Archive for the ‘standards’ Category

ODF in Lettland

Simon Phipps berichtet, die Regierung in Lettland setze nun auf Open Document format.

The speaker before me was from the government and made an important announcement; that from now on, all government departments in Latvia must accept documents in ODF.

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Die Doc Foundation lädt zur LibreOffice release party am Montag, da soll die neue Version 3.3 der Büroanwendung vorgestellt werden, deren Erwähnung ein gar säuerliches Lächeln auf die Lippen von Oracle-Mitarbeitern zaubert (ausprobieren! es funktioniert).

LibreOffice 3.3 Tea Party: Parce que vous aussi, vous avez le droit à une vrai suite bureautique libre et communautaire. Venez célébrer la sortie de LibreOffice 3.3 et rencontrer des gens qui aiment faire des fourchettes !

Libre Office La Cantina


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My colleague Charles-H. Schulz calms down the LibreOffice format critics:

LibreOffice… offers the ability to handle documents in the format of Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010. As we know, these are called OOXML but are different from the ISO standard (ISO 29500) known as OOXML. Microsoft is trying hard, as far as I know, to work out something that might be implemented by MS Office 2010 and is known as OOXML Transitional, which is the polite label to call a proprietary format that still comes with a lot of undocumented areas. OpenOffice.org has offered such a feature ever since 2008, not by reading whatever specification was sent to the ISO, but in analyzing the format used in the real world and called OOXML . (yes it’s confusing) If OOo had tried to implement OOXML by reading the standard it would have ended in a dead corner, because as we know, the OOXML ISO standard is broken, and the ISO itself with it.

Give me break Charles… Weren’t they obliged to implement OOXML under the EU verdict? Here is the LibreOffice decision:

LibreOffice is no different than that. But there is one addition compared to OpenOffice.org: where OpenOffice.org allowed the reading of MS Office 2007 and 2010 documents only, we allow their editing and saving under the same format

Expect a fresh format flavour would then be named LOOXML, that’s a perfectly silly silly silly nerd pun on LOL (laugh out loud), XML (extensible markup language), LO (libreoffice) and OOXML (office open XML) and possible other British phrases of general interest. LOOXML is an OOXML-inspired format intended to approximate the OOXML-O10 which eventually is known as ISO/ECMA OOXML transitional. LibreOffice 3.3. will be released January 10. Feel free to put to popular vote if LOOXML or LOOOXML or LO-OOXML suits you best.

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Jochen Friedrich makes up his mind on the EIF v2 that was released shortly before Christmas by the European Commission, a “conciliating” supplement or successor of the EIF v1 which Jochen calls “revolutionary”:

It is a typical phenomenon of political and societal revolutions that they are followed by some period of restoration. … Yet, the analogy stroke me and I was wondering in how far it applies when reading the new version of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF)… The EIF v1 as published by the Commission in 2004 was revolutionary. …It courageously pushed for openness for pan-European eGovernment services taking a strong stance on open standards and promoting open source to be treated on equal footing with proprietary offerings. It had enormous impact within Europe and beyond, inspiring a lot of national interoperability frameworks and policy making worldwide. In other words: it set the scene of what modern requirements on eGovernment infrastructures and on software interoperability in general need to be. … Now the new EIF in combination with the Communication and the EIS is a clever and an extremely balanced document. It is certainly not revolutionary at all. It does not attempt to pursue new horizons, nor move to the next level of interoperability and openness. But it is not a manifestation of a tough restoration, either. It is more a conciliation.

Sure, the value of the first European Interoperability Framework incarnation was that is got exposed to attacks. However, the policy document got hardly read and ressembled more a general work programme. In reality the EIF v1 was an unimportant document barely able to generate substantial results in the field, in particular not in those parts of its contents which were not disputed such as multilinguality. The European Commission regularly releases official “communications” which do not generate direct results but are rather followed by more of the same, the next strategy, green paper, white paper, agenda. Neither the EIF v1 nor the EIF v2 did even reach that minor document status level of a “communication”. To me it looks like India took better conclusions from the EIF v1 as it set up a straight document on interoperability. Most critics and proponents are mislead about the role of the EIF v2 in an overall upcoming EU interoperability architectural framework and fail to see how the EIF v1 was sacrificed, as a decoy we get the EIF v2. These are the recommendations of Jochen which reach out in his wider context of recommendations to value the EIF v2, the supplement to the EIF v1:

1. Drive the development and implementation of open infrastructures for public services which may require the necessary re-engineering of processes.

2. Ensure that the legal framework in Europe is modernised for ICT by allowing the direct use and referencing of fora and consortia standards provided that they meet a certain set of openness criteria.

3. In the context of the EIF and public services, include interoperability, or even better: demonstrated interoperability, as a key requirement in EU policy making and public procurement.

4. In the context of the EIF and public services, foster the implementation of open specifications with multiple implementations on the market place by referencing them in public procurement and in EU policies.

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European institutions often receive rather negative public attention and the European Parliament hardly gets appraised for all the good work it does to shape the digital future of Europe.

An example for the work that often stays unnoticed: today a report of MEP Echeverría (EPP) from Spain was adopted by the Strasbourg plenary. His report “on completing the internal market for e-commerce” addresses all the crucial points which businesses face in the digital environment. Among the topics the support of interoperability and open document formats for business communication. I am very excited.

Also Commissioner Neelie Kroes pushes along with her Digital Agenda and meets her tough deadlines. She wants a “a first class internet for Europe“. The long awaited radio spectrum proposal is among her deliverables.

Here Echeverría’s report for instance

43. Stresses the importance of open and neutral access to a high-speed internet connection, without which e-commerce would be impossible;

and finds

Digital Agenda for Europe sets reasonable performance targets for high-speed and ultra-fast broadband coverage and for e-commerce take-up

Parliament and the Commissioners are true movers and shakers for openness. When would the member states take the lesson and follow-up?

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Standards aren’t as boring as they seem. Actually standards are mostly fun, humorous, at times idiosyncratic. For instance, that image made me laugh out loud. When you attend a mediocre standard policy conference where the speaker has nothing to say, he will start to talk about the electric plugs. Here we find George Willingmyre in that pose, an article where the lobbyist muses about the alleged advantages of RAND models. The plug smells tobacco. When a problem is denied, there is:

What is the problem? Is this actually a “problem” or a matter of differing goals? What is the lesson? Is it possible that the real problem is the market distortion that could occur when advocates from one side promote government intervention to their advantage…?

Oh, my… Apparently the lobbyist is paid per word count:

…we speak of “RAND standards development patent policies” that provide for “Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory” (RAND)… licensing terms and conditions (including possible royalties) that might comprise a license covered by an assurance of a license from the holder of an essential patent to a particular standard.

So what’s the problem that isn’t?

Some.. contend they are disadvantaged by RAND standards development patent polices where patent owners are allowed to seek reasonable royalties (and/or other reasonable terms and conditions) in licensing patents that are essential to practice the standard.

If you want to listen to plain beautiful RAND snake talk from a real professional take this mp3 recording (Allen Dixon @ Talkstandards).

It must be an interesting challenge to convince an audience that a private levy on a public standard was beneficial.

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The European Union finances the ePSIplus plattform to cast light on Public Sector information in the member states and how it can be used. The now ask for your impressions how you like their web site:

Dear Colleagues,

The European Public Sector Information Platform ePSIplatform (http://www.epsiplatform.eu), funded under the European Commission’s eContentplus programme (http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/econtentplus/index_en.htm), is operational from March 2009 to February 2011.

The ePSIplatform web portal is an online resource for all of Europe. It is ‘Europe’s One-Stop Shop on Public Sector Information (PSI) Re-use’ – ‘Working to Stimulate PSI Re-use’.

At this point the European Commission (Twitter @infsoe4 – http://twitter.com/infsoe4) has initiated an online survey about the ePSIplatform web portal. The purpose of the survey is collect feedback and ideas to further develop the web portal to make it a relevant and useful resource for European PSI and open data communities.

The ePSIplatform team encourages you to take a few minutes to complete the short survey. It is your opportunity to contribute the development of the ePSIplatform web portal, in the short and long term.

* Your comments, ideas and suggestions will be welcome and appreciated.

Access the online Survey – http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=ePSIplatform

The online survey:
* Short – only takes a few minutes to complete
* Requires no personal data or registration
* All responses are anonymous

The European Commission’s PSI Web Portal (what’s new section) announcement (http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/psi/index_en.htm) about the survey states:

“1 June 2010 – The Commission published a survey http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=ePSIplatform to identify the
strengths and weaknesses of the ePSIplatform portal (http://www.epsiplatform.eu)in the light of a possible follow up to the service. The questionnaire requires neither personal data nor registration, and is completely anonymous. The survey will end on 18 June 2010. The ePSIplatform portal was launched in February 2009. Its aim is to stimulate action, report developments and monitor progress towards a stronger and more transparent environment for the growth of PSI re-use.”

Please pass this message about the survey on to your colleagues and networks.

Contributions of news and content are welcome and can be submitted to the European PSI Platform team for publishing:info@epsiplatform.eu.

Kind Regards,

Robert Davies
Co-ordinator, ePSIplatform
Follow us on Twitter @ePSIplatform (http://twitter.com/epsiplatform)

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Interesting blog post from competing developers.

…I was able to acquire access to the VP8 spec, software, and source a good few days before the official release and so was able to perform a detailed technical analysis in time for the official release.

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Report on a new Digital Agenda for Europe: 2015.eu

10. Recalls the necessity to accelerate the harmonised deployment of the digital dividend spectrum in a non-discriminatory manner, without compromising existing and enhanced broadcast services;

11. Calls on the Commission to address through the Radio Spectrum Committee practical and technical requirements to ensure the timely availability of spectrum, with sufficient flexibility, to enable the deployment of new technologies and services such as mobile broadband; calls on the Commission to report on competition and spectrum market developments;

14. Urges Member States to transpose the new electronic communications regulatory framework before the established deadline and to fully enforce it and to empower national regulators accordingly; emphasises
that the new framework provides for a predictable and consistent regulatory environment which stimulates investment and promotes competitive markets for ICT networks, products and services contributing
to an enhanced single market for information society services; insists that any guidance on the application of the telecoms package to Next Generation Access needs to give full effect to the concepts introduced
in the directives to foster the deployment of these networks;

15. Considers that it is necessary to increase the effectiveness of regulatory coordination by ensuring that BEREC is fully operational as soon as possible;

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ODF podcast

Rob Weirs ODF Podcast:

…an interview session with in at the Granada Plugfest with Svante Schubert, from the ODF TC and the ODF Toolkit Union. Discussion about ODF, RDF, ODFDOM, etc.

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