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EU Should Switch To ODF Standard, Says MEP

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the so-should-the-u.s. dept.

EU 111

DTentilhao (3484023) writes "The European institutions should switch to using the Open Document Format (ODF) as their internal default document format, says Member of the European Parliament Indrek Tarand. Speaking at a meeting of the European Parliament's Free Software User Group (Epfsug), last week Wednesday, MEP Tarand said: 'Moving to ODF would allow real innovation, and real procurement.'"

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It's lunchtime, you're hungry We know how you feel (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46677857)

It's lunchtime, you're hungry
We know how you feel
Your mouth wants Little Caesars
And your wallet wants a deal
Four slices of Deep Deep Dish and a soda are for you
Hot and Ready for five bucks
And this is what you do
Bite bite, sip sip
That's what makes the combo
Bite bite, sip sip
Do the Deep Deep Dish Combo Mambo
For lunch

Pizza pizza.

Re:It's lunchtime, you're hungry We know how you f (1, Offtopic)

Moblaster (521614) | about 7 months ago | (#46677925)

There once was a first poster from Perth
Who instead of talking about Open Document Format made mirth
He took first post for granted, and talked pizza, backhanded.
Until modded down by European Bureaucrats who.. who ... who remanded - oh I got nothing.

Re:It's lunchtime, you're hungry We know how you f (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678463)

who felt upended?

Re:It's lunchtime, you're hungry We know how you f (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 7 months ago | (#46680145)

Until modded down by European Bureaucrats who.

Its more likely to be Microsoft who'll be doing the downmodding, or rather their SMM partners who patrol here.

The thing is, this is where the rubber meets the road for the new, open and friendly MS image they're trying to project with the viewable DOS code and open .NET compiler . If they oppose this move to open and free document formats, we'll know they're still the same old aggressive, monopolistic, and user-hostile company they've always been, and who we are trying to escape from.

If they decide to support open formats and choose to engage with those of us who want interoperability and competition based on quality and features instead of lockin, it'll be a sign they might be on a path to being a good corporate partner.

We can always hope, but personally, I won't be holding my breath.

Re:It's lunchtime, you're hungry We know how you f (1, Offtopic)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46678161)

Can we have the Golden Girls Guy back now, please?

Re:It's lunchtime, you're hungry We know how you f (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678193)

Is that what you like to watch in the loonybin? http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Re:It's lunchtime, you're hungry We know how you f (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678257)

Wow so petty and so stupid, If mild depression should get you locked up as insane then more than 1 out of very five people in the UK and more of America should be locked up too. What is wrong with you? your tendency to chase this guy and post such a common issue as if it is a worthy attack seems to show a profound lack of perspective, did he kill your pet or do you have a more serious issue yourself?

Re:It's lunchtime, you're hungry We know how you f (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678263)

It's true. Zontar the no mind said it.

Re:It's lunchtime, you're hungry We know how you f (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678281)

true and such a common issue that it is irrelevant, again what is your problem?

Re:It's lunchtime, you're hungry We know how you f (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about 6 months ago | (#46680951)

simple.. he's an asshole

Re:It's lunchtime, you're hungry We know how you f (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46683163)

Right. Zontar's an admittedly mentally disturbed asshole http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Multiple Personalities by ac now Zontar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678283)

You evidence it by posting ac now and said you are schizo http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Re:Multiple Personalities by ac now Zontar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678317)

Why do you think I am that guy creepy internet stalker dude? I just saw your comments in reply to him more than once and wandered why you are so obsessed, also if you think that was serious in context then you need a humour transplant....

Re:Multiple Personalities by ac now Zontar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46683139)

Sorry. Glad to see you know Zontar is an online stalker and troll though.

Re:Multiple Personalities by ac now Zontar? (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46678437)

That wasn't my post.

Why should I post AC and lose my auto +1?

Re:Multiple Personalities by ac now Zontar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46683177)

So you can say it "depresses you" for more happy pills @ the loonybin http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

MEP = Members of European Parliament (4, Funny)

turp182 (1020263) | about 7 months ago | (#46677907)

I also believe that there should have been more abbreviations in the title, something like this:
EU SST To ODF Standard, says MEP (SST = Should Switch To)

Re:MEP = Members of European Parliament (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678009)

RTFS (Read The Fucking Summary) - the first sentence clears up all abbreviations. Your ADHS makes me sick

RTFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678513)

If you have to RTFS in order to understand the title, then the title serves no purpose.

Re:RTFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46679861)

Most people that would be interested in the story wouldn't need to RTFS to understand the title, most educated people should understand what "EU" means, most slashdotters should understand what ODF is, and you don't actually need to know what an MEP is to understand the title, though people this is most relevant to (i.e. people who live in an EU country) should also know what an MEP is.

Re:MEP = Members of European Parliament (0)

Tough Love (215404) | about 7 months ago | (#46678315)

Your geek card is hereby rescinded.

Re:MEP = Members of European Parliament (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 7 months ago | (#46679751)

I haven't had one for years, I watched a season of American Idol a while back.

Re:MEP = Members of European Parliament (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about 6 months ago | (#46682339)

In Britain, MEP is a very widely-understood initialism so I'm not really finding this joke funny. :-) You Yanks use acronyms all the time anyway, don'tcha?

Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46677931)

The MS Office file formats are far more powerful, flexible, entrenched, and every bit as open as ODF.


Switching formats will just make old documents unreadable. Where will that leave Europe?

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (3, Interesting)

someone1234 (830754) | about 7 months ago | (#46677997)

I guess, it will leave EU Independent from a US megacorp?

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678033)

In practice it just means switching from one US megacorp (Microsoft) to another (Red Hat).

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (4, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about 7 months ago | (#46678159)

Red Hat has nothing to do with ODF. StarOffice, the venerable predecessor of OpenOffice and LibreOffice back in the day, had their headquarters in Hamburg, Germany. And ODF is the native file format of OpenOffice and LibreOffice. (And even the database engine has german roots: It's the old SAP DB, originally developped by Software AG and then bought by SAP, both being german companies).

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 7 months ago | (#46678331)

Red Hat has nothing to do with ODF.

Neither do Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter or Samsung. Shameful.

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46681195)

Hi,

so what are you talking about ?
One of the developers from the Hamburg core team who is part of the ODF team is working on LibreOffice at Redhat.
The data base part in OpenOffice.org uses the Java based HSQLDB (http://hsqldb.org/). It's long time ago when StarOffice shipped the Adabas DB...

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (0)

PPH (736903) | about 7 months ago | (#46678103)

The Ukraine wasn't enough. And Europe doesn't have much oil. But this justifies military involvement.

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678043)

There isn't even a reference implementation of OOXML and the Office file formats are not a bit open. Also, switching MS Office versions makes documents unreadable. So that's where Europe currently is at - Millions for Redmond's Carousel of Updates

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about 7 months ago | (#46678347)

Never mind that OOXML is only fraudulently open.

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46679229)

Also, switching MS Office versions makes documents unreadable.

Show me a document where upgrading your office version made it "unreadable".

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (1)

tshawkins (1239974) | about 7 months ago | (#46679797)

Also, switching MS Office versions makes documents unreadable.

Show me a document where upgrading your office version made it "unreadable".

Its people being forced to upgrade thier older perfectly functional versions of office to read documents being created by people who have upgraded. There are at least half a dozen major varients of the "word doc". In government that is a major problem.

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (0)

terjeber (856226) | about 6 months ago | (#46682091)

Its people being forced to upgrade thier older perfectly functional versions of office to read documents being created by people who have upgraded

Are you stupid? Seriously? What applications do not change the file format of their native files as you upgrade the application? I do not know of any I use.

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (1)

terjeber (856226) | about 6 months ago | (#46682107)

For the record, having open standard document formats makes a lot of sense, so my comment was not a negative reaction to the original article, only to the retarded ramblings of of the idiot to which I replied.

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46680011)

Also, switching MS Office versions makes documents unreadable.

Show me a document where upgrading your office version made it "unreadable".

Sending an Office2012 document to someone still running Office2003?
You can probably save it in the older format, but standards do change, and expecting some home/small-business user to be forking out $100's every time MS decides to update with new 'features' they don't need doesn't always work.

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678049)

Too bad M$ Office doesn't properly and fully support their own 'open' file formats.

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678051)

You really haven't been paying attention have you?

OOXML is an outrage and became a "standard" through bribery and corruption - all of which is well documented - and MS Office itself did not actually conform.

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (2)

udippel (562132) | about 7 months ago | (#46678227)

My dear AC, though I usually don't reply to ACs, even less mod up any AC, in this particular case I offer my excuses for having exhausted my mod points very recently.
I really would love to mod you up. Seriously, I did have a good laugh; and I am confident that you were targeting a 'Funny, +5'.
Alas, the mods today are a tad not-so-humorous and that's quite sad. :-(

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678563)

Thanks. I swung for the fences with that post but it appears not everyone appreciates a good old fashioned MS-flavored trolling. Oh well.

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678407)

Render like word 98

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678581)

The MS Office file formats are far more powerful, flexible, entrenched, and every bit as open as ODF.

Does that apply to Office file formats such as ODF?

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46685397)

Actual property in MSXML

"Auto space like Word 95: "**

How does Office 95 word wrap you ask?

We can't tell you. Know one knows, we just used the code from 95 to implement that.

Yes, that is exactly as open as ODF where every property is clearly defined and implementable by anyone.

**Actual phrasing of property might be slightly different

Re:Why switch to that Euro-weenie format? (1)

amck (34780) | about 6 months ago | (#46686449)

Here's a challenge: Find any two versions of Word that will open, between them, all MS doc documents.

I have a friend who has a sideline business reading old Word files. Seriously, we need to get rid of that shit.

It makes too much sense (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 7 months ago | (#46677973)

So it will be repelled, nerfed, or used in the opposite way it was originally planned to as usual.

Re:It makes too much sense (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678085)

EU has managed to pass a network neutrality law as well as cancel all roaming chargers starting 2015. I'd give them more credit than you do.

Re:It makes too much sense (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 7 months ago | (#46678207)

Enjoy no more roaming after 2015. Also learn the definition of 'unintended consequence'.

Re:It makes too much sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678731)

Enjoy no more roaming after 2015. Also learn the definition of 'unintended consequence'.

If that happens the European telecoms will be in deep shit.

Telecoms doesn't have extra costs associated with roaming and what they charge the customers for it is atrocious.
EU knows this and if telecoms starts to dick around it will be the equivalent of trying to be a smartass in court.
Sure, you can make the judge look like a fool for a minute or two, until you end up in jail.

Re:It makes too much sense (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 7 months ago | (#46679175)

They won't stick a finger in the judges eye. They'll just offer discounted no-roaming plans. Then raise the price on the roaming plans.

Re:It makes too much sense (3, Informative)

TheP4st (1164315) | about 6 months ago | (#46681407)

They'll just offer discounted no-roaming plans.

If they do which I doubt it will be a gigantic failure, EU citizens in difference from US citizens tend to travel a lot outside of the borders of their home country as doing so for many often is just a few hours car ride or at the most a 1 hour flight. That combined with many (most?) EU citizens having 3-4 weeks of paid vacation a year is the reason you find many Scandinavians going to the south of Europe for their vacation, Belgians going to the Alps for skiing in the winter and then Italy or France in the summer, Dutch and Germans going to Scandinavia and so on. Nearly every single person I know tend to go to another country several times a year and that is including low income earners. Last year alone I visited 4 EU countries for vacation another for work and 1 non-EU country for a wedding. While that might be a bit more than the average EU citizen it certainly is not something unusual and no-one here even raise an eyebrow if told about it.

With that level of cross-border mobility only the most ignorant PHB would believe such a crippled mobile plan ever having a chance of gaining any traction.

Re:It makes too much sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46683727)

No, they'd just buy more SIM cards for different areas just like they do now to avoid roaming charges. This is literally what some people are already doing and you claim it will never happen?

Re:It makes too much sense (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 months ago | (#46681545)

Even before that, my carrier has started allowing included minutes (and texts and data) to be used in several other countries without incurring a roaming charge. The EU is just nudging it along a bit. The smarter carriers know that roaming charges just piss off their customers and they're running out of space to cut prices for domestic calls so need something else to wave as proof that they're cheaper than the competition.

But who... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46677979)

is taking care of poor, poor Microsofct beeing able to maintain its monopoly then?

Re:But who... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678239)

Office can save to the ODF formats so there is no real issue there. They can then argue about which office suite does what they need, has the correct amount of security, etc. for the right price. It might be Libre Office / Open Office or it might be MS Office. It all depends on what their requirements are.

Re:But who... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678369)

If ODF starts to look like the winner, Microsoft will quickly deploy army of well-paid developers to make Office the best ODF word processor on the planet. They have learned their lesson and will not let open source products dominate anymore.

Re:But who... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46679135)

If by "best" you mean "able to read standard ODF and write subtly broken MS-ODF that only Office can interpret correctly"... then yes, I'd fully expect them to do that.

Ooh look! (0)

drhamad (868567) | about 7 months ago | (#46678061)

Ooh look, a MEP said something! I think we should have a front page post on /. anytime Boehner says something too. I mean, seriously? Someone said something and it used a TLA so therefore it's /. news, apparently.

Re:Ooh look! (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46678225)

When Boehner says something intelligent about a subject of interest to most Slashdotters, he might very well make the front page, too.

What's with all the Euro-hate, anyway?

Zontar the out-of-his-mind one (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678313)

Multiple Personality Disorder/Schizo http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] as well as loonybird feelings too http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Re:Ooh look! (1)

Shimbo (100005) | about 6 months ago | (#46681385)

What's with all the Euro-hate, anyway?

I don't think a random MP or MEP saying something particularly intelligent or unintelligent counts as news. MPs or MEPs will be found talking to almost every lobby group you can imagine at some point. And, because they are elected by proportional representation across a variety of languages and cultures, MEPs in particular will have a very diverse range of views.

To be honest, I would be happier if /. didn't run any such stories, because on average politicians say a lot more stupid things than sensible ones. Actual policies would be different.

Re:Ooh look! (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 6 months ago | (#46681653)

Some of us are actually interested in news about the push for open formats. If this story doesn't interest or seem especially newsworthy to you, you are free to skip it.

Re:Ooh look! (1)

drhamad (868567) | about 6 months ago | (#46682649)

That's the point though... this really isn't a push for open formats. We could scour the web looking for mentions in a lot of places. Until it's actually close to a policy it means absolutely nothing.

OOXML is on my wishlist for Satya (1)

yuhong (1378501) | about 7 months ago | (#46678111)

I have an entire wishlist for Satya here, and cleaning up the OOXML fiasco is one of them.:
http://hal2020.com/2014/03/03/... [hal2020.com]

Re:OOXML is on my wishlist for Satya (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 7 months ago | (#46678353)

I have an entire wishlist for Satya here, and cleaning up the OOXML fiasco is one of them.

Perhaps you forget that billg still pulls his strings.

Innovation? (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 7 months ago | (#46678271)

I read the article, but it escapes me how switching document formats "would allow real innovation, and real procurement."

Maybe it would get them away from using as many capitalist pig Microsoft products (which I'm sure Greens like this guy want). But claims it would help innovation, procurement, or even cost savings are suspect at best.

Re:Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678303)

would allow real innovation, and real procurement.

What they really mean is instead of paying money to a corp outside the EU, they want to be able to pay it to a company fully inside the EU . And then tell the citizens to do the same so they can tax it appropriately.

Re:Innovation? (4, Insightful)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46678485)

It's simple enough - if you use Microsoft's formats you're limited to using Microsoft's products (nothing else fully supports the formats as they're incompletely documented and intentionally obfuscated). That means any product innovation happens purely at Microsoft's discretion - which these days seems to mostly tend toward zero except where lock-in and payment extraction is concerned. It also means procurement processes are limited to purchasing Product A from either vendor X, Y or Z, all of whome are selling at very close to the monopolist-set retail price.

With open formats you have the option to choose between multiple supporting products to find the one that best suits your specific needs. Maybe for most people that's Libre Office. But Google Docs has much to recommend it in some situations. As does Abiword, or dozens of other ODF-supporting applications. And every one of them is developing in slightly different directions, allowing them to be mixed and matched on a case-by-case basis, and in the case of open-source applications it even becomes possible to add in organization-specific features if you so desire. All while keeping the documents themselves completely compatible with everyone else. Pretty innovative compared to a mega-corp-controlled monoculture.

As for procurement and cost, well hopefully it's obvious that having dozens of different products optionally supported by hundreds of different suppliers gives you a lot more procurement options than in a monoculture. And when some of those products, some of the best of them even, are completely free to use (without contractual support obviously) there is far more incentive for suppliers to not artificially inflate their prices. Consider this: in a truly free market profits tend toward zero - obviously everybody still has to get paid, but any profit margin above and beyond production costs gets eliminated by competition with alternate suppliers. Now, how much did Microsoft make from MS Office last year?

Re:Innovation? (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 7 months ago | (#46678655)

Now, how much did Microsoft make from MS Office last year?

That's a red herring. They could avoid sending money to Microsoft by foregoing computers and doing all their work with pencil and paper.

The question is how much does it cost to use some other standard versus ODF? It's hard to tell because so much FUD is being spread on both sides (including this article). But if there were significant savings the switch would likely have been made a long time ago.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the idea. I use Apache Open Office [openoffice.org] and I'm quite happy with it.

Re:Innovation? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46679233)

My point was that if Microsoft is making *profit* from MS Office then, by definition, that is money which is extracted above and beyond the free market value, and hence represents potential cost savings inherent in moving to a free-market product.

Re:Innovation? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 7 months ago | (#46679975)

This is not correct. I rent out a property in Florida at the fairest market price, let us say. Whether or not I make a profit depends on how much I invested, when I invested etc. The profit or loss I make depends on my history of activity. It has no impact on the ability of my renter to get cheaper rent. Fair market price is determined by the supply and demand equilibrium. Profit or loss for the players in the market is determined by their history. The fact A makes a profit or loss does not determine whether the price A charges is fair or not.

Re:Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46680337)

Stop the FUD, you idiot. Nobody's buying your shill misdirection.

Re:Innovation? (-1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46683863)

Fair market != free market. In practice free markets actually only remotely exist for bulk commodities sourced from a large number of suppliers. If there were an unlimited number of equivalent rental properties in Florida (same location, quality, view, etc.) then someone else would offer to rent an identical property for $10 less than you are asking. A third party would then offer *their* identical property for $10 less than that, and so on and so forth until you reach the point where charging less would actually cost you money - e.g. the rental price would fall until roughly equal to the mortgage payment plus expected maintenance costs. And as soon as the mortgage has been payed off it will fall to just the maintenance costs.

Re:Innovation? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678533)

I can see your point about innovation, but why would it not help procurement?
If they want "proper" support for Microsoft formats they basically have to buy from Microsoft.
ODF means there are multiple providers (in fact quite many, as anyone who is willing and able to provide support for Open- or LibreOffice is one), that seems like a clear and obvious procurement improvement?
I guess the "innovation" part comes from there actually being several real providers and actual competition, which in theory should improve innovation.

Re:Innovation? (1)

slugstone (307678) | about 7 months ago | (#46678641)

I do not know, but just maybe some small fish might be able to do something.

it works! I am now innovating!!! (3, Funny)

chentiangemalc (1710624) | about 7 months ago | (#46678305)

At first I thought this MEP was exaggerating the benefits of switching to ODF...but then since making the switch to PDF this morning I immediately began "real innovation" Before lunch I already had applied for 12 patents, written an innovative sci-fi novel, and designed a spring & summer fashin collection. In addition, with the help of Amazon & eBay I began experiencing the orgasmic elation of "real procurement"

Re:it works! I am now innovating!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678479)

was exaggerating the benefits of switching to ODF...but then since making the switch to PDF

Imaging how innovative you would have been if you had used ODF instead of PDF.

Re:it works! I am now innovating!!! (3, Funny)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 7 months ago | (#46678723)

Ease into it. One letter at a time.

Re:it works! I am now innovating!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46679047)

You see, most blokes will be innovating at O. You’re on O, all the way up, all the way up...Where can you go from there? Nowhere. What we do, is if we need that extra push over the cliff... P. One more innovative.

It will allow them to avoid vendor lock-in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678363)

and move the documentation in the way they want, rather they having to simply take what the vendor gives them.

History ... US NRC and DOE Word Perfect requiremen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678827)

Whatever happened to the requirement that all electronic reports were to be submitted in Word Perfect format using clear text human and machine readable markup?
This inquiring mind would like to see an investigation of how that crapitalist [expletive deleted] lying Harvard dropout bribed, and WHO he bribed.
This inquiring mind would like to remind the rest-of-you that Appleworks also was capable at one time of translation to and from Word Perfect and the SGML ISO standard markup for textual documents, and included tags for images LONG before that [expletive deleted] actually made any attempts to include anything in the useless garbage from the left coast.

Re:History ... US NRC and DOE Word Perfect require (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 6 months ago | (#46681821)

Before WP it was Wordstar all the way. You young whipper snappers should read up on yer compooter histry...

He's not the first (1)

flightmaker (1844046) | about 7 months ago | (#46678883)

The UK Cabinet Office was proposing this a couple of months ago:-

http://standards.data.gov.uk/p... [data.gov.uk]

Everybody who commented was in favour. I've no idea what happens next.

Re:He's not the first (1)

udippel (562132) | about 7 months ago | (#46679071)

Oh, come on! We all know, and you can take an educated guess as well, I'm sure.
It starts by ignoring, if need be lobbying, and - if the latter fails - brown envelopes to the decision makers.
That's what is going to happen next. In this sequence.

This is a big deal (5, Interesting)

Trachman (3499895) | about 7 months ago | (#46679563)

If EU switches to open document format, significant part of the market will consider European advice. They get many things wrong but this one they got right. The proprietary documet standard could be comparable to the proprietary railway track gauge. Can you imagine paying an extra royalty because you are using "specially measured" difference between the wheels. The problem for Microsoft is that at some point, very soon they will figure out that it does not matter which operating system is on user's PC. I fully expect that in 5-10 years most of the users will not know what operating system they are using.

Re:This is a big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46679927)

I fully expect that in 5-10 years most of the users will not know what operating system they are using.

The web browser will be the operating system for all intents and purposes for the users. In reality the Internet and the web servers and back-end systems will be then operating system, the web browser will be a universal (virtual) application running / displaying all manner of user interactivity.

Re:This is a big deal (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 6 months ago | (#46680905)

I fully expect that in 5-10 years most of the users will not know what operating system they are using.

What makes you think that the average home user knows what OS they're using right now? If they're on a PC, they'll know they're using Windows, because that's what came pre-installed, but they probably don't know which version, nor care. If they're on a Mac, they'll probably know that it's OSX, but again, not which version. And, they won't care because as long as it works for them, that's all that matters. If it doesn't work, they'll take it to a computer shop and let a geek fix it for them and the only question they'll ask is how much it costs.

Re:This is a big deal (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 6 months ago | (#46682365)

I put Linux Mint on my mum's laptop. After adding the default Windows XP "green meadow" background and renaming the desktop links for LibreOffice Writer, Calc, and Presentation to "Word" "Excel" and "Powerpoint" she didn't have any problems. She didn't even realise the "Start" button didn't say "Start" anymore.

Cue the mickeysoft fanbois (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46680619)

Truth: ODF really is a great format. Its interoperable and was developed very carefully over a long period by people who care about data. OOXML was created by a predatory monopoly in response to the ODF format. They don't give a crap about data. Every time a large group looks into adopting it as a format, the mickeysoft fanbois get their panties all in a bunch. They start spewing crap, but truly they are a bunch of useless sok puppets with less good sense than God gave a housefly.

Nifty ODF website badges from the FSF (1)

Qubit (100461) | about 6 months ago | (#46681087)

A few years back, the FSF made up some nifty badges [fsf.org] for organizations/individuals to use on their websites to promote the use of ODF.

Enjoy!

Never going to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46681321)

The switch to ODF will never happen.
Not because Microsoft's format is better or not than ODF, but because ODF is free and Microsoft's is not.
Money has to be spent, budgets must be filled, this is how the world turns - by spending money. The fact that Microsoft is used by 95% of Fortune Top 1000 companies is no coincidence.
Linux, the free killer all-knowing and all-purposeful competitor to Windows is still at 1% market share, after oh-so-many years and so-so-many distributions... there is a very good reason for that - money!

Re:Never going to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46681599)

given how badly in the red the vast majority all western countries (with the sole exception of norway) are operating budget cuts will be a necessity very soon now

Re:Never going to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46681751)

The IT Budget is insignificant in the main budget planning.
Moreover, a switch from MS Office to ODF will end up costing much much more money that it would aim to save (count: user training, migration from MS Office to LIbreOffice/whatever, etc).
And above all, there is a principle here that the entire slashdot community doesn't realize or ignores or chooses to ignore: money and responsibility. Big institutions (read European Commission, European Parliament, World Bank, etc) will *always* choose to pay for their IT needs because of the following factors:
-the license cost is nothing compared to everything else. Paying 1 million USD for Windows licenses? That's nothing considering you have a budget of 140 billion. You want to save that 1 million by going free/open-source? That's fine, but you will pay much more while converting.
-responsibility: if there is an error exception in Word and a Word document fails to render and, as a result of this, some meeting of VIP ministers will fail and all the consequences attached, the European Commission / European Parliament will point fingers at Microsoft and ask for a fix, or losses. Try doing the same with LibreOffice or OpenOffice - they will post to a forum and wait for a fix? Hilarious :)

Stop dreaming about free software in the enterprise world. Never going to happen because it is free, and in the enterprise everything is about spending money and having insurance

Re:Never going to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46683293)

How much training to upgrade Microsoft word versions again? how many other costs to upgrade? all ignored because it is the normal thing to do...
Also you can pay someone to take responsibility for making sure it works for you, and get any new features you want as well, still for less than the Microsoft price.
You do have to go slowly Munich however saved quite a bit by switching this way your points sound nice but they have little evidence to back them up can you argue with results?

Election Day is Near (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46681651)

European Elections will be held this May. All positive statements of eurocrats should be attributed to this fact.

Still the wrong format (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 6 months ago | (#46681941)

They should instead switch to an online format, where users (citizens) can provide feedback on the documents.

uhhhh... (1)

SuperDre (982372) | about 6 months ago | (#46682981)

How would moving to ODF allow real innovation compared to using the latest word format (for instance), does changing the format make writers more innovating? only a moron can come up with such a stupid reason, and the bad news is, most members are just such morons... The real innovation would come if they decided to get rid of a lot of moneywasting meetings/reports/dinnerparties, and actually cutting costs by really doing work instead of just lobbying and wasting everybodies money...

Re:uhhhh... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46684131)

I think it comes down to the 'right to read' a document.

If you can read a document for free (ODF is a free format, there is no cost to getting a reader once you have even a rudimentary computer) you can build on the knowledge in that document without having to pay that toll.

The toll may not seem like much, but added up over all the people that want to read, it keeps MS afloat, which isn't the goal of a proper document.

Another missed opportunity by Apple (1)

ScooterComputer (10306) | about 6 months ago | (#46685341)

When Apple embarked on creating the iWork suite, I asked a team member why they didn't target ODF, and instead created a brand new document format from scratch (because the world didn't have enough document formats, I guess). The answer was because ODF didn't give them the flexibility or breadth they required. Now that Apple AGAIN disrupted their users with the latest update of iWork '13, which included removing a substantial number of features to target "cross platform compatibility" (Mac and iOS), I am left wondering...is there anything the current version of ODF could not have provided?

Apple uniquely stood at a nexus to both really put the hurt on Microsoft (by creating a widely used, polished competitor to Office) as well as embrace an open standards process that has been adopted world-wide. They apparently decided to do neither. A missed opportunity. iWork apps can consume ODF (IIRC), but cannot save to the format. So Apple users are once-again left on an island, with their data in formats that history has shown Apple is all too willing to abandon (AppleWorks/ClarisWorks/MacWrite).

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