We tend to think of standards as a good thing without always thinking about the incentives for adoption among various stakeholders. Brad Wheeler (Indiana University and SAKAI) argues an interesting case, as reported by Wilbert Kraan on the CETIS website.

Brad argued that the relation boils down to the question who will get most value out of standards: the vendors or the buyers? Implication: mostly the buyers. Vendors have to listen to their customers, but would rather sell as many of their own widgets as possible in perpetuity. Brad pointed to the tension between generic functionality and unique added value too. If all systems do all their functionality in exactly the same way, what reason is there to choose one over the other? User-led development under open source licences means that vendors are forced to give standards support higher priority. Both because they'll be less likely to supply all the widgets, and because their products have to remain competitive on all features, including interoperability. [CETIS-Open source e-learning technology hits prime time]
The CETIS website continues to be a very useful resource for learning technology developments.

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