OpenDocument camp in full-court press with '100 or so' countries?

OpenDocument camp in full-court press with '100 or so' countries?

Summary: Late yesterday, IBM's vice president of standards and open source Bob Sutor published a blog that points to Malaysia's potential adoption of the OpenDocument (ODF) file format.  According to OpenMalaysia blogger Hasan Saidin, ODF is now officially on whatever track it needs to be on to be approved as an official Malaysian standard.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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Late yesterday, IBM's vice president of standards and open source Bob Sutor published a blog that points to Malaysia's potential adoption of the OpenDocument (ODF) file format.  According to OpenMalaysia blogger Hasan Saidin, ODF is now officially on whatever track it needs to be on to be approved as an official Malaysian standard.  At this point, it's just a proposal.  But Saidin is confident that the proposal will eventually be accepted by the Malaysian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation once it gets to that level by the end of this year. 

Should Malaysia adopt ODF as a nationwide standard, it would be at least the second national government to do so.  Three weeks ago, Belgium became the first country to offically embrace ODF and then, a few days later, the Danish government announced it would be piloting ODF later this year as a part of Denmark's larger initiative to move to open standards.  France is also looking into ODF.  Earlier this year in May, that country's General Repository for Interoperability (RGI) proposed ODF as the recommended format the files generated by office productivity applications. Brazil could also turn into an ODF stronghold with several organizations including its Ministry for Health, Banco de Brazil, and the National Institute for Information Technology either embracing the standard or showing support for it by joining the ODF Alliance.

More interesting to me though, in Sutor's blog was the following comment:

We hope to repeat this about a hundred or so more times around the world. Looking good.

Two questions instantly popped into my mind.  Who is we? and regarding the "hundred or so more times," is there some sort of hitlist of nations that the so-called "we" is putting pressure on.  So I called Sutor to get a little more persepective.  According to him, the "we" is really more the various members of the ODF community including IBM and Sun and less some formal vendor tag-team that's flying from country to country to go to pre-scheduled meetings with their standards and IT folks.  "It's more like we're talking amongst ourselves and saying whoever knows someone [that's works on IT within for national governments], to make contact" said Sutor. 

In terms of a checklist of nations, while Sutor said there's no formal list, it's clear that IBM and others have prioritized the countries that are "more likely to adopt ODF next" or ones that appear ready to "fundamentally revise their IT strategies around open standards." Sutor mentioned Thailand and Japan as two countries that it became much easier to have discussions with once ODF was ratified as an international standard by the International Organisation of Standardization (a process that I've found to be dubious at best).  "Some countries aren't ready for that discussion" Sutor said.  "For example, ones that are currently going through elections or a war." 

Topic: Open Source

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  • ODF Policy Takes Time

    Dan-

    Anyone who's deep into ODF or in state, muni or national government, recognizes that it takes a year or two for the necessary conversations to percolate through a series of processes and "desks".

    No one is going around with as much influence as your question, "Who's we?" suggests. While I would add that Mr. Sutor is quite and influential fellow, the process is typically far along -- pressed by internal domestic or local influences -- long before he is asked to speak, say, in Malaysia.

    You'll notice that the countries or states which are early adopters of ODF have had 5 years to test and try out OpenOffice and have had over one year now since ODF's ISO ratification. There's a natural half-life to the gestation process among Innovators & Early Adopters...and a different half-life for the Early Majority.

    If one is looking for acceleration in ODF adoptions, one is looking in the right direction.
    swhiser
  • What would IBM answer when they are lie

    "ODF was ratified as an international standard by the International Organisation of Standardization (a process that I've found to be dubious at best)."
    I totally agree with this statement.


    Bob Sutor talks so much about open standards and open source. I visited his website and asked questions asto
    "If IBM is such a big backer of Open Source and calls for Sun to open source Java, when is IBM open sourcing DB2, Lotus Notes, WebSphere".

    Guess what his website does not follow the very principles of open that he talk about. The question was not accepted and there was no need to answer it.
    zzz1234567890
    • Its only fair

      Its only fair that he answers these questions because Bob Sutor is IBM's vice president of standards and open source.
      code_Warrior
    • Please go ahead and add a comment

      defconvegas: Please go ahead and post a comment to the blog and I'll be happy to answer it if you adhere to my one rule, as posted: "I reserve the right to omit or delete any comment that I deem inappropriate or generally offensive."

      I think that perhaps 2 comments haven't made it through for that reason.

      Bob
      bobsutor
      • why not answer it here

        So could you state what was offensive about the 2 comments.

        Also while you posted your reply here, why not answer it here.
        zzz1234567890
      • let me answer 1 question and ask 1 question

        Currently DB2 is at the #2 spot. When IBM looses the database wars like how Ingress did they will open source DB2.

        They will open source not because they want to support open source and support open standards. Its because 'If IBM cant make money, why should others be able to make money. Lets go out with a bang', and hopefully Fortune 500 companies might buy belive what we say about open standards and end up giving us contracts.

        While we on the same topic, why does IBM say that they would donate only 500 patents to open source. What are these 500 patents. 500 is just a number, a quantity.
        Why doesnt IBM donate all its patents to open source. Now that would be truly backing up their words with action.
        code_Warrior
    • I'd suggest you look at eclipse

      That was a pretty massive code dump that IBM contributed to the Open Source community. They also open sourced a Java DB too and have been adding lots of goodies all around.

      You can't expect them to open source everything, especially revenue generating products. IBM's call to Sun isn't all that hypocritical because Java isn't a revenue generating item for Sun and it is already mostly open.
      Robert Crocker
      • Interesting

        Eclipse is vital to IBM. Reason being its a development tool and they want to give it for free so that developers use it and hopefully that would drive hardware sales of IBM products.


        As for all other software, are you saying that IBM wont open source them. They will open source things that dont generate revenue for IBM.

        If ever something has a potential to generate revenue for IBM is is closely protected.

        It something has no potential to generate revenue, IBM doesnt mind open sourcing it or giving it to the community (even if that hurts competitors).
        seems like IBM is using OSS as a competitive weapon to hurt their competition and if that benefits IBM.
        BrutalTruth
        • Business vs. Religion

          Hey, if you want to get religious about software you and Richard Stallman can have a nice little prayer meeting.

          IBM is making decisions based on cold, hard self-interest. That's fine by me, because it's a whole lot more reliable than fuzzy feel-good. I'll just keep on doing my part to make sure that they have business reasons for continuing to do good while doing well.
          Yagotta B. Kidding
        • their intent was to hurt software companies

          "Eclipse is vital to IBM. Reason being its a development tool and they want to give it for free so that developers use it"

          The other primary goal was to hurt software companies like Microsoft.
          Ended up hurting Borland as they are quitting the development tools arena.
          zzz1234567890
          • Kind-a-Like IE (SpyGlass) or Media Player (Burst/InterTrust)

            Or SQL (SyBase) or Open(SIC)XML (?) or what ever goofy protocol they are trying to devise after using and getting rich (understatement) off of TCP/IP (BSD)

            Nevermind
            it is probably pointless to try and discuss/debate with you, as you only see MS as the center of the universe, if not the whole thing.
            LazLong
          • so how come its justified for IBM to do it

            Well, IBM is doing the same thing.
            How how come you justify IBM actions.

            Well if Microsoft did it there would be an uproar. If IBM does it and some one points it out, he is a troll. Looks like its pointless (not probably pointless) to try and discuss/debate with you.


            Also SQL Sybase. What about it.
            TCP/IP was not a BSD invention. It was funded by DARPA. It just so happened that the researchers who came up with TCP/IP used a BSD OS. UC Berkely was infact given funds to develop BSD.
            Xerox, IBM, DEC, MS and others did have networking protocols. Nobody skimmed or ripped off anyone by adopting TCP/IP.
            This is precisely how a *nix fanboy is. Tries to credit every invention to *nix/OSS.
            zzz1234567890
          • I never said...

            Anything in regard justification or IBM....

            I was commenting about your previous post "their intent was to hurt software companies" and the general tenor of the majority of posts that I have seen....
            MS....Good
            Anything not MS.....Bad

            I was also trying to point out some, of the Dozens, if not hundreds of times MS had actually done what you are claiming IBM is after......A standard format available to any & all.

            SQL/Access damaged SyBase, dBase, Foxpro, Clipper.

            TCP/IP is maybe a stretch, But still from the Winsock days the BSD stack has been a part of Windows and I would argue that it was the Web which turn MS from a 3 or 4 billion dollar company
            to a 40 or 50+ billion dollar Company. All the while stepping on their partners as well as their competetors. IBM, Novell, Netscape, Be, etc, etc to get there.

            I do think movement in the OSS direction actually creates more innovation & competition.
            LazLong
          • so why not stand up to IBM when they are mis-behaving

            I never said anything in regard justification or IBM
            but you sure seemed okay with IBM doing whatever it wants (the lies IBM says.)

            "I was also trying to point out some, of the Dozens .... Sybase, dBase, Foxpro, Clipper

            Foxpro is from Microsoft (it was then renamed MS Access).
            Sybase is still in the market
            Corel is still in the market

            dbase, Corel, they were all competing. Microsoft won. And there is a reason why Microsoft won, and it simple. Its because Microsoft had better products than their competitors, innovated more, had more features and the market voted the winner.



            "I do think movement in the OSS direction actually creates more innovation & competition."
            Thats fine. You have your opinion.
            More innovation has come from for profit companies. OSS hasnt invented anything. Darpa is not OSS. Cern is not OSS.
            OSS is just open source. What is wrong with innovating and keeping the source code proprietary. Nothing wrong with it.
            Most OSS folks want everything for free, they dont want to pay.
            Microsoft does a lot of innovation in software too. Nobody ever gives much credit to Microsoft for the innovation that they do.
            Most people are so naieve that they just believe the PR of companies that are popular or myth's created about a particular company without ever digging in and finding the truth.


            MS also makes standards. MS follows standards.
            MS Office Open XML format is also an internationally accepted standard.
            When VHS and Beta-max were two competing video recording technologies, they competed in the market place. VHS won and so we had VHS VCR's and VHS video cassettes. Similarly MS won the Office wars. MS Office Open XML is an open standard that any company can implement. However IBM & SUN are not interested as long as


            IBM is a company that still promotes the mainframe.
            Back in the day airline reservation were done on IBM Mainframes.
            It was MS who did a multi-tier architecture with PC's that was able to do the same task that a mainframe could do for less than 1% of the cost of the mainframe. Its innovations like these that made MS the winner (innovations like database connection pooling, multi-tier architecture, ....). If you've read my other blogs you would have read about this in more detail (unfortunately I dont have much time to go over this in more detail again).
            zzz1234567890
  • It is nice to see customers waking up ....

    ... to the fact that they should control their data and documents. As long as ISO keeps a tight grip on ODF the required continuity of documents is guaranteed and that can only be good for everyone.

    Personally I don't care how ODF gets propagated as a standard but it is important that it does propagate. One of the lunacies of I.T. is everyone inventing their own wheel - Word has its format(s), WordPerfect has its own as well and so on. One format should do for everyone and the time and effort that would be saved by all is considerable.

    I.T. needs standards and consistency across the board. If OpenDocument delivers it then I'm for OpenDocument.
    bportlock
    • Microsoft Office Open XML Formats

      Microsoft Office Open XML Formats are a open standard too. Not to mention they have better features, performance.

      "Personally I don't care how ODF gets propagated as a standard but it is important that it does propagate."
      This is a totally invalid comment as everyone should care about how it does propogate. There should be sense of fairplay and not how IBM and SUN are doing it.
      BrutalTruth
      • Say what?

        [i]Microsoft Office Open XML Formats are a open standard too.[/i]

        That's great. What's the ISO number, and how many implementations are on the market?

        [i]Not to mention they have better features[/i]

        Features such as ... ?

        [i]This is a totally invalid comment as everyone should care about how it does propogate. There should be sense of fairplay and not how IBM and SUN are doing it.[/i]

        ?!?!?!?!

        Let's try again. ODF was put together in open meetings over the course of several years with input from anyone who cared to contribute, including groups as diverse as the Society of Biblical Literature and Boeing.

        Microsoft Office Open XML is being written up by a group whose charter doesn't let anyone but Microsoft have a say in the content of the specification.

        It was rather generous of the grandparent poster to take the "how" question off the table -- are you sure you want it back on?
        Yagotta B. Kidding
      • Troll-Bait

        Microsoft Office Open XML Formats are far from being open standard. The ECMA specification as well as the documentation of the ODF Translator project show clear skirtings of the agreed criteria for being open standards.

        That's right: Microsoft defined "fair play," haven't they?
        swhiser
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