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Upcoming Talk: Björn Lundell of University of Skövde on Implementing File Formats and Standards in Open Source Software Under Unclear Conditions

We will host a talk on “Implementing File Formats and Standards in Open Source Software Under Unclear Conditions” in FAU’s computer science colloquium. The talk is free and open to the public. If you would like to attend, please register so we can update you should anything change.

  • by: Björn Lundell, University of Skövde
  • about: Implementing File Formats and Standards in Open Source Software Under Unclear Conditions
  • on: September 30th, 2019, 16:15 Uhr
  • at: Seminarraum 01.150, Cauerstr. 11, Erlangen
  • as part of: Dept. Informatik Kolloquium

Abstract: An extensive research study conducted for the Swedish Competition Authority (see Lundell et al., 2016) identifies how references to standards in specific projects inhibit competition and discriminate against Open Source Software. The study finds that there are among the Swedish public sector stakeholders a widespread practice to refer to standards that lead to lock-in and limited competition in the IT field. Specifically, it is shown that public sector organisations conduct projects which include requirements with reference to specific proprietary products, specific trademarks, specific technologies (controlled by a single company) and specific closed standards which are provided under unclear conditions. Further, previous research – undertaken by the presenter and colleagues – shows that formal standards are not necessarily open, and that it may be difficult – and in some cases even impossible – to clarify conditions for use of file formats and standards (Lundell et al., 2015). This presentation presents an overview of lock-in challenges with illustrative details from specific projects undertaken by Swedish public sector organisations. Implications for implementation of (open and closed) standards in Open Source Software are elaborated and recommendations are presented for how organisations can improve public procurement practices. Finally, the seminar discusses how policies can be adapted to avoid unequal treatment and discrimination of Open Source Software in public procurement.

Lundell, B., Gamalielsson, J. & Katz, A. (2015) On implementation of Open Standards in software: To what extent can ISO standards be implemented in open source software?, International Journal of Standardization Research, Vol. 13(1), pp. 47-73.

Lundell, B., Gamalielsson, J. and Tengblad, S. (2016) IT-standarder, inlåsning och konkurrens: En analys av policy och praktik inom svensk förvaltning, Uppdragsforskningsrapport 2016:2, Konkurrensverket, ISSN: 1652-8089. http://www.konkurrensverket.se/nyheter/problem-med-slutna-standarder-vid-it-upphandlingar/

Speaker: Professor Björn Lundell received a PhD from the University of Exeter in 2001, and leads the Software Systems Research Group at the University of Skövde. Professor Lundell’s research contributes to theory and practice in the software systems domain, in the area of open source and open standards related to the development, use, and procurement of software systems. His research addresses socio-technical challenges concerning software systems, and focuses on lock-in, interoperability, and longevity of systems. Professor Lundell is active in international and national research projects, and has contributed to guidelines and policies at national and EU levels.

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