Something IS Rotten in the State of Denmark

Leif Lohdal is blogging much more continuously about the Danish open standards situation than I am. Time for me to catch up.

On 24 April, the Danish Open Source Business Association and the Danish IT Industry Association arranged a conference in Parliament, from which I reported (in Danish, like most of the following links) over at Version2. Peter Strickx made a good presentation (soundtrack) about the situation in Belgium.

On the same day, Prosa and Version2 arranged a debate meeting about document standards. They had invited René Løhde from Microsoft Denmark and me to meet in a “battle”. I used the opportunity to make a probably too long presentation, which I symbolically called The State of the Document World, and tried to give an “Inconvenient Truth”-style presentation, but appearently contributed to critics calling the debate “toothless”. The “battle” without a fight was made available online as a webcast a few days ago. I’ve now uploaded my presentation in PDF (1,8MB) or higher quality (7,3MB) ODP. I humbly reject to calling my message toothless! Not to say it couldn’t be presented better, of course.

But wait, there’s more. A lot is happening, really. As a measure of “things happening” in the document format field, Version2 has published 12 articles mentioning ODF/OpenXML since the conference and battle.

The theme is: Should government mandate one or two standards? The choices are the ODF-alone strategy or the dual-strategy with ODF and/or OpenXML.

Yesterday morning, the involved parliamentarians and the minister met in a closed meeting. Less than a day before that meeting, the minister had released 2 reports to the parliamentarians and publically in a three (!) days long hearing. The reports, in Danish only, examine the economic consequences of mandating standards in various areas; one report dedicated to the consequences of choosing ODF. It’ll cost 180 million kroner. Yeah, right. The reports are made by Rambøll Management (yes, them, see also their explaning the appearent shift in findings).

Helge Sander, the minister, said after the meeting that a decision is near. The parliamentarians follow the situation close, and Sander will before the summer holidays arrange for them to meet some experts, he said. Whether or not a decision will be made by him before is uncertain. He surely could, if he would – he’s the minister! I assume the parliamentarians will ride him whatever he does.

In conclusion: Decisive indecision rules over Denmark.

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