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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: 04 Aug 2003 08:21:17 +0100

On Sun, 2003-08-03 at 23:45, MJ Ray wrote:
> ian <address@hidden> wrote:
> > So what do you suggest? Plain text is a non-starter or it would already
> > be in use as would HTML.
> Actually, most of what the government puts online could be done as
> HTML without too much trouble, but I suspect the idea of a structured,
> near-device-independent *information* format seems to give the people
> who spew out DTPd work headaches.

I was told most government documents are originated in Quark Express and
then exported to Word, pdf etc. 

All this is beside the point. We are talking marketing politics here not
the logic of what is the technically best solution. We can have
influence over diverting the politics more in favour of free software
more easily than we can ensure that technically competent people are
appointed to Gov. departments.

One of the reasons free software has not had greater penetration is the
assumption that it can be marketed on the grounds of brute common sense
and logic when in fact, as M$ shows, marketing and politics are more
important than technical excellence in getting products to the masses.

My view is that getting free software to the masses is too important a
goal not to take advantage of any legal opportunities that arise.This is
a marketing opportunity to get a free software application mass exposure
at no cost to the project. Do you think MS, Adobe, Oracle would turn
down such an opportunity on the grounds that it was arguably not the
technically most efficient way of doing things?

ian <address@hidden>

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