NewsForge: Ten Big Dutch Cities Demand Openness
According to Newsforge, ten cities, including Amsterdam, have asked their software suppliers to meet four criteria for openness, which should be applied to all the software they buy. This has also spurred around thirty smaller cities to sign the same manifesto.
All cities that signed the manifesto explicitly ask their suppliers that all software being procured or developed on their behalf, in official bids and outsourcing contracts, should consider these four elements. "This is a signal from the Dutch cities," Koelstra says. "We demand: 'If you want to do business with us, you have to follow our rules of openness.' Because most of the software companies won’t choose open standards spontaneously, we have to do this and hit them where it hurts: their money."
Once again, we see overseas governments moving ahead of their American counterparts. I believe that all software suppliers know that open standards are the future of software, and that open source will grow to be the major part of the market (except for possibly certain very small niche markets where there is not enough user demand to pique the interest of enough developers to have viable open source competitors). This must cause a lot of sleepless nights in Redmond, WA.
The four demands? They are:
- Vendor independence: they want to be able to run an application on any major platform
- Interoperability: they want independence from any specific application (e.g., Microsoft Word)
- Transparency, insight, control: they want to see what happens to all personal information and be able to audit the processing thereof
- Digital durability: they want to be able to obtain support from multiple vendors, with data stored in open, documented formats
After all, isn't the data the property of their citizens? Shouldn't that be of more concern than keeping supplier margins high? Perhaps a translation of this manifesto should be sent to our largest American cities. 🙂