Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Thursday, October 05, 2006

France Says: Vive le ODF! Vive Open Source!

The French government has taken another small step toward open standards, open source choices, and the full-scale adoption of the OpenDocument Format (ODF). This builds upon its earlier publication for comment of an Interoperability Framework that included the use of ODF.

The Prime Minister's Office commissioned a study on how European businesses could do more to develop industrial standards. Part of that answer is ODF. And part is building a critical mass of open source in its ICT ecosystem.

As the Open ePolicy Group has recommended, governments do not need to mandate open source in order to generate greater software choices and control over decision-making. Other policy options exist. The French report, authored by French National Assembly Deputy Bernard Carayon, offers a few examples when it suggests that government:

* fund a research center dedicated to open-source software security

* set up a system for exchanging best practices on open source for national and local government agencies

* allowing officials to choose among proprietary and open source software for their own workstations.

The rest of Europe should expect to hear from France about this ... The Report recommends that France start pressing its EU partners about ODF. Let the lobbying begin!

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