In this article, written in celebration of World Standards Day, held on October 14, 2014, Daniel Dardailler, Associate Chair of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), asserts that much has been accomplished in the area of open standards and there is still much progress to be made. Dardailler remarks that open standards have helped the Internet enter the realm of becoming “a first class public service. Much like people can take a public bus to go from some street to a stadium, they can also use Wifi, IP, TCP, HTTP, HTML, etc, to go from one place on the net to another.”
Dardailler adds that, as we celebrate World Standards and the many accomplishments that have been made in the realm of open internet standards, there is still progress to be made. Just as governments support the many necessary infrastructures of a society, like transportation, they have the opportunity to play a significant role in supporting digital standards.
Dardailler points out that this progress is being made, even despite limited funding: “W3C and IETF specifications have recently been made legally referenceable by government policies and procurements in Europe for instance, which proves our seriousness in this business.”
To continue forward progress and increasing available public funding is desirable. However, securing such funding is not without it’s challenges. Public funding has been available for the internet and web throughout history, in the form of R&D grants. However, the competition for R&D money is fierce due to the needs of industries, commercial interests, research labs and academia. Dardailler conveys the importance of government funding to enable progress in developing the Open Web Platform.
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