a little too glib
Posted Oct 18, 2006 8:01 UTC (Wed) by chaneau
In reply to: a little too glib
Parent article: A Question of Choice (Linux Journal)
Open standards that can be read by any compliant software instead of proprietary undocumented standards is completely irrelevant. Even for those agencies that are required by *law* to be able to read all documents for a minimum of 100 years.
This one is really scaring (for them) and in fact it could be a little too late. In the coming month I'll take part in four different events, three of them regarding the use of open standards in governmental bodies, the fourth about the use of free software in local administration
Let's take an example, the main reason for administrations (here in Belgium but I supposed it must be the same everywhere) to continue using the office suite from Redmond, is the fact that all the official channels transmit their information in .doc or .xls files, but now that entire bodies of the federal government (the justice department and the finance) are switching to Linux and open document formats, there is no reason to continue to use that particular piece of software.
Of course you can't just dismiss them that easily, because when they found out you are using "alternatives" they come and see your boss (usually he's the one who has no clue on that particular subject) and you start spending time defending your choices, so what do we do ?? we use stealth tactics, for example, the department of justice deployed thousands of pcs running Linux very very quietly (no press release no announcement), so when "they" found out it was too late, here when I deployed OpenOffice.org (around the build 638), the users complained about not having word and excel anymore (the solution was simply to rename the shortcuts). And when our Open license came to a term and that the guy from Microsoft offered to renew it, he was very surprised to discover that we had no need of any kind of license as there were no server or desktop running Windows anymore
That's why they fear that thing about open standards so much, remove the need of a proprietary office suite and most of the time you also remove the need of a proprietary OS.
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