[OSGeo-Discuss] Re: Sign the Hague declaration
chris.puttick at thehumanjourney.net
Thu May 15 02:36:51 EDT 2008
----- "James Fee" <JMFee at tecinc.com> wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Benjamin
> Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 1:56 PM
> To: OSGeo Discussions
> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: Sign the Hague declaration
> >>And force its citizens to buy a copy of proprietary software, or to
> >>special software.
> >>When it comes to contact with citizens, governments could exclude
> >>participation of their own citizens just by using proprietary
> Sounds like you want to "force" and "exclude" as well.
I'm sorry. In what way does requiring digital information to be in an open standard force or exclude anyone? Be very sure those companies desperately resisting the development and/or support of digital standards would provide support for government mandated ones really, really fast. Let's take the example of mandating OpenDocument Format. There you are, either moderately well-off or using an illegal copy of Microsoft Office and suddenly you would be unable to read/write documents provided by government bodies. So sure, in the interim you might be forced to download one of several free (as in beer, some free as in libre) applications to access those documents. Terrible imposition, my apologies. This is somehow worse than being forced to either have second rate access because you have too old a copy of Microsoft Office, use an operating system for which Microsoft Office is not available or choose not to break the law by using illegal copies of software?
IT only does not have a complete set of open digital standards because it is so immature. Every area of life is made accessible and cost-effective because of standards. The only people who do not benefit in the short-term by "forcing" standards on an area are the dominant manufacturers supplying said area. Where do you buy your fuel for your car/motorbike? Which manufacturer supplies your tyres? Where are you forced to get it serviced? Does your fridge manufacturer also supplies the electric sockets in your house? And the electricity?
We have open standards for networking, which has been "useful"; open standards for the web, which some suggest is why the web exists at all; open (some belatedly!) standards for digital images (a mere convenience). WFS/WMS not been useful for you? Why object to open standards for other file formats?
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