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Re: Denmark moves toward ODF standard

begin  oe_protect.scr 
Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
> __/ [ B Gruff ] on Saturday 27 May 2006 20:32 \__
>> On Saturday 27 May 2006 13:15 Mark Kent wrote:
>>> begin  oe_protect.scr
>>> Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
>>>> __/ [ nessuno@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ] on Friday 26 May 2006 16:26 \__
>>>>> Quote (English translation from Danish):
>>>>> ------------------
>>>>> By no later than the 1st of September, all publications and other
>>>>> written documents on the homepage of the Ministry of Science will be
>>>>> available in the OpenDocument format (ODF). This was the promise by
>>>>> minister of Science Helge Sander..."I would like to emphasise that the
>>>>> use of open standards is central for the development in a digital
>>>>> administration. As a first step I have asked my own ministry to offer
>>>>> publications and other relevant written communication in the open
>>>>> document format ODF," said Helge Sander. -
>>>>> ------------------
>>>>> End Quote
>>>>> http://www.computerworld.dk/art/34035?a=rss&i=0
>>>> Well done, Denmark. The world salutes you. Another country that is sure
>>>> to
>>>> follow  is  Norway,  unless it has openly expressed this  will
>>>> /already/.
>>>> Their  President  (or was it PM?) called for the ditching  Office
>>>> formats
>>>> over  a  year  ago. Good man! One who actually understands  computers
>>>> and makes his own judgment...
>>>> The  folks  from  Trolltech and Opera (among others) must  be  making
>>>> the
>>>> ethical  issues  more  obvious  to the Norwegian  people...  another
>>>> such country is Finland. 41%+ Firefox...
>>> It's very excellent news.  The great issue is getting the comprehension
>>> of the risks of lock-in over to everyone.  Many people have undoubtably
>>> been conned in the past by the 'anti-capitalist' FUD which has been spread
>>> by our trolls here and elsewhere.  Once it is pointed out that avoiding
>>> lock-in is beneficial to companies, and therefore highly pro-capitalism,
>>> then realisation does start to dawn.
> I discussed this earlier tonight with the European Free Software Foundation
> and I think I might just join them and help at some capacity. There is a
> huge gap in mentalities and PM's often seem to have been brainwashed. The
> understanding of the benefits of free and open (not price fixing at 0) is
> really crucial. Make them realise that it benefits them and they will happily
> embrace.

It would be an excellent use of your advocacy skills.  One good feature
of Cola is that it's possible to see pretty much every angle which is
used against open-source + linux, and be aware of the counter.  There's
never been a showstopper argument that I'm aware of , and every month
that goes by sees free software improve.  I can't recall the last time I
saw something from MS get better;  actually, not true, probably NT3.5
compared with WinDOS versions was an improvement.  Not much of one,

>>> As you say, well done Denmark.
>> You are aware presumably that the French government has now made a "Call
>> for Comments" from the public in respect of it's proposal to "do a MA"?:-)
>> http://www.adele.gouv.fr/article.php3?id_article=1064
>> It's pretty much the road that MA trod, except that rather than a state of
>> the U.S., this is the government of France....
> "Do an MA"... *giggle*... I'll make a mental note. Gots to remember that
> one... Will Microsoft 'Netscape' ODF by including it in Office and then
> extending it?

At first blush it would seem to be the standard MS approach, so one has
to consider why they haven't done this... let's consider some reasons:

1. Offer ODF capability and there would be a choice of using other
office suites.  This would end the lock-in model.

2. Offer ODF and normal users would find it quite adequate for their
uses, which would destroy their argument that it's not good enough.

3. Offer ODF and that would essentially show the world that they'd
abandoned their desktop monopoly ambitions.

Frankly, there isn't much in this for Microsoft.  A sane thinking
company might consider that they risk losing /everything/ if
they don't make some play for compatibility, but MS are probably
still sufficiently arrogant that they can internally argue that the
MA/France/Munich/Venequela/China/Google/Finland/Largo etc. etc. rapidly
growing adoption can be reversed in their favour.  Perhaps they'll send
their CEO to throw selected items of quality furniture at those who
consider alternatives to MS?

| Mark Kent   --   mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk  |
I'm a fuschia bowling ball somewhere in Brittany

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