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Re: [Fsfe-uk] E-envoy and Open file formats

From: ian
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] E-envoy and Open file formats
Date: 03 Aug 2003 17:06:49 +0100

On Sun, 2003-08-03 at 16:44, Ralph Corderoy wrote:
> Hi Martyn,
> > > It occurs to me to wonder whether a more fruitful strategy might be
> > > to persuade the government to require MS to open up the .doc format
> > > with proper, full documentation.  "It's a million to one chance, but
> > > it might just work."
> > 
> > I reckon it would be easier to write a MS-Word Plugin for reading ooo
> > files (and then you can say - if you can't read it, go download the
> > plugin. (-: )
> I was wondering that.
> Could it be that if the aim is to have usable file formats for download
> from a government site then plugins for Microsoft Office that read and
> write `open' formats would be the quickest way there from here.

Do you mean several plug ins? eg an ABI Word, Wordperfect, Lotus, etc?

Is seems to me a lot harder to get each of these projects to produce a
read write plug in than to post one open file format. Also to get full
edit capability surely you need as near as damn it the entire

> Whereas if the aim is to wean people away from MS Office to Open Office
> then getting the latter's file format adopted as a `standard' would be a
> step in the right direction, and happen to give `open' formats in the
> meantime.

The latter is the true aim, but the former could be a useful strategy in
realising that aim.

> I think both aims are laudable.  But the difference/confusion over which
> one people are talking about might be causing some of this difference of
> opinion.

The confusion is largely down to the fact that I posted something
briefly for info, thinking that people would largely think about it the
same way as I did. I was obviously wrong in some aspects of that ;-)

My personal belief is that OO.o has a major role to play in opening up
the IT market to free software because it makes it easier for entrenched
Windows users to make the transition. This is why I'm a marketing
volunteer for that project. Its certainly a vital ally in getting
GNU/Linux into schools.

ian <address@hidden>

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