Draft summary of cetisfis

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This is my attempt to harmonize the many outputs from the event into some coherent form of words. Please use the discussion tab and help correct it! --Scott 21:12, 14 January 2010 (UTC)


Standards and specifications are developed by bodies which differ across a range of dimensions including their legal status, trust, respect, openness and business models. In addition to recognised formal standards organisations such as ISO, and established consortia such as IMS, there are also community specification initiatives such as OpenID, oAuth, OpenSocial, SWORD and XCRI.

By involving community specification initiatives in the system, we have opportunities to learn from the culture and lightweight processes of these communities, to improve the diversity of participation in standardisation, and to improve the quality and adoption of specifications by taking advantage of rapid, iterative development approaches including early implementation and evaluation.

However, public procurement policy does not currently recognise standards from this variety of sources, and there is a conflicting understanding by policy makers of the scope and purposes of different kinds of specifications and standards. Issues with ownership, licensing and copyright of specifications also currently restricts the ability of bodies to work together effectively and to make use of specifications created by community specification initiatives. 

To overcome these barriers we propose the following actions:

1. Learn from approaches such as the Apache Incubator, and provide support for adoption, community engagement and advocacy from incubation to adoption and beyond. To support this we need to identify success and failure criteria, and criteria for candidacy for incubation and for moving from incubation to engagement with standardisation; these may be more easily identified by documenting success and failure stories.

2. Raise awareness of the diversity of the standards system, and improve the understanding of policy-makers of this space and their expectations of standards and specifications.

3. Identify solutions for the patent, ownership and licensing issues with specifications to better enable organisations to adopt, ratify, profile or create derivative works from specifications developed by other bodies.

4. Improve transparency across the system. Much of this can be achieved through more effective dissemination by bodies within their existing rules.

5. Increase effective co-ordination between different bodies