[Fsfe-ie] OASIS document formats proposed as standard for Massachusetts government.

Éibhear ifso at gibiris.org
Thu Sep 1 13:28:52 CEST 2005


On http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20050831202118904 there is
news that the government of Massachusetts is proposing using the OASIS
Open Document file formats as standards. I.e. government business will be
conducted in these formats (word processing, spreadsheet, etc.) and any
one who wants to conduct business with the MA government needs to do so in
these formats.

At present, these formats are supported by OpenOffice.org (natively for
2.0 and for import only with 1.1.5), StarOffice, KOffice and IBM's

The history is that a request for comment was aired earlier in the year
and the proposed formats to standardise on were to be both OASIS' formats
and Microsoft's XML formats. However, the commentary they received seems
to have been overwhelming in highlighting that the latter was not really
an open format. As a result, it has been dropped from the proposal. This
is a proposal, however.

This is a good thing for us, as there are many Free Software applications
that either support or plan to support these formats and because it will
force the market leader to reconsider its position of not supporting the
formats in their desire to prevent other applications interoperating well
with theirs. In short, if Microsoft wants to sell its Office applications
to the state government of Massachusetts, it'll have to support the OASIS
formats. In the meantime, the user base (and exposure) for the Free
Software alternatives is likely to increase.


Éibhear Ó hAnluain

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