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Re: ODF in France

__/ [ B Gruff ] on Saturday 27 May 2006 23:51 \__

> I've been seeing a lot about this over the past few days:-
> http://standblog.org/
> What if... French made Open Document Format mandatory?

I read more about their Apple conformatation today. To be specific, it's the
D.R.M. stuff -- that which restricts user access to data and serves as a
vendor lockin. I can't find that latest link at the moment (not in my Web
browser's history), but the gist is that the French want to pass a bill/law
that would illegalise DRM in one way or another. Why mention DRM? Because it
serves as valid precedence and a conceptual motivator for the drift towards
ODF. It's a lot about awareness. A couple of hours ago I had dinner with the
European Free Software Foundation (still a bit drunk) and these folks are
pretty political. It is them who emphasised the need to educate MP's as one
step towards a cascading effect promoting openness and freedom.

> Yes, this sounds amazing, but it be happening right now. Just like
> Massachusetts has decided that ODF was the format of choice for office
> documents, the French Document may just do the same.

And Denmark...

There is of course a dependency. Since the nations communicate
electronically, there will sooner or later emerge this pressure to
assimilate. Since no 'plug-in' is yet accepted by the aggressive folks, the
Cash Cow will sooner or later die out. It is public pressure that will have
them accept it while the OpenOffice speed/efficiency FUD, evidently, has
little or no effect. They will carry on though, I'm sure. And so will
OpenOffice with "Why OpenOffice", stressing issues of legality.

> It's not yet written in stone, but it's already written in the RGI wiki,
> where the government is asking for feedback. (RGI stands for General
> Repository for Interoperability). The aim of the RGI is to enable
> interoperability between the citizens and the administration, and between
> two parts of the French administration.
> In this regard, the technical part of the RGI[1] features three very
> interesting rules:
> RIT0025:
> It is RECOMMENDED to use Open Document Format for exchanging
> semi-structured office documents (such as word processing, presentation and
> spreadsheet documents).
> RIT0026
> It is MANDATORY to accept every document in Open Document Format for
> exchanging semi-structured office documents (...)
> RIT0027
> It is FORBIDDEN to migrate from some often used format inside an
> organization to any other format than the Open Document Format.

Wow! This is excellent progress. I look forward to seeing some approval or an
official announcement in the press. The French are an order of magnitude
larger than Massachusetts and Denmark combined, I suspect (population

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz, Ph.D. Candidate (Medical Biophysics)
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