Call for Asia to adopt ODF
SINGAPORE--An official from the United Nations (U.N.) has called for countries in the Asia-Pacific region to embrace the OpenDocument format.
Sunil Abraham, manager of the International Open Source Network (IOSN) at the U.N., told ZDNet Asia that most governments in the region have already stated their support for open standards, through their respective government interoperability frameworks.
He hopes that governments in the region will now extend that support and "seriously consider" the OpenDocument Format (ODF).
Abraham explained: "Most governments in this region are older than the software vendors that they are talking to, and they will almost certainly outlive the software vendors and developers. For government [document] archives, it is thus critical that [they] use open formats."
For instance, he noted that WordStar was a popular word processor used in the 1980s. But the software is no longer supported by any vendor, and it will be difficult to retrieve information stored in WordStar documents today.
"Data longevity is an important reason for governments to use open standards," Abraham said.
Moreover, governments often make documents publicly available through e-government initiatives. In such cases, Abraham said, governments that adopt proprietary standards are "forcing" citizens to either purchase proprietary software, or use unlicensed software, in order to access these documents.
"The government will become a marketing agent for proprietary software
companies," he said. "It's important that citizens be able to consume
[government] information without committing a crime. That is only
possible if governments follow some form of open standards."
Source: ZDNet Asia