Category Archives: Standards

Open source in education: where does the change need to happen?

In our recent survey on free and open source software in the UK education sectors, we asked colleges and universities for their main reasons for not selecting an open source solution according to 12 criteria. Below you can see how important each of the criteria were rated for software running on servers: Interoperability and migration … Read more

Should Markdown become a standard?

We’re big fans of Markdown at OSS Watch; the lightweight format is how we create all the content for the OSS Watch website (thanks to the very nice Jekyll publishing engine). Markdown is more or less a set of conventions for semi-structured plain text that can be fairly easily converted into HTML (or other formats). The idea is … Read more

Open Source and Open Standards key to future of public sector IT

Last week Open Source, Open Standards 2013 took place in London, an event focussed on the public sector. Naturally these being two topics we’re very keen on here at OSS Watch I went along too. Overall the key message to take away from the event was just how central to public sector IT strategy these two themes … Read more

Open Source meets Open Standards

OSS Watch Briefing Paper: Open Standards and Open Source Open source software and open standards are two of the key interventions in technology policy, whether that policy is made by governments, public sector organisations, or companies. Open standards can ensure interoperability and assist portability, allowing the switching of solutions and avoiding vendor lock-in. Standards can also … Read more

Some questions about the Defensive Patent License

Jason Schultz and Jennifer Urban of UC Berkeley School of Law have distributed a paper which provides an interesting analysis of the state of the patent system and its relationship to open development. In essence, they suggest that rather than avoiding the patent system, open development communities should instead engage with it, seeking to patent and … Read more

Build a better Facebook through open innovation

There is a rapid groundswell of concern about Facebook. The main issue is privacy, or rather Facebook’s attitude to individual privacy and data ownership. Over the years the default settings have relaxed from most items being private, to virtually none being so. Unless the user makes a concerted effort to change settings. Accordingly, there is … Read more