Today I’m working on a simple JavaScript/XML-based quiz. I decided I’d like to use a standardized XML format for the quiz questions and answers, so I googled QTI, a common quiz format. Turns out QTI is (yet another) IMS specification (duh, I should have known that!).

I looked up the QTI specs on the IMS site and couldn’t believe the boldfaced notice I saw on the page: “HTML documents may be viewed online, but may not be printed without permission” (emphasis added).

Can you believe that? IMS is in the business of creating standards they want the whole world to use. These standards should be open, easily accessible and free from licensing constraints. Why on earth do they want to put silly notices like this on their site? (Not to mention they didn’t even provide a contact link to help the visitor contact IMS about getting permission.)

This reminds me of their Common Cartridge project, which developers can’t even browse without being a paid member of IMS (individual rate: $100/yr).

The marketing tagline for the Common Cartridge project? “Free the content”

I say it should be free the standards!

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