Addressing the Limitations of Open Standards

Addressing the Limitations of Open Standards Addressing The Limitations Of Open Standards Brian Kelly UKOLN University of Bath Bath, UK Co-Authors Co-Authors Marieke MariekeGuy, Guy,UKOLN UKOLN Alastair AlastairDunning, Dunning,AHDS AHDS Email [email protected] Resources Resourcesbookmarked bookmarkedusing usingmw-standards-2007' mw-standards-2007'tag tag UKOLN is supported by: A centre of expertise in digital information management This work is licensed under a AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence (but note caveat)

Contents This talk will cover the following topics: Introduction Standards are great Standards don't always work Layered approach developed by QA Focus Application to JISC development programmes Application elsewhere Sustainability Conclusions A centre of expertise in digital information management 2 Introduction 3 About Me, About UKOLN Brian Kelly: UK Web Focus national Web advisory post Advises higher & further education & cultural heritage sectors on Web innovations, standards & best practices Involved in Web since January 1993 Involved in Web standards for JISC development programmes since 1995 UKOLN National centre of expertise in digital information management Location at the University of Bath, UK Funded by MLA (Museums, Libraries and Archives Council) and JISC (Joint Information Systems A centre of expertise in digital information management

Committee) Open Standards Open Standards Are Great JISC's development programmes (like others): Traditionally based on use of open standards to: Support interoperability Maximise accessibility Avoid vendor lock-in Provide architectural integrity Help ensure long-term preservation History in UK HE development work: eLib Standards document (v1 1996, v2 1998) DNER (JISC IE) Standards document (2001) which influenced: NOF-digi Technical Standards (digitisation of cultural resources) A centre of expertise in digital information management 4 Open Standards 5 But Don't Always Work There's a need for flexibility: Learning the lesson from OSI networking protocols Today: Is the Web (for example) becoming over-complex "Web service considered harmful" The lowercase semantic web / Microformats Lighter-weight alternatives being developed Responses from the commercial world Other

Otherkey keyissues issues What What isis an anopen openstandard? standard? What What are arethe theresource resourceimplications implicationsof of using usingthem? them? Sometimes Sometimesproprietary proprietary solutions solutionswork work(and (andusers users like them). Is politically incorrect A centre of expertise in digital management like them).

Isititinformation politically incorrectto tomention mentionthis!? this!? Open Standards 6 What Is An Open Standard? Which of the following are open standards? PDF Flash Java MS Word UKOLN's "What Are Open Standards?" briefing paper refers to characteristics of open standards: Neutral organisation which 'owns' standard & responsible for roadmap Open involvement in standards-making process Access to standard freely available Note Notethese thesecharacteristics characteristicsdo donot not apply applyequally equallyto toall all standards standardsbodies

bodiese.g. e.g. costs costsof ofBSI BSI standards; standards; W3C W3C membership A centre of expertise inrequirements; digital information management membership requirements; Compliance Compliance Issues What does must mean? You must comply with HTML standards What if I don't? What if nobody does? What if I use PDF? JISC JISC5/99 5/99programme programme ~80% ~80%of ofproject projecthome home pages

pageswere werenot notHTML HTML compliant compliant You must clear rights on all resources you digitise You must provide properly audited accounts What if I don't? 7 There Thereisisaaneed needto to clarify clarifythe themeaning meaning of of must must and andfor for an anunderstandable, understandable,realistic realisticand andreasonable reasonable regime Acompliance centre of expertise in

digital information management compliance regime Contextual Issues The Context There will be a context to use of standards: The intended use: Mainstream Innovative / research Key middleware component Small-scale deliverable Organisational culture: National vs small museum Service vs development Teaching vs Research Available Funding & Resources: Significant funding & training to use new standards Minimal funding - current skills should be used 8 An Anopen openstandards standardsculture cultureisisbeing beingdeveloped, developed, which which isis

supportive supportiveof ofuse use of of open openstandards, standards, but but which whichrecognises recognisesthe the complexities avoid mistakes made A centre of and expertise in digital information management complexities andcan can avoid mistakes madein inthe thepast past The Layered Standards Model Owner Quality Assurance External factors: institutional, cultural, legal, JISC JISC

rd 33rd Parties Parties JISC// JISC project project Context: Policies Prog. n Funding Research Sector Annotated Standards Catalogue Purpose Governance Maturity Risks Context: Compliance External Self assessment Penalties Learning JISC's layered standards model, developed by UKOLN. Note that onein digital sizeinformation doesn't always fit all A centre of expertise management 9 Contextual Model Implementation

How might this approach be used in practice? Development DevelopmentProgramme Programme Committees Advisers Programme Team Programme XX Call / Contract Proposals must comply with XYZ standard Proposals should seek to comply with XYZ Proposals should describe approach to XYZ Projects audited to ensure compliance with Projects should develop self-assessment QA procedures and submit findings to JISC Projects should submit proposed approach for approval/information A centre of expertise in digital information management 10 Report Report JISC Manager Contract Report must be in MS Word / and use JISC template

The Standards Catalogue The information provided aims to be simple and succinct (but document will still be large when printed!) Standard: Dublin Core Example About the Standard: Dublin Core is a metadata standard made up Version: New terms are regularly added to Maturity: Dublin Core has its origins in workshops held Risk Assessment: Dublin Core plays a key role . It is an important standard within the context of JISC development programmes. Further Information: DCMI, Note that as the standards Author: Pete Johnston, UKOLN catalogue is intended for Contributor: wide use the contents will Date Created: 04 Oct 2005 need to be fairly general Update History: Initial version. 11 Note recent feedback has identified the need for heading on of expertise in digital information management usage Aincentre other programmes (i.e. political acceptance) Feedback Standards Catalogue Process There's a need for developing and enhancing the

standards catalogue in order to: Update with new standards Learn from feedback and experiences Context Policies Compliance Review E-Framework Standards Standards A centre of expertise in digital information management 12 Support Infrastructure QA Framework User Experiences Funder's Experiences Sustainability Sustainability How do we Sustain, maintain & grow the standards catalogue? Develop a sustainable support infrastructure? Suggestions:

More resources for support infrastructure Extend model to related areas to gain buy-in, etc Exploit learning gained by projects, reuse experiences, encourage sharing, etc.: Build on QA Focus approach (briefing docs and case studies) Contractual requirement for projects to produce end-user deliverables and deliverables related to development process A centre of expertise in digital information management 13 Sustainability Lessons From NOF-digi TAS What have we learnt from supporting the NOF-digi programme: Use of Standards Best practices not necessarily embedded if imposed externally Formal compliance monitoring can be expensive (& unproductive) Establishing Community of Practice Limitations of top-down & centralised support Sustainability problems of large, monolithic and centrally owned support resources A centre of expertise in digital information management 14 Support

15 Support Infrastructure Opportunity to exploit deliverables from JISC-funded QA Focus project: 100+ briefing documents & 30+ case studies Licensed (where possible) under Creative Commons UKOLN are continuing to publish new documents (documents on Folksonomies, AJAX, Podcasting, Wikis, etc. published recently) Case Study Template Case studies: About the Project Opportunity to describe Area covered experiences in specific areas Approach taken Standard template to ensure Lessons Learnt / consistency & provide focus Things We'd Do Allows UKOLN to promote Differently projects' work A centre of expertise in digital information management Project get better Google rating Support 16 Support Infrastructure (2) How do we integrate the standards catalogue with implementation experiences, etc.

Linking to related information in Wikipedia (the world can help the updating) Uploading information to Wikipedia the wider community can help to update and maintain it Making information available with CC licences so others can use it, update it and hopefully give feedback on enhancements Use of syndication technologies (RSS & OPML) Note Notethis thisisisaaWeb Web2.0 2.0approach: approach: Uses UsesWeb Web2.0 2.0syndication syndicationtechnologies technologies Trusts Trustsusers usersand andbenefits benefitsfrom fromaawide wideuser userbase base A centre of expertise in digitalto information management Contributes Web

Contributes to Web2.0 2.0services services Support Model Different stakeholders have different interests Developers Selection of standards & architectures Users Is it usable? Will it do what I want? Will I use it? Can I use it in various contexts? Funders, etc Addressing differing interests A centre of expertise in digital information management 17 Support Similar Approaches Elsewhere AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) programmes: Requirement for bids to include technical appendix Covers open standards, metadata, documentation, rights, preservation, Bids marked by technical experts Flawed technical proposals are informed of deficiencies

Training and Advice provided to community to help raise awareness of best practices and improve quality of development proposals A centre of expertise in digital information management 18 Web 2.0 Parallels With Web 2.0 This approach has many parallels with Web 2.0 Web 2.0 Culture Openness: Encourage of sharing by developers (problems as well as successes); use of CC; Always beta: There is not a single correct solution, but a process of continual development User-focussed: Importance of satisfying user communities, rather than a set of rules Web 2.0 technologies Alerts & Syndication: Speedy alerts for fellow developers and reuse of content for developers Blogs & Wikis: Tools for developers to facilitate sharing and collaborative working A centre of expertise in digital information management 19 Example: Syndicating Content QA Focus resources are embedded in

of Note importance of: and (b) approach QA Focus resources areRSS embedded in University University of Waterloo Waterloo Note importance of:(a) (a) RSS andOPML OPML (b) modular modular approach Web site. Resources are being to Wiki to and

Creative Commons licence to maximise Web site. Resources arealso also being ported toaause Wiki&& toreuse and(c) (c) Creative Commons licence toported maximise use reuseof of support ongoing maintenance by Web Standards community. 100+ documents support

ongoing maintenance by Web Standards community. 100+ briefing briefing documents A centre of expertise in digital information management 20 Conclusions Conclusions To conclude: Open standards are important for large-scale development work It is therefore important to have a pragmatic approach and not hide behind dogma The contextual approach: Allows scope to address complexities of technologies; deployment environments; etc. Best deployed within a supportive open standards culture Can be extended to other relevant areas We can use Creative Commons licences for standards information; support materials; etc. We can (and should) take a Web 2.0 approach to support materials (and not just end user services) A centre of expertise in digital information management 21

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