On March 9th, at the Open Future reception at SXSW, Adobe announced support for the OpenStand initiative. Our rationale for this was simple – OpenStand is good for the Web, good for users, and good for Adobe. It increases innovation, openness, and allows greater participation in evolving the Internet.
The Internet is built on standards. These standards come from all sorts of organizations – some formal and supported by governments, some less formal and created by industry associations, and some driven by users who believe in collective action. OpenStand takes a simple position on these organizations – if the organization is open, transparent, balanced, has due process in creation, and has broad consensus – then the organization and its specifications are legitimate.
The approach advocated by OpenStand seems to be intuitively obvious; good technical standards which are accepted and implemented by the industry should be judged not on their origin, but rather on their utility to the industry. A poor standard with a “proper background and backing” is still a poor standard.
The Internet is ubiquitous – from mobile phones to tablets to desktops – all form factors, all types of information, design, and literally “everything”. It is a golden age for creative display and use of information – all driven by innovation, which then is “standardized” so users can access it and interoperate with complementary services.
Adobe has contributed significantly and will continue to contribute to efforts to document and test these innovative activities in conjunction with W3C with the Web Platform Docs (WPD) project and Test the Web Forward. We have also (along with Microsoft and Google), supported the HTML5 editor as this standard moves to completion and we are also active in WebKit specs, as well as in formal metadata standards. All of these venues are important – and all build the ability of the market to innovate, grow, and change. And that’s what OpenStand is all about, which is why Adobe has chosen to support it.