08.13.07

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OpenDocument Format Wins in Malaysia

Posted in Asia, Formats, OpenDocument, Standard at 8:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There is some great news coming from Asia.

The Malaysian government today announced plans to adopt open standards and the Open Document Format (ODF) within the country’s public sector.

[...]

In July this year, Japan became the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to embrace open software standards. Last August, the United Nations urged countries in the region to adopt the ODF.

This comes only a day after the following article was published to highlight the ill effects of non-standard formats.

“History is being made now,” she said. “There’s a great deal lost with the changes in technology. I am concerned about the loss of permanent records that’s happening every day.”

This served as an important eye opener, which was trailed by another interesting article.

In extrapolating the dangers posed by the continued use of Microsoft’s formats the expert cited issues that rescue workers faced in accessing records maintained by local government entities when aiding in the relief of victims of the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, in which an estimated 300,000 people were killed,.

Forbes Magazine spoke about this phenomenon last year.

Alexander Rose, the executive director of the futurist Long Now Foundation, worries about the impermanence of digital information. “If you save that computer for 100 years, will the electrical plugs look the same?” he asks. “The Mac or the PC–will they be around? If they are, what about the software? ” So far there’s no business case for digital preservation–in fact, for software makers like Microsoft, planned obsolescence is the plan.

“The reality is that it’s in companies’ interest that software should become obsolete and that you should have to buy every upgrade,” Rose says. We could be on the cusp of a turning point, though, in the way businesses and their customers think about digital preservation. “Things will start to change when people start losing all of their personal photos,” Rose said.

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