Developer Declaration of Independence (2004)

ICT for Development

Developer Declaration of Independence (2004)>

The information technology industry has a potential future characterized by universal and affordable access to technologies, free flow of information through interoperability, and the liberation from dependence on proprietary or legacy software. Central to realizing this promise is the concept of "open standards," meaning, in part, technology standards that are documented, available for all to use, and free of charge. Widespread adoption of this concept by corporations, businesses, organizations, and individuals will promote a fair competitive marketplace - thus allowing all parties to compete equally from the basis of a shared technology foundation and framework. For the first time in the history of the industry, IT infrastructure will be based on open standards rather than closed, proprietary architectures controlled by a single organization.

We, the Undersigned,

MINDFUL of the desire and commitment of developers throughout the world to build an open, inclusive information technology (IT) industry, where everyone can create, access, and share information and knowledge, empowering individuals, communities, and peoples to realize their full potential in promoting their sustainable economic development and improving their quality of life,

CONSCIOUS that open IT, adapted to local, regional, and national requirements, and universally accessible and affordable, can accelerate the social and economic progress of countries and the well-being of their citizens,

AWARE that most of today's IT infrastructure is heterogeneous, multi-vendor, widely distributed, and increasingly complex and that it must evolve to a computing model that is open and standards-based; integrated across internal business processes and applications and externally with other enterprises; and virtualized so that distributed computing resources can be shared and self-managed,

STRESS that open technology standards are fundamental enablers of a truly inclusive IT industry and should be promoted by increasing awareness among all stakeholders of their value to increase competition, user access, and diversity of choice, and to enable all users to develop solutions that best meet their requirements based on cost, reliability, security, functionality, and availability,

AFFIRM that open architecture is a powerful instrument for expanding and improving IT access and that the freedom of choice it represents is irrefutable, undeniable, and irreversible,

ENCOURAGE research and promote awareness of the opportunities offered by open standards and the means of their creation, in order to increase competition, freedom of choice, and affordability,

SOLEMNLY PROCLAIM the necessity of creating, adopting, and promoting open standards to offer freedom of choice, provide unrestricted IT access, ensure fairness and competition, meet end-user demands for interoperability, create an enabling environment at all levels, accelerate the development and dissemination of new IT applications; and enhance global cooperation.

And to this end DECLARE that:

1. The ability for all to access and contribute information, ideas, and knowledge is essential in an inclusive IT industry.

2. Open architecture is central in achieving the goal of IT inclusion, enabling universal, sustainable, ubiquitous, and affordable IT access by all.

3. Open standards create more options to address IT needs, generate new computing models that bring improved integration across business processes and industries, and give rise to new development tools that emphasize collaboration and community.

4. All developers have the right to self-determination, and, by virtue of that right, they have a choice between many possible software solutions to best satisfy their IT needs

5. The subjection - or "lock-in" - of developers to single-vendor technology constitutes a denial of self-determination, is inherently monopolistic, limits choice, artificially raises prices, stifles innovation, and contradicts the underlying goals of an inclusive IT industry: freedom of choice and independence for all.

6. Cooperation among all developers is called for to increase awareness, adoption, and protection of open standards as an essential building block of a fair and competitive IT industry.