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Implementing Open Standards in Open Source

Lawrence Rosen: Specifications are different from software, but they are weapons in the competitive software wars and they are subject to legal control by contract and by law. Companies try to control specifications because they want to control software that implements those specifications. This is often incompatible with the freedom promised by open source principles that allow anyone to create and distribute copies and derivative works without restriction.  This article explores ways that are available to compromise that incompatibility and to make open standards work for open source.

Since the linked article doesn’t take comments:

Does anyone understand what the following is in reference to?

In the HTML5 project, for example, which is creating standards for structuring and presenting content in browsers on the World Wide Web, the drafters are experimenting with a specification technique that replaces specification text with public domain reference implementations in terms of an abstract state machine, in an attempt to improve compatibility by avoiding the imperfect conversion of English to source code.

Is it about the many algorithms written in pseudo-code? Or does HTML5 normatively reference some piece of source code that can be used as-is for some feature?

Posted by Philip Jägenstedt at

Is it about the many algorithms written in pseudo-code?

I do believe that’s what this paragraph is referring to.

Or does HTML5 normatively reference some piece of source code that can be used as-is for some feature?

Not that I’m aware of.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Four short links: 1 March 2011

Implementing Open Standards in Open Source (Larry Rosen) — Companies try to control specifications because they want to control software that implements those specifications. This is often incompatible with the freedom promised by open source...

Excerpt from O'Reilly Radar - Insight, analysis, and research about emerging technologies. at

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