Adobe is Bad for Open Government

Here at Sunlight we want the government to STOP publishing bills,
and data in PDFs and Flash and start publish them in open, machine
readable formats like XML and XSLT. What’s most frustrating is,
Government seems to transform documents that are in XML into PDF to
release them to the public, thinking that that’s a good thing for
citizens. Government: We can turn XML into PDFs. We can’t turn PDFs
into XML.

isn’t off the hook either. Government has spent lots of time and money
developing flash tools to allow citizens to view charts and graphs
online, and while we’re happy the government is interested in allowing
citizens to do this, Government’s primary method of
disclosure should not be these visualizations, but rather publishing
the APIs and datasets that allow citizens to make their own. Only after
those things are completed to the fullest extent possible should
government be working on its own visualizations. While Adobe may say in
their open government whitepaper:

“Since the advent of the web, an entire infrastructure
has evolved to enable public access to information. Such technologies
include HTML, Adobe PDF, and Adobe® Flash® technology.”

This is nonsense. —Sunlight Labs (via)

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