National Standards: ODF March Continues
According to the ODF Alliance Newsletter, standards bodies in Brazil, South Africa, and Croatia have approved OpenDocument Format (ODF) as a national standard. In Brazil, ODF is the recommended format for government document interchange. In South Africa, “ODF will be the standard for document exchange between government agencies and the public.”
Because government documents are actually the property of the citizens themselves, it is vital that they be released in formats that are not tied to any specific vendor, that they use fully-open standardized formats. Perhaps there are a few people for whom being in favor of ODF means favoring vendor lock-in through competing format standards, rather than vendor-independence through unified formats being shared by competing vendors. Repeat after me: “Users of software benefit from ‘one format, many vendors‘. Only vendors benefit from many formats, each with a single vendor.”
It is great to see that the flurry of lobbying and other activities that helped to get a competing format standard approved at the ISO recently have not stopped countries around the world from continuing to press forward on the important groundwork of data freedom, including the very important ONE FORMAT, MANY VENDORS aspect. I look forward to renewing our efforts here in the United States to take control of our data away from corporations and put it back in the hands of individuals.