined into law. While this diversity of standards has resulted in an explosion of choice, it has also led to increased confusion about what constitutes a “good” standard….In response to this confusion, both providers (software vendors, standards bodies) and consumers (customers, users, even governments) are increasingly using the term “open standards.” Unfortunately, since there is no agreed-upon definition of that term, each group tends to define it on their own, often without regard for either precedent or consequence.
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