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Quote of the Day:
For the first time ever there is a default open format for Government documents
OpenForum Europe U.K. chapter celebrating the annointment of ODF by the U.K. Cabinet Office ...Full Story
The document format world has just been turned upside down
Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols, writing at ZDNet.com ...Full Story
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Latest News: From the Standards Blog
U.K. Cabinet Office Adopts ODF as Exclusive Standard for Sharable Documents
Standards Blog - July 22, 2014:
...Henceforth, ODF compliance will be required for documents intended to be shared or subject to collaboration. PDF/A or HTML compliance will be required for viewable government documents. The decision follows a long process that invited, and received, very extensive public input – over 500 comments in all (my comments can be found here).
According to the announcement:
When departments have adopted…
Latest News: From all Sources (sort by topic instead)
What the UK Government's adoption of ODF really means
Moved by Freedom- Powered by Standards – July 28, 2014: On Tuesday the news that the UK Government had decided to use ODF as its official and default file format started to spread....This decision is a landmark for several reasons. First, it is not every day that you see an entire government migrate to a standardized file format. You may hear about government branches using this or that solution, but nothing that is so "abstract" than a file format. This time the UK Government has made the conscious decision to define a coherent policy in handling its digital documents, from the stage where they are created, edited and circulated all the way to the archival phase....
Most of the migrations from one office suite to another tend to happen without any coherent document management policy. Many organizations moving from, say, Microsoft Office to LibreOffice do not necessarily adopt ODF as their default format and will carry on supporting whatever version of the MS Office file format internally. This usually leads to frustrations and compatibility problems. This time, the UK Government decision takes a different approach. By deciding about the formats first, the UK creates the conditions necessary to have real choices for its government and its citizens, thus setting a level playing field for everyone....While reading among the tea leaves is not my favourite past time, it is relevant to assume that this decision may change a few things around the IT industry as well. By way of an example, I have always been amazed at Apple's clean support of ODF inside Mac OS X but its constant absence across the iWork editions. Perhaps Apple will feel compelled to introduce ODF files in iWork now? Only time will tell. Cloud solutions will also have to improve or implement ODF and in some cases PDF support in a proper way.
The decision might also have consequences for other European countries and perhaps for the European institutions themselves, as the UK will now be an actual example of a country that has migrated to ODF, and not just one of the countries that made the choice of Free and Open Source Software.... But the whole point is that in 2014, trying to extract revenue by creating lock-in on office files is no longer acceptable. That, I think, is what the UK Government decision really means. And if I'm right, it's only the beginning.... ...Full Story
Report: US needs to adopt minimal national security standard for cybersecurity
Fierce Homeland Security – July 28, 2014: The United States cannot allow cyber insecurity in information systems to reach a point where weaknesses would result in leaders "unwilling to make a decision or unable to act on a decision fundamental to our national security," said a new think tank report, suggesting a new national security standard for what's important to protect in cyberspace....Danzig said that because IT dependency and accompanying insecurities have come so rapidly evolved, the U.S. doesn't really understand what is acceptable and unacceptable risk let alone what the government's and the private sector's roles are in this area....He also said that the U.S. may need to adopt a strategy that "self-consciously" gives up some cyber benefits in exchange for greater security on key systems.
This might involve "stripping down systems so they do less but have fewer vulnerabilities" and less reliance on digital systems and more on humans, among other recommendations.
Another interesting initiative is to "map the adversarial ecosystem of cyberspace in anthropological detail" as a way to better understand enemies, our own incentives and operational methods, he wrote.... ...Full Story
The Document Foundation congratulates the UK government for their revolutionary and historical choice of open document standards
The Document Foundation – July 25, 0214: The Document Foundation (TDF) congratulates the UK government for the selection of the Open Document Format (ODF), in addition to Portable Document Format (PDF), to meet user needs. LibreOffice, the free office suite developed by TDF, supports both ODF – the native document format – and PDF (including PDF/A)...."TDF has always been a strong supporter of ODF, and a believer in open document standards", says Thorsten Behrens, TDF Chairman. "July 22 will be a date to remember, as the culmination of a dream inaugurated when ODF become a ISO standard on November 30, 2006. By standardizing on ODF and PDF, the UK government is showing the world that it is entirely possible to find a way out of proprietary formats to enhance user freedom"....Complementing ODF, LibreOffice manages Hybrid PDF files, which combine the advantages of PDF and ODF by embedding a fully editable ODF document into a PDF without breaking any of the standard characteristics of both formats. ...Full Story
We're living in a post-open source world
InfoWorld – July 25, 0214: After years of bitter feuds between free software and open source advocates, open source won. But it was a temporary victory. While proponents of Apache-style licensing had a brief period to gloat, the GitHub generation seems determined to take open source to its logical conclusion: releasing most software under no license at all.
Are developers simply too careless to bother with a license, or is something bigger under way?... ...Full Story
Groundbreaking Operating System Is Named an IEEE Milestone
IEEE The Institute – July 25, 0214: The greatest technological innovations often happen in the most modest of places. In his backyard toolshed in Pacific Grove, Calif., computer programmer Gary Kildall built an operating system in 1974 that, along with the microprocessor and disk drive, would become one of the three fundamental building blocks of the personal computer revolution. His OS, Control Program for Microprocessors (CP/M), was the first commercial system to allow a microprocessor-based computer to interface with a disk storage unit. It paved the way for low-cost computers to be used in business, industry, academia and, eventually, the home.
To recognize the breakthrough, Kildall's invention was named an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing.... ...Full Story
EU tenders for Open Data platform Written
Business Cloud.com – July 24, 0214: The European Commission has launched a formal tender for SMART 2014/1072 - Deployment of an EU Open Data core platform: implementation of the pan-European Open Data Portal and related services. This promises to be the worlds biggest open data project to data, eclipsing the UK Data.Gov.UK and the US Data.Gov which currently deliver approximately 15,000 and 111,000 data sets respectively.
This is not just about making data available for third party developers and those with the knowledge and skills to extract, sort, curate and import data into their own systems. The EU wants visualisation tools delivered as part of the project. This will make it possible for users of the European Open Data Portal to do their own analytics and create visualisations of the data on the platform itself.... ...Full Story
Microsoft attacks UK government decision to adopt ODF for document formats
ComputerWeekly.com – July 24, 0214: Microsoft has attacked the UK government's decision to adopt ODF as its standard document format, saying it is "unclear" how UK citizens will benefit....Microsoft has heavily lobbied the government throughout the three-year process that led to its decision to adopt ODF. The company has never suggested OOXML should be the only standard, but has recommended that government adopt both ODF and OOXML.
Minutes of meetings of the Technical Standards Panel that advised the Cabinet Office were also published yesterday, showing that OOXML was discussed as a possible standard, but was rejected because ODF better met the criteria for open standards as defined by the UK government....
"The chair asked LH [Linda Humphries, open standards lead at the Government Digital Service] to explain why ODF was chosen rather than another format such as Office Open XML, also known as OOXML," said the minutes.
"LH explained that the decision was based on the Open Standards Principles and the UK government definition of an open standard. Both ODF and OOXML, were considered but ODF better met the criteria.
"For OOXML, there were concerns relating to the vendor independence and market support criteria - particularly with differences between transitional OOXML and strict OOXML conformity".....
The panel also discussed whether it would be feasible to choose two standards for sharing documents, as it has done with viewing documents, but this was also rejected because of the difficulties ensuring interoperability.
"The chair asked the Panel to consider whether multiple standards would be appropriate for document formats. Following discussion, the panel reached consensus that one standard is important to ensure interoperability and to allow users to collaborate effectively on the same document," said the minutes.... ...Full Story
Huge Win for ODF in UK: Let's Not Mess it up
ComputerWorld.uk – July 23, 0214: Back in January, I alerted people to a hugely-significant consultation being run by the Cabinet Office on the subject of document standards. This was so critical, that I banged on about several times more, urging readers to submit their comments. I must confess that I was not optimistic: we have been through this exercise so many times, and been so close to obtaining support for open formats, only to be thwarted by machinations, that I assumed the same would happen here....Yesterday's news is truly a unique opportunity to show the power of open standards, to promote the benefits of open source, and to bring about its wider dissemination both in government, and among home users. The price of failure here would be extremely high: yet more years in the wilderness, as happened after the Massachusetts ODF fiasco a decade ago. So let's not mess it up. ...Full Story
Microsoft questions UK Government's ODF adoption pledge News
IT Pro – July 23, 0214: Francis Maude has confirmed government departments will adopt ODF, but Microsoft claims the benefits to UK citizens are "unclear"....In a statement to IT Pro, a Microsoft spokesperson played down the significance of the ruling by pointing out that both its business productivity offerings - Office 2013 and Office 365 - already support ODF.
"Microsoft believes it is unproven and unclear how UK citizens will benefit from the government's decision," the spokesperson said.
"We actively support a broad range of open standards, which is why (like Adobe has with the PDF file format) we now collaborate with many contributors to maintain the Open XML file format through independent and international standards bodies....The government's stated and laudable strategy to be cloud-first in the provision of its services to citizens depends on nurturing, not constraining such innovation," the spokesperson added. ...Full Story
UK makes ODF its official documents format standard
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
ZDNet.com – July 23, 0214: In 2006 and 2007, there was an enormous documents standards war between Microsoft, with its OpenXML documents format, and the open-source community with its Open Document Format (ODF).
In the end, Microsoft, while eventually supporting ODF, won. ODF, while still supported by such popular open-source office suites as LibreOffice and OpenOffice, became something of an after-thought. Until, the UK government announced on Tuesday, that it will now require all official office suites to support ODF.
The document format world has just been turned upside down....One thing is clear from this decision. All office-suite programs, which do not support ODF, such as Google Docs, must add support for the standard. Without it, they will find themselves unable to compete for UK government business now. And, in the future, they may find themselves unable to compete for other office contracts that will require ODF. ...Full Story
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