Document Freedom Day

Published on: 2008-2-21

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Document Freedom Day


"Data lock-in and subsequent vendor lock-in are some of the most severe issues users are facing today," says FSFE president Georg Greve. "Yet most people only realise this connection when it is too late and they have effectively lost control over their own data. We are supporting the Document Freedom Day to help raise awareness for this issue by starting with something that affects pretty much all users of computers: text documents, spreadsheets and presentations."

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Here is what the wikipedia has to say:

Microsoft's application software also exhibits lock-in through the use of proprietary file formats. Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook both, for example, use proprietary datastore files and interfaces which are impossible to read without being parsed, and such parsers may in turn not be able to exist legally without performing reverse engineering. For example, to access data contained in Outlook's '.PST' files, the application must process the request through Outlook instead of directly handling the file. Present versions of Microsoft Word have introduced a new more open format MS-OOXML. This may make it easier for competitors to write documents compatible with Microsoft Office in the future by reducing lock-in, but as a competitor to the OpenDocument format, it may instead increase lock-in through an Embrace, extend and extinguish effect.


Many CS students still use stuff like Word and PowerPoint - high time that colleges take the stand that only LaTeX should be used for creating project/seminar reports and presentations.

Deepak P

Tue Feb 26 13:39:01 2008

hi pramode.. i dont understand ur point.. latex is a typesetting language and it is for making documents that are to be published look very nice.. i dont think anybody should go through the trouble of doing things in latex unless its something thats going to be read widely, and published etc.. i would still do my day-to-day documentations in word (or maybe, ur point is - dont use windows software).. and i do use latex, but only for preparing papers.. unless there is the need for finer control on typesetting, i dont see any need to use latex.. deepak

Pramode C.E

Tue Feb 26 14:15:41 2008

Hello Deepak, Note that I said: "only LaTeX should be used for preparing project/seminar reports and presentations"! And that's what they have done at GEC Sreekrishnapuram - students have been told that only LaTeX reports would be accepted! Other colleges too should do the same. Of course, when it comes to day-to-day work, OpenOffice can be used .... And finally, the whole point behind LaTeX is not to do any `fine control' over typesetting - let the software do the all the tricky work, is it not?