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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox] [fwd] C-SPAN 2's FCC Interoperability Subcommittee
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Re: [vox] [fwd] C-SPAN 2's FCC Interoperability Subcommittee



"Government is not directly in the business of innovation, but it
should support policies that drive innovation. Massachusetts drafted
its proposed policy to improve document management and archival
access, which is a worthy goal. But there is no certainty that
OpenDocument file formats will become a standard supported by future
applications. Instead, the state might be stuck with old technology,
even as the rest of the world benefits from future innovations."

Innovation such as Microsoft coming out with a new,
backwards-non-compatible version of Word every 3 years, each one more
bloated with seldom-used features than the past but in no way
addressing any of the previous versions' problems. By maintaining
backwards-non-compatibility they require that everybody upgrade to the
latest version. This, of course, comes at no further cost, unlike
going with open standards. </sarcasm>

Not to mention locking you into Microsoft's format.

"Until now, Massachusetts’ citizens and government agencies have been
well served by a competitive, merit-based procurement process for
technology services. Agencies can turn to the marketplace—often to
small state-based systems integrators—and receive bids for the best
solutions at the best price to meet specific needs."

Yes. Supporters of Microsoft's formats are just lined up waiting to
compete.

"The proposed policy is also puzzling and arbitrary in its approach to
Adobe’s PDF format."

Puzzling? Not really, it's a very widely used format. Arbitrary? Maybe
seemingly to you, but I bet whomever made the decision had good
reasons, or at least what they felt were good reasons, for making the
decision at the time. Even if they were bad reasons, it doesn't make
the decision arbitrary. Just because you can't be bothered to try
figuring out (or asking) what the reasons were for including the
format doesn't mean the decision was arbitrary. What, you're writing a
column without checking facts? Without bothering to investigate? Did
you try contacting somebody in the Massachussetts legislature? How
about somebody who is actually in the computer industry and can at
least make a wild guess as to why PDF would be excepted?

Your laziness does not make the decision arbitrary.

"How confident can Adobe and others be that the government won’t later
change their minds and suddenly deny the exemption?"

Aw. Po' widdle Adobe doesn't get to own the sandbox either. What a
shame!

"The Massachusetts policy would instead direct contracts to just a few
technology providers, while many would be locked out."

Excuse me? Locked out how? WTF? Did zombies eat your brains? Are you
high or something? These are OPEN STANDARDS. That means that ANYBODY
is allowed to follow them. Microsoft doesn't support open standards
because it would RUIN THEIR MONOPOLY. You know, the monopoly that
would LOCK THE ALL THOSE PEOPLE INTO A SINGLE PROPRIETARY FORMAT. XYZ
company may not be able to effectively use Microsoft's proprietary
formats, but Microsoft can quite easily and effectively add open
standards to their own products. They don't because, well, they don't
want to. Period.

Anybody who wants to can get ahold of these open standards and write
software to support them, or add them to existing software. How TF do
OPEN STANDARDS LOCK ANYBODY OUT?

Either a moron, or a Microsoft mouthpiece. But I repeat myself.

(Apologies to Sam Clemens.)


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