XML · 2006-11-28

XML standards and presidential politics

Fascinating bit of analysis from the ConsortiumInfo.org Standards blog, as part of a status check on the ODF implementation strategy in Massachusetts:

Q: It seems like anyone who supports ODF in government disappears, how to say, quickly. Is supporting ODF a career-ender?

A: No. While it’s true that two Massachusetts CIOs took stands of principle and resigned their positions (on which more below), neither individual was fired or forced out. In fact, the open standards policy that includes the ODF conversion was originally endorsed by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Romney has consistently supported that policy in general, and (once it entered the news) the ODF conversion in particular, from the time it was first announced until this day. His administration promptly issued public statements after each resignation stressing that the conversion to ODF would move forward. It’s been common knowledge that Romney is considering a run for the U.S. presidency, so supporting ODF can hardly be considered to be a dangerous move for a public official. Decommitting from it, however, might be seen as giving in to special interests.

UPDATE: Oops, I was behind in my reading after returning from vacation. It looks like the giving-in has already begun.