[Scottish] Re: Scottish Digest, Vol 201, Issue 3

Philip Ward philward at bigfoot.com
Fri Feb 8 14:08:37 GMT 2008

You can always point people at
http://www.sun.com/software/star/odf_plugin/index.jsp from whence they
can download the ODF plugin for Microsoft Office. You can then explain
that this plugin will enable them to read / write files in the ISO
standard ODF.

Momentum is a tough thing to overcome which is why so many people use
MS Office. But if we can start encouraging people to use ISO standards
rather than proprietary formats then we can start to slow it to the
point where people can choose office software rather than feeling


On 08/02/2008, John Seago <seago.john at googlemail.com> wrote:
> On Friday 08 February 2008 12:15:06 Claudio Calvelli
> <slug at intercal.dyn-o-saur.com> wrote:
> > If anybody sends me a file in word format I always reply asking for it in
> > an open standard format - explaining that an open standard format is one
> > for which full documentation is publicly available and which does not
> > require to purchase any special software to read - concluding with a note
> > that Word format fails in several respects, and could they please send in a
> > format which can be of any use, preferably plain text.
> >
> > You could also reply asking them where you can find a copy of Microsoft
> > Word which will work on your operating system, to allow them to send the
> > document in that weird format they seem to require :-)
> Unfortunately I just opened the response form using 'Open Office', completed
> it and sent it back in the format that I had used OASIS odt(?), and when they
> couldn't read it re-submitted it, using 'open Office to save the file in a
> format they could read.
> I don't want to make life awkward for someone who had no say in the purchase
> of their office suite by asking where I "...can find a copy of Microsoft
> Word which will work on" my operating system..., I want to persuade them to
> use 'Open Office' to a0 save my tax £'s, and b) make it easier for the
> Government, Police, other institutions and Civil Service to read documents
> which are delivered to them in any format other than 'plain text'.
> what I'm Looking for is some form of advocacy help in doing so so far I've
> sent this:-
> I responded to the Deer Commission for Scotland public consultation document.
> this morning they sent me a message as follows:
> "Dear John
> Unfortunately we were unable to open your response form. Would you be
> able to try and resend it in Word format if possible."
> I was able using one of the word processing programmes available to me to
> convert it for them, into one of over twenty document formats available to
> me, they could only, apparently, read it in one of Microsoft's formats. This
> raises a question why is the Scottish Government and civil service using a
> document format that can only be used by those having the same operating
> system as the Scottish Government, those using another operating system are
> therefore, as was I precluded from the same immediate form of communication
> as others enjoy.
> There are at least three solutions to this problem:
> a) the Scottish Government the Civil Service, Police etc., etc., should
> communicate only in plain text.
> b) the Scottish Government the Civil Service, Police etc., etc., should
> communicate using 'Open Office' a suite of software that used I to convert my
> document for the DCS, which would allow intercommunication between differring
> formats.
> c) the Scottish Government the Civil Service, Police etc., etc., should use an
> open source operating system and 'Open Office' which should not only assist
> in intercommunication but reduce costs reduce the need to upgrade hardware
> and increase reliability.
> See:    http://www.openoffice.org/
>         http://theopendisc.com/
>         http://www.opensource.org/
>         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plain_text
> To Fergus Ewing MSP, my directly elected MSP, and to these list MSP's for the
> region in which I live, Dave Thompson MSP, Rob Gibson MSP, Rhoda Grant MSP,
> Mary Scanlon MSP, Jamie McGrigor MSP, Peter Peacock MSP, and David Stewart
> MSP. I also delivered this morning to Fergus Ewing's office a copy of
> the 'Open Disk' so he could try out 'Open Office'.
> I'm probably banging my head against a brick wall, but I'm on a crusade for
> interoperable document formats, (which unfortunately will make information
> interchange between Government Departments and other bodies easier, which may
> not be a 'good' thing), and invite anyone and everyone to join me.
> --
> John Seago
> GNU/Linux Registered User No. #219566 http://counter.li.org/
> () ascii ribbon campaign - against html mail - against microsoft attachments
> /\
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