Economists and others that study standards like to speak of "stakeholders:" those that affect, or are affected by, the use of standards. For decades, accredited standards development organizations have struggled with the conundrum of how to involve some groups, such as consumers, in the process. Now there is a way.
There are many identifiable groups that are affected by the creation of standards, each with its own reasons for being interested in the outcome of the development process. The nature of these distinct motivations leads some types of stakeholders to make greater investments in that process than others in order to gain larger influence over these outcomes. The results are ...
Last summer, IBM set up Power.org to promote its PowerPC chip as "open hardware." This year, Sun launched OpenSPARC.net as an open source project based upon the source code for its Niagara microprocessor. But what does "open" mean in the context of hardware?
It is no surprise that Minnesota, a "blue state" like Massachusetts and heir to the political traditions of the Prairie Populists, should be the next state to see an open formats bill introduced. In this case, the devil is not in the details, but in the definition of an "open standard."
Last March, ANSI sponsored a landmark meeting between representatives of accredited standards developers and consortia. Its time now for an encore, and you're invited.