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Three years ago, celebrated security expert Dan Geer lost his job at @stake when he co-authored a paper on the dangers that the Microsoft "monoculture" represented for end-users. He knew what he was talking about.
For the last couple of weeks I've been writing a number of blog entries focusing on poorly researched and deliberately misleading items in the news. One of those pieces is called "The Script Reloaded: Recognizing 'Them.'" Surprise - "They" have written another article.
The first draft of Open XML has been posted for public viewing
- and it's bigger than ever.
There have been a number of stories published on-line in recent days that warrant both comment and qualification. That's both good news and bad news.
In this second in a series of interviews with the major open source and proprietary implementations of ODF, I learn from OpenOffice.org's Louis Suarez-Potts and John McNeesh how OO compares to the competition, wherein lie its strengths, and where it will head in the future.
It's not my goal at this blog to nominate myself as the official FUD Ombudsman for the contest between the ODF standard and Microsoft's Open XML (especially since the connotations of the name "Ombudsman" in this saga ain't what they used to be). But...
"Public Relations" is one of those funny phrases that has very little to do with what it really means. At sixty thousand feet, it's about influencing opinion, which (at that altitude) doesn't sound all that bad. But when it gets down into the bushes, it starts to become a bit less innocuous, and more unsavory.
This blog entry is a rarity for me: an exegesis on the deliberate disinformation of a single vendor. Of course, calling out falsehoods by some vendors is like shooting the same old fish in a barrel, but occasionally you have to haul out the firearm when they start landing in your soup.
Last week, the Massachusetts Information Technology Division (ITD) issued a Request for Information (RFI) on any plugins that might be under development to assist it in migrating from a MS Office environment to one based upon software that supports ODF. Perhaps Microsoft may be willing to lend a hand.
There are already multiple implementations of the OpenDocument Format (ODF) in the marketplace. Why do adopt a standard - and therefore by definition go head to head with their competitors?
The six month voting window for ISO/IEC adoption of the OASIS OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard closed on May 1, and at midnight (Geneva time) last night it was announced internally that ODF had been approved by the ISO members eligible and interested in casting a vote.
With more than a million standards in place in the world today, it is axiomatic that we are all profoundly affected by their existence. Yet only a very small number of people are involved in the creation of these standards, relative to the billions that are impacted by their implementation.
Like many that have followed the OpenDocument Format (ODF) story in Massachusetts, I've wondered what former State CIO Peter Quinn would eventually decide to do after announcing his resignation late last year.
When Peter Quinn announced the adoption of the new Massachusetts Enterprise Technology Reference Model (which included the OpenDocument Format) in September of last year, he specified January 1, 2007 as the conversion date for ODF. But did that make sense?
Last summer, IBM set up Power,org, to promote its PowerPC chip as what it called "open hardware." This year, Sun launched the OpenSPARC.net open source project around the source code for its Niagera microprocessor. But what does "open" mean in the context of hardware?
It is perhaps no surprise that Minnesota, a blue state like Massachusetts and heir to the political traditions of the Prairie Populists, should be the next state to host a bill to require "open data formats." In spirit, this is a good thing, as it indicates a broadening appeal for open document format standards that, if missing, would be worrisome.
Things have been busy in Massachusetts this year for ODF. Some of the roadblocks that had loomed ahead are now behind, and some new ones are ahead.
A bill has been introduced in Minnesota that would require all Executive branch agencies to "use open standards in situations where the other requirements of a project do not make it technically impossible to do this."
The text of the bill is focused specifically on "open data formats." While the amendment does not refer to open source software, the definition of "open standards" that it contains would be conducive to open source implementations of open standards. The fact that such a bill has been introduced is significant in a number of respects. First, the debate over open formats will now be ongoing in two U.S. states rather than one. Second, if the bill is successful, the Minnesota CIO will be required to enforce a law requiring the use of open formats, rather than be forced to justify his or her authority to do so. Third, the size of the market share that can be won (or lost) depending upon a vendor's compliance with open standards will increase. And finally, if two states successfully adopt and implement open data format policies, other states will be more inclined to follow.
Last week, the City of Bristol, England, anounced that it would convert its 5,500 desktops from Microsoft Office to Sun's StarOffice. Now, the National Archives of Australia (NAA) has announced that it will move its digital archives program to OpenOffice 2.0.
The Massachusetts decision to implement OpenDocument Format (ODF) has attracted so much attention that little has been directed at other end users (governmental and otherwise) that have decided to adopt ODF. But there are others.
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