I don't know if i'm entirely correct in this, but I understand that there have in the past been variations in malai and chaser, throughout both the ashkenazi and sephardi world..
And then there was some kind of standardisation, whereby "the only difference" one might or will find between an ashkenazi and sephardi torah scroll, is the aleph vs heh in the dakah of petzua dakah, in Deut 23:2 Where sephardim are said to use aleph and ashkenazim are said to use heh If that is indeed the case, then i'm interested in who made that decision, of what standard text to use, and that ashkenazi scrolls would have a heh and sephardi ones an aleph. (I note, from links in a previous answer, what is the single letter difference between ashkenazi and sephardi torah scrolls that suggests that lubavitch might've switched to aleph, and that there's still a good argument, from josh waxman's article, that heh is the authentic form)
If somebody visited 10 sofrim, in London or 10 sofrim in New York, what text of the Torah would they be copying from? Is there likely to be a difference between ashkenazi sofrim and sephardi sophrim?
I understand that Aron Dotan has produced a work to try to come up with an accurate bible for synagogue use, but I don't know if Sofrim would be taking any notice of it?
A review of Dotan's BHL by L Tucker on amazon says " ...the author's intent is to provide a text "...suitable for Jewish ritual use as well" as providing an accurate Bible. This "intent" colors the text somewhat as He was willing to be "occasionally obliged to deviate from it, ( the Leningrad Codex ), for the sake of customs and conventions that have become rooted since the time the manuscript was written." "
I have read of OCR being used on Torah scrolls to ensure they're accurate, though, accurate to what text?
I understand it to be the case that the 1525 Bomberg rabbinic bible, and I suppose the 1517-1519 Bomberg bible that it was based on decisions made after seeing various manuscripts.. I heard once that the text we use is based on the bomberg rabbinic bible but I don't know if that's correct.