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03.23.08

Document Freedom Day Coming Shortly with Plenty of Support

Posted in Europe, IBM, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, OSI, Standard at 2:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Document Freedom Day

This could not come at a much better time. The timing was planned as to intersect with the decision on OOXML, but it also comes amid significant news from Germany, which someone finally attempted to translate into English. Have a look at OOXML’s (i.e. Microsoft Office) demotion in Germany. OOXML us only “Under Observation”, whereas ODF is “Recommended” and PDF made “Mandatory”:

The SAGA 4.0 document itself (PDF, 2.4 MB) states on page 114 that the Open Document Format (ODF) version 1.0 is a “Recommended” standard…

[...]

And it continues with stating PDF 1.4 as a mandatory standard (PDF 1.5 is a recommended standard, PDF 1.6 is a standard under observation).

What are “Recommended” standards, “Mandatory” standards and standards “Under Observation”? Page 20 and page 21 explain the designations in full…

We covered the developments in the German authorities very recently. Mind you, Document Freedom Day will also be hosted in Vienna, Austria. The FSFE will give it some backing. Bob Sutor dropped a reminder also.

In Vienna we are currently organising the Document Freedom Day Event. We will place a booth (table, chairs and the flag will do the job) in front of the Museumsquartier (on the corner of Mariahilferstrasse and Museumsplatz) and will try to raise awareness for the relevance of Free Document Formats among interested people who pass by.

The OSI has just spoken out. It officially supports both ODF and Document Freedom Day. We also saw it opposing Microsoft's OOXML a couple of days back.

OSI supports ODF and Document Freedom Day

[...]

March 26 is Document Freedom Day (DFD). On March 26th, events and activities across the world will be held to promote adoption of free document formats such as the Open Document Format (ODF).

One has to wonder what stance the OSI would have taken had Microsoft been on board, as Bruce Perens recently warned. Therein lies the great danger. Here is what a LinuxWorld article had to say just a couple of days ago:

Even Microsoft appears to have succumbed to the irresistible lure of open source (or so the company would like people to think).

Yes, it’s all just an illusion. As a reader of ours pointed out yesterday, all Microsoft needs to do is convince journalists that its ‘open’ efforts are genuine. In turn, with publications stating this, CIOs can easily be deceived. Microsoft just sells the illusion of openness, as OOXML, for example, has taught us repeatedly.

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