This Massachusetts-office-file-format story has legs, it’s still echoing around a week after it broke. Oddly, there’s been relatively little coverage of the “this is a good move because...” form, so: This is a really smart move by Massachusetts... Because this way, they maximize the chances that the data is re-usable by lots of different programs, and not just office suites. Because they are entirely 100% free of legal entanglements. Because they maximize the chances that the data will still be usable by their grand-children, independent of the fortunes of any software company. Because if there’s something that needs adding to the format, there’s a standards committee whose job that is. I’m going to close by quoting, once again, a paragraph from a letter that the European Commission sent to Sun last year, that I think says what needs to be said: Transparency and accessibility requirements dictate that public information and government transactions avoid depending on technologies that imply or impose a specific product or platform on businesses or citizens. Amen.

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
September 06, 2005
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