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[News] Free Software Versus Proprietary Software Nonsense and Lies in Italy

  • Subject: [News] Free Software Versus Proprietary Software Nonsense and Lies in Italy
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2010 11:57:47 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

Microsoft, where did you get those data about OpenDocument?

,----[ Quote ]
| I already explained in another article that 
| open file formats are essential to save 
| money in Public Administrations and make 
| them more efficient and that the right 
| choice for office document is the 
| OpenDocument Format (ODF).
| Since I regularly follow these themes, in 
| September 2009 I received this request from 
| outside Italy:
|     I have read in a report that: 
|     "According to Microsoft Italian 
|     regional authorities have examined ODF, 
|     but proposal for adopting ODF as the 
|     mandatory standard have been rejected" 
|     (translated by the sender of the 
|     message). This fact probably comes from 
|     this Microsoft paper. And we are trying 
|     to fact check it... can you help? 
| Back then I knew, just as I know today, 
| that there is no law or regulation in 
| Italy, not even at the city level, that 
| mandates ODF as the only accepted format 
| for office documents, regardless of the 
| context. What I did come across in the last 
| year, instead, were cases where nobody 
| seemed to know about ODF or law proposals 
| that, albeit unvoluntarily, may make the 
| situation even worse. However, I did not 
| remember ever reading about proposals of 
| that kind. 


Cash for software clunkers? No, thanks, unless it promotes Free Software

,----[ Quote ]
| Replacing a software program with its 
| latest version, that is continuing to do 
| the same things as before in a computer 
| window with a different color, would do 
| little to solve the italian ICT crisis. 
| However, thinking about it, maybe there is 
| a way to "dismiss software clunkers" that 
| may bring lots of work to italian 
| programmers and make their customers and 
| all taxpayers save much more money than any 
| other incentive program. What if the 
| Government said "within 2/3 years all 
| Public Administrations will cease to 
| accept, produce, archive or distribute new 
| digital documents in closed formats, since 
| they create so many problems, and to use 
| proprietary digital protocols".
| The italian Government already considers 
| closed the formats of Microsoft Office and 
| those of many other programs currently used 
| by italian PAs. Therefore, probably this 
| approach would not be loved by Assinform 
| members like Microsoft: in 2007 Assinform 
| had even stated in a press release that all 
| technical standards on the market should be 
| considered equally valid, without 
| prejudices. This, however, is the same 
| "file format neutrality" that Microsoft 
| promotes without giving enough information.
| Imposing certain obligations on the italian 
| PAs is like imposing it on every 
| organization or individual that must 
| communicate with them. Sure, doing so would 
| cause a sort of earthquake, but one that 
| would have, at least in the medium/long 
| term, beneficial consequences both for 
| italian programmers and for the italian 
| economy as a whole. Because the obligation 
| to only use open formats and protocols 
| would not just create a lot of real work. 
| Due to their own nature, these technologies 
| would make it possible for all ICT 
| companies, regardless of their size, to 
| compete on a fair ground, without paying 
| royalties abroad. Open formats and 
| protocols would also allow all public and 
| private users to use the software they 
| really need, not the one that somebody else 
| wants them to buy. I'll welcome a "cash for 
| software clunkers" program, but only if 
| cash will only be given to organizations 
| that will commit to stop production of 
| documents in proprietary formats. 



More than 100 candidates to Italian regional elections support Free Software

,----[ Quote ]
| At least on paper, thanks to CaroCandidato,
| Free Software may have a voice this year in
| many of the regional councils assisting the
| governors. As of March 17th, the 2010
| edition of the campaign has already
| enlisted more than 100 candidates from all
| parties. Citizens visiting the website can
| easily find, sorted by party or electoral
| district, which regional candidates have
| signed the Pact for these elections.

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