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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 10:47:04 +0100

On Mon, 2003-08-04 at 10:01, Alex Hudson wrote:

> Well, indeed, there are lots of reasons. I don't think there is a winning
> technical strategy; we could quibble about the best format for ages. There
> is a clear benefit to having one that at least one free software application
> can read, especially a format that is feature-competitive with Word. It's a
> shame there aren't other reasons to leverage OOo though - it would be nice
> to just to present it as an alternative, but as having a specific role to
> play.

This is not about just one approach, its about one approach in a
particular set of circumstances. Depending on the audience all the other
strengths can be emphasised. The key to successful marketing is a simple
and clear message that relates to the specific audience. 

>  In terms of OOo vs. PDF, the ability to write does have advantages -
> I'm not able to cut'n'paste from my PDF reader, for example, but it 
> would be nice to have other key advantages to using OOo. 

Integrated vector drawing program
Ability to out put both flash and pdf directly at no added expense
Takes less resources than MS Office
Files are more compact and open format
You can copy it to all your friends machines legally
You can join in with and influence the development of the product.
Upgrades released regularly so you don't have to wait ages for bug fixes

Probably a lot more too, but getting it on to Government websites is
just one of a large number of marketing strategies and individual
"sales" propositions.  

> Things that spring to mind are the ability to mine the files for information
> easily, and pull content about - generating search indexes over OOo files
> is probably very easy. So, there could be specific reasons that would also
> show the format to be advantageous, esp. when fitting into this 'Government
> gateway' concept. Being able to upload an OOo file, and have the system
> automatically convert from that to Word and PDF - that could be winning.

All can be pointed out, but the best way to get the Gov to accept OO.org
in the first instance is to show that they *have* to simply because in
principle they require an open format of similar capability as Word's
.doc. Keep the message simple to start with at least.

ian <address@hidden>

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