28th March is Document Freedom Day
This year’s Document Freedom Day, which celebrates information accessibility and raises awareness of Open Standards, will take place on Wednesday, 28th March. Here in Bristol Wireless, we’ve been using the Open Document Format (ODF) Open Standard for exchanging documents internally for many years now. We like it since it has many advantages: firstly, there’s the file size (considerably smaller than equivalent proprietary formats); and secondly, it’s an international standard approved by the ISO.
This year, Document Freedom Day is being supported by no less a luminary than Stephen Fry, actor, broadcaster, general purpose Renaissance man and well-known geek, who states:
“It is time once and for all to end the pointless nonsense of one document sent on one platform being incomprehensible to the user of another.”
Read the testimonials of the wide range of other supporters of Document Freedom Day.
Open Standards are essential for interoperability and freedom of choice based on the merits of different software applications. They provide freedom from data lock-in and subsequent vendor lock-in. This makes Open Standards essential for governments, companies, organisations and individual users of information technology.
Open Standards ensure that individuals and organisations can:
- Choose any operating system or application and still be able to read and edit all their old documents;
- Collaborate with others regardless of which software they are using;
- Use any software of your choice to interact with your government (Are you listening UKgov? Your use of open file formats for documents has been woeful to date! Ed.).
The less visible effects of Open Standards are that they lead to more competition in software and more effective governmental IT solutions that avoid the cost of lock-in.
If you’re organising a Document Freedom Day event, register it! We shall have the Document Freedom Day flag fluttering gently outside the lab all day. 🙂
Update: 19/03/12: DFD posters are now available from the Free Software Foundation Europe. Please email samtuke (at) fsfe.org to order.