Andy Updegrove writes: Last Thursday the European Commission took a major step forward on the â½Â½Â½ÂÂ½ÂÅ½Â"opennessâ½Â½Â½ÂÂ½ÂÂ½Â scale. The occasion was the release of a new version of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) which definitively endorsed the use of open source friendly standards when providing â½Â½Â½ÂÂ½ÂÅ½Â"public servicesâ½Â½Â½ÂÂ½ÂÂ½Â within the EU.This result was rightly hailed by open source advocates like Open Forum Europe. But the EC took two steps backward in every other way as it revised its definition of "open standards,"presumably reflecting IT industry efforts to preserve the value of software patents. For whatever reason, it appears that the EC has abandoned the leadership position it previously maintained for setting the bar on standards suitable for government adoption. Those that believe that open standards, liberally defined, are vital to open government will now have to look for innovation and leadership elsewhere.