On document freedom
Today is "Document Freedom Day". The EU's IDABC "Open Source Observatory" observed back in February
Proponents of Open Source and open standards want 26 March to be a day to promote free document formats and open standards.
"Data lock-in and subsequent vendor lock-in are some of the most severe issues users are facing today", says Georg Greve of the Free Software Foundation Europe in a statement. "Yet most people only realise this connection when it is too late and they have effectively lost control over their own data. We are supporting the Document Freedom Day to help raise awareness for this issue by starting with something that affects pretty much all users of computers: text documents, spreadsheets and presentations."
Simon Phipps, chief Open Source officer at Sun Microsystems ads: "It's fundamental in the emerging market for people to be free to use any software they desire to handle their data. I fully support the goals of Document Freedom."
Graham Taylor, director of OpenForum Europe: "The whole essence of 'openness' is captured by the right of users, citizens, governments... to be able to freely access and exchange documents today and in the future. Nothing gives greater meaning to the prevalent danger of lock-in to proprietary solutions, and for the need for Government to act now."
Other organisation supporting the so-called Document Freedom Day are ODF Alliance, OpenForum Europe, IBM and GNU/Linux distributor Red Hat.
The organisations hope to start a grassroots campaign and are sending out packages a flag, a t-shirt, leaflets and stickers to the first hundred groups that register their support. So far groups have registered from thirteen European countries, including Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Belgium, Portugal and Spain.
There's nothing there that I'd disagree with. Sadly the organisers seem to have decided to focus exclusively on ODF which is a pity as multiple formats and standards can and do exist today - I mentioned a product recently that handles more than seventy five for example.
True document freedom comes from promoting increased interoperability and interchangeability between different formats, and working to make this high quality.