[OSGeo-Discuss] Re: Sign the Hague declaration
bh at udev.org
Thu May 15 13:09:35 EDT 2008
Landon Blake <lblake at ksninc.com> :
> I thought it might be wise to point out that this discussion seems to be
> getting a little aggressive, and possibly a little personal.
> All sides have made valid points. It's obvious that Mr. Fee isn't going
> to agree with many of us on this particular issue, and his opinion is
> worth considering.
> I would remind Mr. Fee, very humbly (of course), that he is on the OSGeo
> mailing list, so in some respects he's chosen a fight in which he is
> very outnumbered. I don't know how productive it is to aggressively
> defend something like the .doc format on a mailing list for proponents
> of open source software. :]
> You'll probably have about as much success as you would touting the .odt
> format on a mailing list for the Microsoft Word fan club. :]
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Fee, James
> Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 9:40 AM
> To: OSGeo Discussions
> Subject: RE: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: Sign the Hague declaration
> Chris Puttick wrote:
> >> I'm sorry. In what way does requiring digital information to be in
> >> open standard force or exclude anyone? Be very sure those companies
> >> desperately resisting the development and/or support of digital
> >> would provide support for government mandated ones really, really
> I thought we were talking about forcing governments to offer up
> information in a "open standard" format. Are you saying that if a city
> has standardized on MS Office, it would be ok for them to continue to
> post .doc? I got the feeling that folks are saying these cities need to
> abandon their software and move to other platforms someone arbitrarily
> says is open.
> >> Let's take the example of mandating OpenDocument Format. There you
> >> either moderately well-off or using an illegal copy of Microsoft
> >> and suddenly you would be unable to read/write documents provided by
> >> government bodies.
> What is the difference if OpenOffice supports a standard such as the old
> doc format? I see nothing in the MS argument that forces folks to use
> illegal copies of MS Office (heck use Google Docs).
> >> 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
> >> Terrible imposition, my apologies. This is somehow worse than being
> >> to either have second rate access because you have too old a copy of
> >> 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?
> I fail to see the problem here. Either you have a copy of MS Office, or
> you use OpenOffice already to view Word documents.
> This isn't about users of the information because there are several free
> (as in beer, some free as in libre) applications to access those
> "proprietary" documents. This is about forcing governments to either
> buy software that produces "open" documents (that are readable by less
> software than the proprietary formats), or forcing them to pay
How do you measure the 'less' software here?
The only application that reads 100% proprietary file formats is the
application that goes with it.
And by saying "readable by less software than the proprietary formats",
it is true that HTML has less application support then DOC.
> consultants to install, train and debug "open" solutions. What a
> complete waste of everyone's time.
I preper that my tax-payer money goes into the pocket of a local service
then in the bank account of a company who controls the DOC format.
> Sharing of data happens because the system at large demands that it
> happens, not because a couple of folks sign some non-binding document on
> the internet.
You know you have more and more "Folks on the internet".
And sharing data happens because we have data networks we did not had
The internet and email makes that you will receive soon *.docx files
from your friends, with nice macro extensions you won't be able to
decode because you did not buy software XYZ.
Benjamin Henrion <bhenrion at ffii.org>
FFII Brussels - +32-484-566109 - +32-2-4148403
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