Roadmapping Denmark

Friday’s open standards conference in the Danish Parliament was a big success, we all agreed. A full house of participants, a range of good presentations, and good deliberations and debates. Throughout the day, open standards were promoted, by policy makers, vendors and, well, everyone. As Morten Kjærsgaard from OSL concluded in closing the conference, it is not a question of open standards or not, but rather about how and when.

In his opening talk, Morten Helveg Petersen MP announced a consultation draft of a motion in Parliament about the use of open standards in Danish government. By blogging the draft text, and opening up for comments, Helveg has openized the policy making process in a web 2.0 way. In this spirit, it seems appropriate to label his initiative B64 2.0, but actually it’s an appropriate name because it basically is a reintroduction of his own motion B64 from last session of Parliament. The motion’s draft text in my draft translation goes like this:

Parliament imposes on the government a duty to ensure that the public sector’s use of IT, including use of software, is based on open standards.

The state should adopt and maintain a set of open standards by 1 January 2008 which can serve as an inspiration for the rest of the public sector. Open standards should be part of public IT and software procurement with the object of promoting competition.

The state should ensure that all digital information and data that the public sector exchanges with citizens, companies and institutions, are available in open standards based formats.

I encourage all bloggers, and everybody else, to post comments to Morten’s blog on this important issue. If you post a copy of your comments here, I’ll provide an XML-feed of comments, as an inspiration to Morten, and a convenient way to keep track of comments.

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  • Comment for Morten’s blog on the open standards motion:

    It will be important to be clear about criteria for deciding what is and what is not an open standard. There are certain key “process” criteria:

    * process open to anyone to join in development and evolution of the standard

    * standard not effectively controlled by any one entity with a commercial interest

    * due process and transparency in decisionmaking

    Also there are key criteria based on the standard’s market impact such as:

    * royalty free

    * allowing implementation on any platform

    * no proprietary extensions or encumbrances that obstruct interoperability

    * does not drive people to a single vendor or technology for implementation (or doesn’t effectively exclude implementation by any IT development model)

  • Just to endorse Jeff’s comment. A clear definition of what an open standard is avoids hi-jacking the term for marketing purposes.

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