Yesterday, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society hosted a two-hour discussion session on Open Standards and Interoperability. Our discussion was meant to be an extension of the work of the Open ePolicy Group, which convened representatives of 13 nations and 5 non-profits and released this Roadmap in September. (The event yesterday was supported by IBM, which, along with Oracle, sponsored the work of the Open ePolicy Group.
The primary issue that captured the most airtime yesterday was the recent decision, as yet under some scrutiny, by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to procure technologies that are compatible with the Open Document Format, among other open standards. There are serious issues at play, including the role of the state in technology policy; the effects of open standards on accessibility, choice, and innovation; and the future of the Internet. Panelists, including Steve Bratt, Chief Operating Officer W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), Doug Levin, Chief Executive Officer of Black Duck Software, Bob Sutor, Vice President of Standards and Open Source IBM Corporation, Tim Bray, Director of Web Technologies at Sun Microsystems, and John Palfrey, Executive Director of the Berkman Center, led the discussion, which involved comments from dozens of participants. Dan Bricklin and David Berlind were key contributors.