Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Open formats make history and maintain

The Mozilla Foundation's Gervase Markham writes in the online edition of The Times about open document formats:
"Governments such as Massachusetts are concerned about long-term data preservation. We need to care about it too - there would be no point in having the 30-year-rule, which lets us read the inside story on all the Government scandals of the 1970s, if all the data was stored electronically in a format no-one understood any more.

All these problems are left behind by open formats. Anyone can implement them. The people behind www.OpenOffice.org, www.koffice.org and www.abiword.com have all done so - and there is no vendor lock-in. The documented and free nature of the format means that obsolescence is not possible. As long as the format has users, there will be software to read and write it."