The Dynamic Coalition On Open Standards (DCOS) is being formed. Several excerpts from this article at Computer Review On Line:-
"Sun Microsystems Inc and like-minded organizations will promote the use of open standards, including the OpenDocument Format much feared by Microsoft Corp, at the Internet Governance Forum summit this week in Athens, Greece."
"This DCOS, which is not believed to yet have any kind of formal IGF or intergovernmental endorsement, will present two papers for discussion at a workshop in Athens on Thursday.
The papers, available for viewing now at cptech.org, argue that adopting open standards is useful to spur adoption of the internet in developing countries, and that open standards are currently "in jeopardy" due to vendors plugging proprietary interfaces.
The social value of interfaces has increased; so has their business value," the paper says. Software patents and proprietary APIs "are now being used to manipulate the direction of the network effect and to thwart widespread interoperability of computer programs" and this, the paper says, "will be particularly harmful to developing countries."
Another paper to be discussed deals specifically with government procurement practices. It addresses government as tech buyer, tech policymaker and tech producer, and in each context urges governments to support open standards.
Governments should "ban procurement policies from requiring compatibility with proprietary technologies or proprietary ICT standards" and "ban procurement policies from specifying particular brands, manufacturers, or products", the paper says.
"'Openness' is best judged by the number of competing, fully substitutable implementations of the standard," the paper suggests."
"The DCOS coalition may have one influential ally in the form of Vint Cerf, the co-inventor of TCP/IP, Google vice president and chairman of ICANN. While he does not appear to be directly involved in Thursday's workshop, he advocated similar beliefs during prepared remarks at the IGF opening ceremony in Athens yesterday.
"Digital documents often need to be interpreted by special software packages to be rendered in understandable form," he said, according to an IGF transcript. "Steps are needed to assure that the information we accumulate today will be usable not merely decades but centuries and even millennia into the future."