One of the motives for working on the RDF Dictionary concept is to extend the possibilities for lawyers and anyone else involved in legal tasks to work from any place where a computer with internet access is available.† XML, with its data (as opposed to lay-out) focus, delivers an essential part for this goal. The fact that XML needs datastructures, that datastructures need the ability to communicate with one another and that the RDF Dictionary concept offers a solution for this challenge, has been adressed elsewhere in this proposal. The RDF Dictionary concept is therefor a cornerstone for the possibility to work location independently. Most importantly one is free to work from home. One has the choice to do work at the office or at home. Not only increases this choice the quality of life, it may also contribute to a decrease of commuterís travelling.
This project involves open source software development. Open Source is often misunderstood.† To counter one of the most predominant prejudices: One can indeed earn money with Open Source.† The Linux companies are an example for this. These companies do earn money, not only by selling distributions. They earn a material part of their money with software development. Their client receives 99% of the system at no cost, but pays for the last 1% to obtain a particular application which is not yet available. In return the 1%, once developed, is contributed to the 99% and may serve future users. This cycle makes sense from an efficiency point of view. One shares progress with others, instead of hiding it in closed source. Also in economic terms it is an efficient use of the computer work force, as the wheel needs not be re-invented.
In as far one would argue that in the short term a certain inefficiency helps increase expenditure and creates jobs, one should bear in mind, that the revenues of closed source software development to a large extent travel across to the other side of the ocean and that the work for closed source software is largely done outside of Europe. The short term view not necessarily bringing any economic and employment benefits, there is no reason not to adhere to the long term view. On the long run there can be no doubt that open source software development serves the Community economic and social objectives. It fosters European-grown solutions, making Europe less dependent on monopolies existing in the IT world. The skills of the European IT workforce is used both more efficiently and will have a chance to be applied in the whole of the IT market, as opposed to just niches. It supports the EU anti-trust policy.
As a means of knowledge disclosure the RDF-Dictionary concept substantially facilitates a more equal distribution of legal information within the Information society, while lowering language barriers.