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Open Standards show and tell

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Last year, we established our definition of an open standard for software interoperability, data and document formats, and the Open Standards Principles that explain our rationale for putting them into government IT.

Now we are working on identifying the specific open standards that will most benefit users of government technology and services. That process depends on suggestions and recommendations from experts on the field — many of whom are outside of government. We need your help.

On the evening of 5th September 2013, GDS will host an Open Standards show and tell event in London to talk through how you can get involved as we identify and select open standards for software interoperability, data and document formats through the Standards Hub.

How the open standards process works

Selecting each open standard for government creates specialist conversations. As examples, the current areas we’re looking at range from data exchange in emergency response to formats for spending data through to network protocols — and for each we need experts in those and related fields to help us make the best decisions for government and for our users.

Standards Hub logoAs Liam Maxwell’s blog post described back in March, the open standards process is built on the Standards Hub. This website is the most scalable way we can engage with the expertise of each community, while also making sure that we are completely transparent in how we select and implement our open standards.

On the Hub, you can suggest challenges for the Government that open standards could help to solve. You can also help guide the choices we make: you can let us know which open standards we should be using and help us to focus on the right challenges.

We need many of you to be involved to make the process effective. This event will focus on how you can get involved, and we will be interested in your feedback and input as we go.

Get involved

We are asking you to get involved in how we choose open standards by:

  • suggesting issues that we need to tackle - we call these ‘challenges’
  • responding to the challenges we take forward with ideas about how to solve them — which open standards should we use?
  • commenting on proposals and whether we’re heading in the right direction
  • discussing ideas with other users
  • letting us know that you’re happy to join us for working groups that will help to shape the proposals from the suggestions posted
  • volunteering to be an expert on one of the standards panels which evaluates the proposals and advises the Open Standards Board

At the show and tell we’ll go through each of these activities and explain what will happen with your input, ideas and suggestions at each phase.

The evening will include an informal panel discussion where you can ask us any questions you have about how we select open standards.

We look forward to talking with you on the 5th.

Follow Hadley on Twitter: @hadleybeeman

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