Re: Implementation of messaging interop in the DMA

On Wed, Jun 29, 2022 at 3:28 PM Vittorio Bertola <> wrote:

> Hi all,
> the European Commission and other European institutions are now looking
> into the implementation of the interoperability clauses of the DMA. Last
> week I had a chat with a high ranking official at EuroDIG, and he was very
> pleased to learn that W3C has a group to discuss the related technical
> issues - but then he asked, what about the IETF? After all, XMPP is an IETF
> standard.
> Was there ever any discussion on this between the two organizations?
> Generally speaking, an offer by the global SDOs to host a process could be
> welcome, though there will definitely be concerns over the fact that the
> so-called "gatekeepers" have such a strong role in leading the work at
> these organizations in this area.
> In fact, I also met people who are openly challenging the idea that the
> Internet SDOs are still capable of agreeing on open, global standards for
> key Internet services in front of strong business pressure not to do so by
> the gatekeepers. These people suggest that the dominant companies should be
> allowed to only offer proprietary APIs and interfaces, rather than support
> an open protocol. Their argument is that standards for the email and the
> Web could only be agreed because "the Internet at the time was only used by
> nerds" and no money was involved; when pointing at the work still going on
> at the IETF and at the W3C, the reply was "you are naive, we are not in the
> '70s any more". I would much like to see this claim disproved :-)

It's hard to agree on things, because people argue over the tiniest point.
Standards often emerge as a compromise.  W3C standards are semi-open,
semi-closed, you need quite a bit of capital to be involved in a WG, which
rules out most of the grass roots (ie nerds).  Even out of a working group,
the standards these days are rarely global in adoption, the bar is lowered
to 2-3 interoperable implementations.  This could be a handful of users,
there are many unused W3C standards.

Some things with existing large reach could have some version upgrades,

Much of what goes on, on the web, is done outside of standards bodies.
e.g. via the android and apple app stores, running applications that become
de facto standards.

I did see the EU direct message interoperability requirements.  Does this
mean skype will be required to talk to whatsapp will be required to talk to
telegram, and signal etc.   Seems slightly optimistic IMHO.

> Ciao,
> --
> Vittorio Bertola | Head of Policy & Innovation, Open-Xchange
> Office @ Via Treviso 12, 10144 Torino, Italy

Received on Saturday, 2 July 2022 17:22:36 UTC