It is pretty hard to find Open XML and OpenDocument videos on the Web, but they do exist. Here are a couple from Bob Sutor’s (of IBM) speech in Denmark. If you wish to explain to someone why Novell supports a document monopoly (and let’s not forget APIs and network communication), then point him/her to any of these videos. People would take audio-visual over textual information any day.
Earlier today, through a confession by a friend, I witnessed something which I had not quite grasped before. Many people simply perceive Office formats as the standard. Therefore, we must educate the less technical citizens, explaining to them the dangers of a monopoly and the inability to access personal information in the future. There is also the issue of competition and interoperability (or lack thereof). The roots of this debate pertain to and stem in perception, which is sometimes difficult to change (software freedom in another related peril that’s perceptual). Patience and perseverance are the key here.
Mind the fact that Florida seems to be approaching Open Source and OpenDocument, but Microsoft lobbyists step in and intervene.
Open Standards for Florida vs Microsoft lobbyists
Bottom line: Rep. Ed Homan (R-Tampa) tried to get a small paragraph added to a general IT bill in the State Senate that mildly favored open standards (i.e. ODF etc.) in state IT operations. It was a quiet effort, he told me, but still, within 24 hours all the State Senators on the appropriate committee had been contacted by lobbyists representing Microsoft, who also paid him a visit.
IBM and Microsoft are also having a brawl in Malaysia.
Standards body Sirim Bhd has stopped a feud between IBM Malaysia and Microsoft Malaysia over competing technologies in this country.
Datuk Dr Mohamad Ariffin Aton, Sirim chief executive, has suspended the process for approving the Open Document Format (ODF), which is backed by IBM Corp, as a Malaysian standard. A competing format is OpenXML, currently used only in Microsoft Corp’s Office suite of desktop products.
The latter point — that which refers to the number of companies supporing Open XML — is also one that Bob Sutor repeats in his talks. Open XML is not about sharing, but about building walls. It is shocking that Novell has turned from an Open Source enthusiast into a passive supporter of this impossible-to-reproduce-mockery-of-the-standards-system.
Related new links:
Part 2 of the second video is now available as well.