Tectonic: S. Africa CSIR Adopts ODF, FOSS
Tectonic which tracks technology trends, tells us that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa has adopted OpenDocument Format (ODF, ISO 26300) as its official file format.
The South Africa-based CSIR has adopted the open document format (ODF) as its default document format as part of the organisation’s move to free and open source software. The scientific and industrial research parastatal adopted ODF late in 2006 and says the move is an “enabler of the adoption of open source software”.
The article quotes a spokesperson extolling the benefits of open standards and open source software.
CSIR President and CEO Dr Sibusiso Sibisi, a well-known proponent of OSS and the driving force behind the CSIR’s adoption, said "the open document standards are of prime importance for allowing open access to information, now and in the future. By using open document standards to store our data, the CSIR is not locked into a specific vendor that developed and implemented a proprietary standard, thus eliminating the risk of not being able to access current data in future when such a standard may cease to be supported."
The CSIR site has more information. As more and more government and quasi-government agencies switch over to this format, we can expect that pressure will build on the leading proprietary software company to update its products to work with the standardized file formats as well as its proprietary OOXML formats. Sun's Erwin Tenhumberg reports that an Argentine province is the first regional government in Latin America to adopt ODF. Erwin's blog also has the story of a survey that says that businesses plan to wait at least three years before upgrading to Microsoft Office 2007, so there is plenty of time for them to change course.
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