Document Freedom Day 2009

25th March 09
25th March 09

You may already know about this but I thought I should give you a quick nudge – admittedly a last minute one –  in the direction of Document Freedom Day. Tomorrow, 25th of March 2009 will be the 2nd global Document Freedom Day; “but what exactly is Document Freedom Day?” I hear you ask, I did myself. Well, here’s how they describe it on their own website:

Document Freedom Day (DFD) is a global day for document liberation. It will be a day of grassroots effort to educate the public about the importance of Free Document Formats and Open Standards in general.

Complementary to Software Freedom Day, we aim to have local teams all over the world organise events on the last Wednesday of March. 2009 is the second year that Document Freedom Day is being called for, and we are again looking for people around the world who are willing to join the effort.

DFD’s main goals are:

* promotion and adoption of free document formats
* forming a global network
* coordination of activities that happen on last Wednesday of March, Document Freedom Day

Once a year, we will celebrate Document Freedom Day as a global community. Between those days, DFD will be focused on facilitating community action and building awareness for issues of Document Freedom and Open Standards. 3.0 3.0

All noble objectives I think we can get behind. For my own part I always use Open Document Format and I’m a big proponent of it. We covered the whole OOXML debacle with the ISO pretty heavily on Linux Outlaws last year. It was a sad day when MS shoehorned their way in. I think we need proper open standards for everyone to use Internationally and not formats tied to one software vendor. OOXML is admittedly better than previous MS formats but in my view they’re not really trying to make it open; all we can ever expect from them is the bare minimum required to stay on the right side of the legislators. I use on all my machines and even install it on any Windows machines I’m forced to fix for friends and family. Microsoft Office is a product with a long history and one which most people are still taught on in schools and colleges; you could even say it has a pedigree, however much it sticks in my throat to say that. I understand all that, I’m not unreasonable but the truth of the matter is most people only use a fraction of it’s features when writing that occasional letter or making a presentation. is more than adequate for 95% of users. Seriously, how often do you do a mail merge at home? If the answer is “a lot”, then my next question would be where the hell do you live?! I only export my work to formats like “.doc” and “.ppt” when given no other option. Perhaps this makes me an awkward freedom frenzied hippie but I think it’s important and besides, I’ve never needed an excuse to be awkward hehe 😉

So as you go about your daily tasks tomorrow, please spare a little thought for open standards and be sure to tell others that they have a choice too. Thank you everyone, it’s appreciated.


P.S – Sorry for the late heads up on this, I’m a failmeister

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