stdlib: Why Free Open Standards?

There is a forming consensus that the goals of Open Standards are to ensure that no single party can control the development and evolution of the standard, and nobody can stop anyone else from implementing or using the standard and derived versions thereof. Unfortunately, some definitions have been proposed and adopted before this consensus, that fall short of achieving the intended goals.

Until the forming consensus is widespread, we prefer to refer to such Open Standards with a qualifier: Free Open Standards, to make it clear that we refer to Open Standard definitions that do not make room for these threats, i.e., Open Standard definitions that live up to the goals of promoting interoperability and preventing vendor lock-in.

As a temporary transitioning effort, until the meaning of Open Standards and its translations are widely accepted, we recommend the use of the term "Free Open Standards" and its translations, "Padrões Abertos Livres" and "Estándares Abiertos Libres".

Copyright 2007, 2008 FSFLA

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