I still have Obama’s inauguration’s speech in my mind, so full of passion and hope. It’s such a powerful word, hope.’  What most impressed me was his call to politicians to stop bickering and get to work to reform politics.’  This morning I read a post of Mitch Kapor, about the interconnection between politics and architecture. This paragraph connected in my mind Obama’s speech and the Moonlight/Silverlight fiasco:

The decentralized architecture of the Internet minimizes the role of central authorities and maximizes the ability of any participant to offer or receive any information or service and to develop new capabilities and services. What keeps the Internet from descending into chaos and anarchy is not centralized authority, but that its activities, while decentralized, are highly coordinated through adherence to collectively developed open standards.

Emphasis added. So, just as to have a democracy you need a system architecture that is accountable and transparent, to have a democratic Internet you need to keep its decentralized architecture based on open standards.

Moonlight/Silverlight and Flash are neither open nor standards: they are tools developed by corporations to take and keep control of the Internet.’  They are gates put in place to discriminate who, when and how we, the citizens, can access the digital archives of knowledge. They are like books written in obscure languages that can be translated only by holy scribes. They’re bad for Internet, they hurt freedom of the citizens.

We need to refuse Moonlight/Silverlight and Flash, we need to reclaim our right to read the books on our own. Because we can! The alternatives are just there, ready to use, developed collectively by the same people that made the Internet, the W3C. The new HTML5 standard is being held back by, quoting Obama’s inauguration speech, “the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.” I wish one day we can too proclaim an end to these and have an Internet powered only by real Open Standards.

Ho l’impressione che Stephan Wenger di Nokia voglia dare una spallata al WorldWideWeb Consortium (W3C) impegnato nella definizione del prossimo standard HTML5. Teniamo a mente che tra tutti gli enti di standardizzazione, W3C è l’unico a prevedere in una policy esplicita che eventuali brevetti negli standard devono essere rilasciati dai titolari con licenze royalty-free e perpetue.

Il paper segnalatomi dal prof. Fuggetta mi sembra quasi un colpo di rovescio per aggirare questa policy anti-brevetti, dato che Nokia è una di quelle pochissime aziende europee favorevoli ai brevetti sul software. Fa bene invece il W3C a resistere a questo ennesimo attacco della lobby pro-brevetti. Certo OGG Theora non è il formato tecnicamente migliore, la gestione del formato è criticabile, ma è il migliore disponibile. Mi auguro che questo confronto con il W3C serva a far discutere ancora sulle idiozie dei brevetti sugli algoritmi MPEG.

Se ne parla su vari blog e anche sul forum del palmare (parzialmente basato su software libero) Nokia. È possibile seguire la discussione nella mailing list pubblica del W3C.