[Linux-aus] Request for Authors, FOSS: Open Standards]

Pia Smith pia at linux.org.au
Tue Jan 4 18:51:02 UTC 2005

Hi all,

I got this request for authors of an Open Standards 'primer'. If anyone
is interested please feel free to contact Sunil on the contact details


-------- Forwarded Message --------
From: Sunil Abraham <sunil at mahiti.org>
To: iosn-general <iosn-general at iosn.net>, fossap <fossap at iosn.net>,
npodevelopers <npodevelopers at list.nten.org>
Subject: [iosn-general] IOSN: Request for Authors, FOSS: Open Standards
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 14:19:42 +0000
Dear Friends,

Please see the Terms of Reference below.  If you would like to apply
please send me your updated Curriculum Vitae and 2-3 samples of your
writings on FOSS and Open Standards.



International Open Source Network: Terms of Reference for
Author for Primer: Free/Open Source Software - Open Standards

Duration: 6 months
        The International Open Source Network (IOSN -
        http://www.iosn.net) is a Centre of Excellence for Free / Open
        Source Software in the Asia-Pacific Region. IOSN is an
        initiative of the UNDP's Asia-Pacific Information Development
        Programme (APDIP - http://www.apdip.net) and is supported by
        International Development Research Centre (IDRC -
        http://www.idrc.ca]. Via a small secretariat, the IOSN is tasked
        specifically to facilitate and network Free / Open Source
        Software advocates and human resources in the region.
        Open standards are publicly available specifications for
        achieving a specific task. By allowing anyone to use the
        standard, they increase compatibility between various hardware
        and software components since anyone with the technical know-how
        and the necessary equipment to implement solutions can build
        something that works together with those of other vendors[1]. 
        Vendors of proprietary software use proprietary standards or
        formats to lock-in their customer. Once the customer has legal
        applications that adhere to proprietary standards and legal data
        in proprietary formats there is great inertia to shift to a new
        vendor. It does not matter whether the new vendor promotes
        proprietary or Free/ Open Source Software [FOSS]. Therefore it
        could be said that proprietary standards breed unfair and
        monopolistic business practices and are incongruous with the
        Free Market.
        FOSS advocates believe that popular Open Standards are an
        important stepping stone towards the accelerated adoption of
        Free/Open Source Software in developing countries. Vendors of
        proprietary software have realised this and have adopted the
        strategy of !0embrace, extend and extinguish[2]!1 in an attempt to
        halt the march of FOSS. 
Title: Free and Open Source Software - Open Standards
        Bruce Perens has identified the following 5 principles for Open
        Standards. Open Standards are available for all to read and
        implement. Open Standards maximize end-user choice and they do
        not lock the customer in to a particular vendor or group. Open
        Standards are free for all to implement, with no royalty or fee.
        Open Standards and the organizations that administer them do not
        favor one implementor over another for any reason other than the
        technical standards compliance of a vendor's implementation.
        Implementations of Open Standards may be extended, or offered in
        subset form[3]. 
        Many public institutions like government agencies and civil
        society organisations are obliged by new legislation to place
        information in the public domain. Unfortunately, many of them
        are using proprietary standards and formats that require members
        of the public to purchase or pirate expensive proprietary
To produce a primer on Open Standards that will:
     1. Introduce Free/Open Source Software and Open Standards and
        explain the connection between the two.
     2. Provide a rationale for the use of Open Standards in
        Government/Development funded ICT interventions
     3. Profile open standards and formats such as HTML, XML, CSS, PNG,
        SVG RDF, SOAP, UNICODE, SQL, RSS etc. 
     4. Compare open standards to proprietary equivalents and explain
        benefits and disadvantages. 
     5. Give an overview of standards setting bodies such as W3C and
        Unicode Consortium; enumerate membership requirements for these
        bodies; describe the process of negotiating, setting and
        adopting standards.
     6. Profile FOSS software and tools that can be used to create new
        content or migrate existing content.
     7. Provide case studies where the use of standards have increased
        interoperability, scaling up of projects and process efficiency.
     8. Provide sample tenders for ICT projects; review existing
        policies endorsing open standards from this region. 
Duties and Responsibilities of the Author
The Author will be required to carry out the following: 
     1. Conduct background research on Open Standards and Formats and
        particularly in the Asia-Pacific context.
     2. Review and analyse all existing Open Standards and Formats.
     3. Produce a first draft of the primer according to objectives as
        described above.
     4. Provide drafts of the primer taking into account the feedback
        provided by APDIP-IOSN according to the time-line below.
     5. Consolidate and compile feedback based on a select list of peer
        reviewers approved by APDIP, and make the necessary revisions.
     6. Ensure that the publication material conforms to the UNDP Style
        Manual, December 2002 version as provided.
Time Frame
The project will be undertaken based on the following timetable:

Time 		Output/ Deliverable 			Responsibility
 0th Week	Contract signed  project kick off	IOSN
 2rd Week	Annotated outline of the primer 	Author
 3th Week	Feedback on primer outline		IOSN
 8th Week	First draft of primer 			Author
 9th Week	Internal feedback on the first draft  	IOSN
12th Week	Second draft of primer + response to	Author 
		the internal feedback
15th Week	Peer and public feedback on the primer	IOSN
18th Week	Third draft 				Author
19th Week	Feedback on the third draft 		IOSN
22th Week	Final draft				Author
All the copyright of research papers, materials, documents,
publications, and on-line resources collected and worked upon by the
Author belong UNDP-IOSN. UNDP-IOSN will license this body of work to the
general public under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
Therefore, the Author has full rights to use the content and findings
for any work of similar nature that s/he wishes to perform in the
Qualifications and Experience
     1. Substantial knowledge of Free and Open Source Software movement
        particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
     2. Prior experience in research and publishing of papers on FOSS
        and Open Standards and Open Formats
     3. Good command of English-language communication and writing
     4. Good communication and interpersonal skills and experience in
        working effectively in a multicultural environment.
     5. A team-player and self-starter, able to work with minimum
        supervision, with sound judgement.
Terms of Payments
A lump sum amount of US$3,000 will be paid upon submission and
acceptance by APDIP, of the final pre-publication version of the Primer.
No further claims will be considered.

UNDP-APDIP, Kuala Lumpur, 10th Dec 2004




Pia Smith
President of Linux Australia

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