Updates on “science and selfishness”

Update the first: now I feel bad for not waiting (though I did put “read AFTER honeymoon!!!” in the subject line), but John Wilbanks wrote back right away to say that it will take him a while to get to it, but he will ferret out specific answers regarding the Science Commons work and interoperability.
Update the second: Peter Sefton has more here, including specific recommendations for working with Microsoft while avoiding “a new kind of format lock-in; a kind of monopolistic wolf in open-standards lambskin”:

  • The product (eg a document) of the code must be interoperable with open software. In our case this means Word must produce stuff that can be used in and round tripped with OpenOffice.org and with earlier versions, and Mac versions of Microsoft’s products. (This is not as simple as it could be when we have to deal with stuff like Sun refusing to implement import and preservation for data stored in Word fields as used by applications like EndNote.)

    The NLM add-in is an odd one here, as on one level it does qualify in that it spits out XML, but the intent is to create Word-only authoring so that rules it out — not that we have been asked to work on that project other than to comment, I am merely using it as an example.

  • The code must be open source and as portable as possible. Of course if it is interface code it will only work with Microsoft’s toll-access software but at least others can read the code and re-implement elsewhere. If it’s not interface code then it must be written in a portable language and/or framework.

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