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Agenda for MA Meeting on Dec. 14
Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 01:27 PM EST

The agenda for the December 14 meeting, "An Open Forum on the Future of Electronic Data Formats for the Commonwealth," the Hart public meeting, has now been distributed to interested parties. It's in .doc format, natch. Sigh. Some of the Massachusetts senators really do think the whole world uses Microsoft. Thanks to OpenOffice.org, I was able to read it anyway, even though I don't use Microsoft's Word. There is life without Microsoft.

Anyway, here is the agenda. The panel looks great. I'm not sure it will do any good, if the fix is in, but it should be a wonderful meeting, with more balance than was apparent at the last one. I really wish I could go. Happily, I think it's going to be taped by Dan Bricklin, so we will all get to "go".

**********************************

An Open Forum on the
Future of Electronic Data Formats for the Commonwealth

December 14, 2005
10:00 AM – Noon
Senate Reading Room, State House

Hosted by: Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies,
Sen. Jack Hart & Rep. Dan Bosley, Chairs
&
The Science & Technology Caucus,
Sen. Jack Hart, Rep. Cory Atkins, & Secretary Ranch Kimball, Chairs

AGENDA

10:00 Welcome and Introductory Remarks

10:05 Open Standards and the Evolution of the OpenDocument Standard: How did we get here?
John Palfrey, Executive Director
Berkman Center on Internet and Society
Harvard Law School

10:25 Introduction of Panelists

Bob Sutor, IBM
Alan Yates, Microsoft General Manager of Information Worker Business Strategy
Peter Quinn/Linda Hamel, ITD
Bob Sproull, Sun Microsystems
Judy Brewer, Web Accessibility Initiative, W3C
Alan Cote, Secretary of State’s Office

10:45 Moderated Panel Discussion

Noon Adjourn


  


Agenda for MA Meeting on Dec. 14 | 57 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections thread
Authored by: grundy on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 01:43 PM EST
under here

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic
Authored by: grundy on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 01:45 PM EST
under here

[ Reply to This | # ]

Distributing Documents in Word Format
Authored by: Carlo Graziani on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 03:08 PM EST
Perhaps someone should point out to these gummint luminaries that every time
they release to the public an official document in a word-processing format,
they leave themselves open to the possibility that some unknown third party
could edit and re-distribute the document with the intent to spread
disinformation...

...and that people with different versions of the same word-processing software
may not see the document formatted and paginated as intended by the author,
since these document formats are not high-fidelity...

...and that MS word-processing formats specifically include metadata that
incorporate previous edits, and authorship information, and that this metadata
is invariably mined by some smartass for information leaks, which frequently
results in embarrassment to some official or department...

...and that a straightforward conversion to PDF format vitiates all the above
problems, and incidentally results in a more platform-independent document,
which should be an end in itself for a government that values inclusiveness.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Agenda for MA Meeting
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 03:59 PM EST
It should be an interesting event. We have a Microsoftie, Sun and Peter Quinn on
the same panel.

I wonder if we will get an answer on why the some of the other state agencies
oppose the move to ODF.

---
Rsteinmetz - IANAL therefore my opinions are illegal.

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."
Randy Newman - The Title Theme from Monk

[ Reply to This | # ]

Excellent point
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 04:24 PM EST
This whole silly argument is moot because anyone can read (and create, now that
I think about it) a .doc format document using free and freely available
software. So there's no reason to switch to ODF.

I couldn't have put it better myself.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Agenda for MA Meeting on Dec. 14
Authored by: chris_bloke on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 05:31 PM EST
It would do no harm if you did receive one of these MS
Word documents from them to politely reply asking kindly
if they could please release & resend it in a format that
you could read.

Don't query their use, just say that you cannot read
documents in that format and that you would appreciate a
copy in ODF or PDF please.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Suggested Example for Discussing "Standards" and "Competition" with Non-Technical
Authored by: givemelibertyor on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 06:54 PM EST
Hello all,

Would the following work as an example to use in an opening statement when
trying to rationally discuss this issue with the non-technical decision maker
(of which I am one), so that some of the FUD regarding this issue can be
mitigated up front and openly?

-----------------------------

A great example of an "open standard" is a sheet of standard office
paper, 8 1/2" by 11", and approx. 1/100th of an inch thick.

Because we have an open, universal standard for this type of paper, states like
Mass. can request proposals for competitive bids from multiple paper companies,
a dozen or more, and get the best price/value for the taxpayers of Mass., each
time a new supply of paper is needed.

As well, because of this open, non-proprietary standard, the state of Mass. can
also request proposals for competitive bids from dozens of companies for
copiers, printers, file cabinets, etc., again, ensuring the best price/value for
the Mass. taxpayers.

This competition based on the physical paper standard of 8 1/2" by 11"
by 1/100th" not only ensures the best market-based pricing for paper
document materials and processing, it ensures that technology in the paper and
printer/copier arena is always being pushed forward, to the benefit of Mass.
taxpayers. Also, anyone, with any "standards-based" printer or
copier, with no encumbrances, can use and process documents done to this paper
standard, now, and forever.

Open Document Format, or ODF, is at the highest level simply a proposal for the
electronic equivalent of our current "standard" for physical paper.
It will allow the same competitive forces to be brought to bear on electronic
document creation and processing software that currently exists in the physical
paper world. The citizens of Mass. would be able to now, and forever, own their
data, their documents, and be able to read them however they wished, using
whichever document processing software they desired (including, BUT NOT LIMITED
TO Microsoft Word).

What Microsoft would propose with its electronic "Open XML" format,
would be the equivalent in the "physical paper" world of implementing,
for example, a hexagonal sheet of paper with a 15" radius, 10/100th of an
inch thick, that would be usable only in printers, copiers, and file cabinets
made by Microsoft. Also, they could (and have) after a period of time, change
the "standard" to 22" triangular paper, so that the taxpayers of
Mass. would be forced to buy completely new printers, copiers, and storage, at
huge and unnecessary cost to said taxpayers. And because Microsoft was granted
a spurious patent on the 22" triangular standard, if the state of Mass.
tried to obtain other, more competitively priced equipment to process THEIR
document containing THEIR data, Microsoft could pursue them for patent
infringment.

Does anyone in their right mind think the state of Mass. would allow this type
of vendor binding in the physical paper world for document management? For one
thing, it would be illegal. Secondly, it would lead to exponentially increased
cost and lower productivity vs. requiring vendors to adhere to an "open
standard" for physical paper standard of 8 1/2" by 11" by 1/100th
inch.

So why would Govenor Romney and his staff even think of not endorsing ODF?

What are we missing here?

Sincerely,

Givemelibertyor



[ Reply to This | # ]

MicrosoFters Agenda for Mass Meeting
Authored by: fudnutz on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 09:04 PM EST
[Dictated by a senior M$ personage after his shower.......]

This is a dangerous meeting. There are good speakers and many dedicated to the
Open side. The fact of the hearing is a testament to M$ power and influence.
Remind everyone that M$ has many employees and makes significant contributions
in the State. Even in the role of the 80 pound gorilla, don't give an inch. Be
prepared to obstruct, misinterpret and attack. They must be kept on the
defensive. Attack them through the disabled. Accuse them of mandating rarely
used hardware and software. Accuse them of outlawing Windows and Office. They
are picking programs, not a format. Do not respond to any request to support
Open formats. Do not admit that M$ can support Open formats. Do not respond
to anything. Tell the M$ story. Speak as long as possible and be offended when
stopped/interrupted. Make them appear unfair. Do not be drawn in to arguments
as to why M$ did not participate earlier. Stress that M$ is the most
innovative, most experienced and most able to implement a standard, after all
everyone uses M$ stuff. Be outraged and interrupt effective Open speakers.
Accuse them of steping over the handicapped and dictating to the voters. Better
to be considered rude than to let too much Open scrutiny fall on the process.
Defend with wounded pride any implication of M$ crimes and tricks. Defend our
formats as ever improving innovations. Be prepared to pound the shoe on the
table lest too much Open sweetness and light flow from this hearing. As the
second speaker, take extra time so the others will be cut off. Keep it dull so
long as it is not going well for them. If it starts to go well for them,
interrupt. M$ can not yield to ODF. That will be the end of Monoply.
Defeating ODF is worth millions for this performance, personally, and billions
to the Monopoly. They don't have to like M$ as long as the votes are there. Do
not let this hearing sway any votes.

...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Agenda for MA Meeting on Dec. 14
Authored by: jsusanka on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 10:10 PM EST
It pisses me off that this meeting is even taking place.

The ITD made a decision and it was based on standards so the CITIZENS can read
and access their documents without having to buy a certain piece of software.

what is so dam hard about this concept.

the only thing I see is that microsoft is buying and throwing money around like
crazy and no one is seeing it except the honest people who made decision based
on an open standard.

I am convinced just like PJ that the fix is in and this meeting is going to be a
joke and microsoft will be great and open and the world will just be wonderful
because they will be asking where do you want to go today and open source is
communism and we should all be outlawed for not chosing microsoft.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Agenda for MA Meeting on Dec. 14
Authored by: dsaklad@gnu.org on Tuesday, December 13 2005 @ 12:04 AM EST
Our Boston City Council committees' public hearing notices are send out by email. These public notices are formatted in MicroSoft Word .doc attachments. Not posted in their entirety on the Council committees' web links at http://cityofboston.gov/citycouncil

groups.google.com groups.yahoo.com groups.msn.com do not display attachments, do not preview attachments.

How do you set up a public web link for an archive of these Council committees' public notices sent out every other day or so, sometimes several a day, that would display them without the necessity of local downloading?...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Agenda for MA Meeting on Dec. 14
Authored by: dsaklad@gnu.org on Tuesday, December 13 2005 @ 12:39 AM EST
Our Boston City Council committees' public hearing notices are sent out by email. The public notices are formatted in MicroSoft Word .doc attachments. Not posted in their entirety on the council committees' web links at http://cityofboston.gov/citycouncil/

groups.google.com groups.yahoo.com groups.msn.com do not display attachments, do not preview attachments.

How do you set up a public web link for an archive of these council committees' public notices sent out every other day or so, sometimes several a day that would display them without the necessity of local downloading?...

[ Reply to This | # ]

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