☞ Open Data: Fantastic, But Not Enough

In an unusual move for such a significant news item, the UK government announced over the weekend that they were ordering all government departments to embark on a voyage of transparency. There were some very good ideas in the announcement, including a mandate to publish details of all ITC procurements. And there is no doubt that a mandate for open data is a fantastic move. The letter from the Prime Minister was pretty clear:

Given the importance of this agenda, the Deputy Prime Minister and I would be grateful if departments would take immediate action to meet this timetable for data transparency, and to ensure that any data published is made available in an open format so that it can be re-used by third parties. From July 2010, government departments and agencies should ensure that any information published includes the underlying data in an open standardised format.

Read on over on my ComputerWorldUK Blog

✍ Supporting Document Freedom Day

The details for Document Freedom Day 2010 have been announced – it’s on March 31st and there will be events all over the world. This should be a year of celebration as well as campaigning, as we have made enormous strides in promoting liberty.

Usage of ODF is more common than ever, and new Microsoft Office users now get the opportunity to select it as the default format. We still need to campaign and remain vigilant, however. The  network effects that drive people to ignore their freedoms are as strong as ever, and institutional biases against tools like OpenOffice.org remain.

True open standards are the key to deployer liberty. ‘Libre’ implementations of open standards – evolved in the open with every willing voice respected – are already at the heart of the new digital society and Document Freedom Day is to be welcomed as a celebration of the liberties we all need for our networked future.

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