When will all the open standards we need be finalised? What will happen when that day arrives? And are we there yet?
Daft questions, you may be thinking. But if that’s the case – and we’ll never arrive at a position in which the open standards we need are all done – what does this mean for the development community? Is the seemingly never-ending development of standards simply a way of providing ‘jobs for the boys’ – so that software developers and standards developers will be guaranteed of a job?
Or, to ask a related question, are the standards which are available today good enough for most uses. Andy Powell, in the eFoundations blog, raised this issue recently when he commented “I’m very mindful of the tension between the relatively complex … and the relatively simple, tag-based, approaches taken by Web 2.0 repository-like applications such as Slideshare and Scribd.”
Andy went on to admit that “Unfortunately, I lean uncomfortably in both directions!” I think that many of us involved in development work would admit to similar doubts – and perhaps those who have no doubts are those with a blinkered vision who were responsible for leading the UK HE sector down the cul de sac of Coloured Book network protocols in the 1980s.
What should be done?