Don’t for a second underestimate the importance of document formats – the way your files are stored by the program you use – in locking you in to a vendor ecosystem. It sounds dull – not just mundane, the esoterica of the mundane – but it’s a crucial driver in the dominance of major vendors.
DFD has been running for a few year. It provides a day to raise the profile of document formats and demand that our governments, schools, religious bodies, employers and more all use open formats. When they do, we’re all free to engage with them using the computers and software of our choice rather than theirs.
Without document freedom phrases like “if you don’t use Microsoft Word you can’t apply” negate our choices and incrementally remove our freedoms. So celebrate Document Freedom Day 2011 this year, it’s on March 30th and you can join in easily, maybe by choosing to challenge a demand to use a particular computer program that day (“I’d love to read your document but I don’t have the program you used to make it”). [Extended version on ComputerWorldUK]
Long-term OpenOffice.org community manager Louis Suarez-Potts has left Oracle. He says he is not leaving OpenOffice.org though, so it will be interesting to see what happens now concerning community leadership over there.