When *is* a format 'open'? (was Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] idea for an OSGeo project -- a new, open data format)

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Sat Nov 17 01:08:27 PST 2007

dear all,
On Thu, Nov 15, 2007 at 04:17:18PM -0500, Sampson, David wrote:
> Besides, if you want wide adoption of an open format then why not go for
> those players who hold greatest market share.

When is a format an open format? We know an "open license" can be one
complying to the OSI open license definition. For a couple of years
the Open Knowledge Foundation has been working over a complementary 
"Open Data Definition" and trying to align it with similar efforts. 
There's been a recent effort around "Open Services", too.
http://opendefinition.org/ ... http://opendefinition.org/osd

Lorenzo raised this issue of Open Formats as something that OSGeo, the
OGC etc could use their weight to support. There are some brief
initial notes here: http://opendefinition.org/open_format_definition 
which need worked up into a "set of principles" which, a format, to be
open, should abide by. But we are lacking experience-driven context,
and would greatly welcome contribution to this topic; it could be very
useful as a yardstick for formats like SDF - how open is open?



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