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MA:Full Steam Ahead on ODF & a Q About Security
Friday, January 06 2006 @ 01:56 PM EST

There is a new acting CIO for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Bethann Pepoli, and a new statement of support for ODF from the Governor's office. Here's Andy Updegrove's coverage, and Martin LaMonica's article on CNET, and also you can read an article on TMCnet:
Massachusetts has named an acting chief information officer, and the state is "on track" to use OpenDocument-based desktop software next year, a spokesman for the commonwealth's governor said Thursday.

LaMonica provides the statement from Eric Fehrnstrom, communications director at Gov. Mitt Romney's office:

"There have been no changes in the commonwealth's published OpenDocument rules, and we are still on track for a January 2007 implementation," Fehrnstrom said.

The search for a permanent replacement is ongoing. But to all the cynics and depressed souls who thought Microsoft had muscled its way to "victory," I did tell you that it wasn't so, did I not? This is the second public statement of support for Quinn's decision to go with ODF, and from all I know, which is a fair amount, it's solid.

Updegrove asks another question about security and MS XML in the light of the recent WMF security hole. It's an important question.

Here's his question:

One interesting email that I've received in light of the latest Microsoft security breach (here's one of the many articles on that topic from FT.com) asks whether any other product that supports the eventual XML Reference Schema will be at risk of painting a hacking target on their back, given how tightly Microsoft's Ecma submissions is locked on Office? In other words, if a hacker finds a back door that's required by the Ecma standard, would you have stepped into the same mess simply by complying, as required, with to the specification?

Of course, that could theoretically happen with any specification, but the more granular the spec, the higher the likelihood. But the XML Reference Schema, as I understand it, is more detailed than ODF, in order to ensure backward compatibility and to otherwise serve the needs of existing Office users. And, of course, XMLRS is based upon a product of the most popular hacker target around.

We'll be talking more about this in the future. And for those of you who have been wondering where Apple stands on this issue, since it seems to have a foot on both sides of the aisle, you may get some insight by following the discussion that begins here.


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