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What is the relationship to already-established standards organizations like W3C and IETF?
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  • Hopefully this one won't be useless like the W3C or encumbered like IETF. Also, AFAIK this isn't really a standards org, but an org to help standards efforts that are out in the community.
    • I don't think that comments like this are useful.

      The W3C, IETF, OASIS, and other formal standards bodies do a lot of useful work. There are communities creating open specifications in ad-hoc fashions and those are the ones OWF is mainly looking to help out.
    • To put it another way: the existing bodies and organizations are indeed useful for certain types of problems and opportunities, but more recently they haven't been set up to deal with or support more grassroots, community-driven specification processes that appear to offer a great deal of value at lower cost.
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  • kveton (Official Rep) July 24, 2008 17:02
    OWF is not a standards body. Rather it helps communities to develop open specifications which can later be contributed to standards bodies like the IETF, OASIS, or W3C. OWF helps to ensure that an open specfication gains adoption and has clean IPR so that it can be worked on by a standards body.
    • I admit to being a bit worried about proliferation of bodies wrestling with standards. The Web was a new and specialized subset of the Internet, so W3C made sense to me in addition to IETF. In my ignorance of the discussions leading to this one however, I am uncertain as to just what is being reacted to by whom and why.
    • It's mostly about the emphasis and barriers to entry that these pre-existing groups have. It may also be about the DNA, culture and people involved... where there are new community-driven initiatives cropping up which are outside the scope and mandate of these bodies. If these bodies provided the kind of cultivating incubation processes and support that we were looking for, and were also naturally involved in the social web community, things might look a little different.

      Still, it's not necessarily a bad thing for there to be a plurality of organizations dedicated promoting the proliferation of royalty-free or open specifications or standards. Indeed, we shall see.
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  • My guess is that for a lot of specs that need to have clean IPR hygiene, but aren't really concerned with official status (at least in the short term), the OWF will probably be the end of the line (in terms of standardization).

    But for some things, you *have* to go to formal standards bodies. There are literally some orgs that can't use specs that don't come from ISO, for example.

    This org is an attempt to make the mechanics of around IPR become "non issues" for communities of interest around technologies (to the extent such a community is interested in making a truly open web - if someone has patents and doesn't want to participate - there's nothing much that can be done there).
    • Right -- that's also not a new problem. We're simply applying the open source model of seeing a common pain point and trying to patch the system by creating an "organizational library" (if you will) that makes it easier to go through a collaborative specification process and come out of it with clean IPR leading to faster implementation and adoption.
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