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

From: Robert (Jamie) Munro
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] E-envoy and Open file formats
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 16:04:46 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.4) Gecko/20030624 Netscape/7.1 (ax)

Mike Taylor wrote:
Date: 01 Aug 2003 14:58:52 +0100
From: ian <address@hidden>

Just had an E-mail from the E-envoy's office after pointing out that
just making files available on Gov sites using Word was not on.
Encouragingly they said they agreed and were now discussing ways of
getting round this. I suggested using OO.org on some test sites and
volunteered to convert some files from Word for them if they wanted.

If we can get OO.org versions of files even alongside Word for
downloads it will be a big step forward.

Hmm.  I am encouraged by the E-Envoy's response, but I don't see that
OO.org files are a step forward at all.  To read them, you need
OpenOffice.  But if you have OpenOffice, you can also read MS .doc
files.  So a real step forward would be to use a format such as HTML
or possibly PDF that _everyone_ can use.

The advantage of PDFs and OO.org files over MS Word files is that the
standards behind them are completely published. It doesn't matter that
the normal program for reading OO.org files can also read MS Word files.
The fact is that you can read an OO.org document by unzipping it and
feeding it into any XML parser or editor. You cannot do that with a word
document. Other software to read OO documents is under development. A
plugin to allow word to read them might be a nice extension, bringing
the whole thing full circle.

Robert Munro

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