ODF at Harvard

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On Friday, there was a meeting at the Harvard Berkman Center called “USER Perspectives on Open Document Format (ODF).” I was not able to attend but several of our ODF experts were there. Once I get a chance to talk to them, I’ll add some discussion, but in the meanwhile, James Love has posted a blog entry called “When Standards Are Political — ODF (the Open Document Format)” at The Huffington Post about his impressions from the meeting.

This bit toward the end was especially good, in my opinion:

The State of Massachusetts and the government of Belgium and Denmark have already put in place requirements that ODF be supported by software companies, and now other governments are beginning to consider similar initiatives. If they succeed, it could result in a revolution in the structure of the entire software market, and bring much needed competition and innovation to these important areas.

Next year Microsoft will try to sell the public on it’s latest file format — “Open XML”, which they are marketing as a “competitor” to ODF as an “open” data format. Open XML was described by one expert as a standard that only Microsoft could implement – similar to a job description custom made for a single job applicant.

I did a blog entry last Monday regarding Microsoft and just who will be implementing Open XML (hint: not a lot of people).


  1. Bob- You are missed at these things. R Weir does exceptionally well on technicals and Ros is non pareil as — Ros. But your way of relating to non-technical audiences and your cred on standards would add a lot of value in future of these consumer-related meetings. We all struggle to find this audience where they are at…which, in some cases, is: “Come again, what’s a browser?”

    This is a vry high-quality group of people being now attracted to the discussion and the opportunity (Jamie’s cogent piece on Huffington Post, to which you point, exemplifies this). Their intelligent voices will extend the discussion immeasurably and into places it has not yet penetrated.

    Please come next time — or fedex a cardboard cutout of ‘self.

  2. Thanks, Sam, that’s very nice of you.

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