Standard for Public Code

Use open standards


  • For features of a codebase that facilitate the exchange of data the codebase MUST use an open standard that meets the Open Source Initiative Open Standard Requirements
  • If no existing open standard is available, effort SHOULD be put into developing one
  • Standards that are machine testable SHOULD be preferred over those that are not
  • Functionality using features from a non-open standard (one that doesn’t meet the Open Source Initiative Open Standard Requirements) MAY be provided if necessary, but only in addition to compliant features.
  • All non-compliant standards used MUST be documented clearly in the documentation
  • The codebase MAY contain a list of all the standards used with links to where they are available

Why this is important

  • Creates interoperability between systems
  • Reduces possible vendor-lock in
  • Guarantees access to the knowledge required to reuse and contribute to the codebase

What this does not do

  • Make it understandable how to use the software

How to test

  • Are the standards that are used for all features that offer interoperability with other components and systems freely and publicly available on the internet. Make a list of the standards and add these to the documentation.

Policy makers: what you need to do

Management: what you need to do

  • Consider including open standard compliance assessment in code reviews.

Developers and designers: what you need to do

  • Add continuous integration tests for compliance to the standards

Further reading