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Addressing%20The%20Limitations%20Of%20Open%20Standards

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A centre of expertise in digital information management www.ukoln.ac.uk ... Parallels With Web 2.0. This approach has many parallels with Web 2.0. Web 2.0 Culture ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Addressing%20The%20Limitations%20Of%20Open%20Standards


1
Addressing The Limitations Of Open Standards
http//www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/conference
s/mw-2007/talk-standards/
Co-Authors Marieke Guy, UKOLN Alastair Dunning,
AHDS
  • Brian Kelly
  • UKOLN
  • University of Bath
  • Bath, UK

Email B.Kelly_at_ukoln.ac.uk
Resources bookmarked using mw-standards-2007'
tag
UKOLN is supported by
This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonComme
rcial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence (but note caveat)
2
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

3
About Me, About UKOLN
Introduction
  • 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
    Committee)

4
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)

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

Open Standards
  • Other key issues
  • What is an open standard?
  • What are the resource implications of using them?
  • Sometimes proprietary solutions work (and users
    like them). Is it politically incorrect to
    mention this!?

6
What Is An Open Standard?
  • Which of the following are open standards?
  • PDF ? Flash
  • Java ? MS Word

Open Standards
7
Compliance Issues
Compliance
  • What does must mean?
  • You must comply with HTML standards
  • What if I don't?
  • What if nobody does?
  • What if I use PDF?
  • You must clear rights on all resources you
    digitise
  • You must provide properly audited accounts
  • What if I don't?

JISC 5/99 programme 80 of project home pages
were not HTML compliant
There is a need to clarify the meaning of must
and for an understandable, realistic and
reasonable compliance regime
8
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 ? Teaching vs Research
  • Service vs development ?
  • Available Funding Resources
  • Significant funding training to use new
    standards
  • Minimal funding - current skills should be used

Contextual Issues
An open standards culture is being developed,
which is supportive of use of open standards, but
which recognises the complexities and can avoid
mistakes made in the past
9
The Layered Standards Model
Owner
JISC
3rd Parties
Context Compliance
JISC / project
External
Self assessment
Learning
Penalties
JISC's layered standards model, developed by
UKOLN. Note that one size doesn't always fit all
10
Implementation
  • How might this approach be used in practice?

Contextual Model
11
The Standards Catalogue
  • The information provided aims to be simple and
    succinct (but document will still be large when
    printed!)
  • Standard Dublin Core
  • 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, lthttp//dublincore.org/gt
  • Author Pete Johnston, UKOLN
  • Contributor
  • Date Created 04 Oct 2005
  • Update History Initial version.

Example
Note that as the standards catalogue is intended
for wide use the contents will need to be fairly
general
Note recent feedback has identified the need for
heading on usage in other programmes (i.e.
political acceptance)
12
Standards Catalogue Process
Feedback
  • There's a need for developing and enhancing the
    standards catalogue in order to
  • Update with new standards
  • Learn from feedback and experiences

Review
Standards
13
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

Sustainability
14
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

Sustainability
15
Support Infrastructure
Support
  • 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
  • About the Project
  • Area covered
  • Approach taken
  • Lessons Learnt / Things We'd Do Differently
  • Case studies
  • Opportunity to describe experiences in specific
    areas
  • Standard template to ensure consistency provide
    focus
  • Allows UKOLN to promote projects' work ?
  • Project get better Google rating ?

16
Support Infrastructure (2)
Support
  • 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 this is a Web 2.0 approach
  • Uses Web 2.0 syndication technologies
  • Trusts users and benefits from a wide user base
  • Contributes to Web 2.0 services

17
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

18
Similar Approaches Elsewhere
Support
  • 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

19
Parallels With Web 2.0
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

20
Example Syndicating Content
  • Note importance of (a) RSS and OPML (b) modular
    approach and (c) Creative Commons licence to
    maximise use reuse of 100 briefing documents

21
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)

Conclusions
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