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Call for Asia to Adopt ODF 35

Malek Indiam points out an article on ZDNet Asia about a push for Asian governments to wean themselves from proprietary file formats. From the article: "An official from the United Nations 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)."
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Call for Asia to Adopt ODF

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  • by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:09AM (#15880527)
    Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates announce whirlwind tours of the far east...
  • Who cares? We do. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HugePedlar ( 900427 ) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:09AM (#15880529) Homepage
    One might ask 'who cares', but the rising techological literacy of Asian countries, coupled with the increasing outsourcing of Western companies, means that these nations' policies might well encourage Western governments and companies to standardise on open formats as well. After all, if your Asian employees are already using it and it's cheap, why not make it company policy too.
    • In addition, if the rest of the world standardizes on Free Software and open formats -- a possibility that seems less far-fetched every day -- the peer pressure might be enough to keep the US from going off the DRM and Treacherous Computing deep end. I can only hope...

      • Free Software and open formats -- a possibility that seems less far-fetched every day

        It only seems less far-fetched to /. readers and those addicted to it. (an argument could be made that they're the only people that matter) But, the general public, I guarantee still doesn't know, understand, or care about the movement towards free software and open formats. We need to do a better job of awareness. We need tv commercials or something (and I'm being serious).
        • The general public use whatever software they're told to use by everyone else. When it changes it can change relatively quickly and it's very chicken and egg. By the time people even notice it happening it can be too late to change. They never know, understand or care anything about software except to use what everyone else thinks is the best tool for the job.
        • But, the general public, I guarantee still doesn't know, understand, or care about the movement towards free software and open formats. We need to do a better job of awareness. We need tv commercials or something (and I'm being serious).

          I completely agree, regarding the US. And, of course, it wouldn't hurt everywhere else too.

          However, it does seem as though there's a lot more momentum in other countries, such that Free Software has a decent chance of taking hold even without advertising help.

      • I hope that happens, but do you remember that the US once tried to switch to the metric system?
        • The metric system is more heavily used in the US than lots of people realize.

          For example, when was the last time you filled a perscription in grains rather
          than milligrams (1 grain is about 62 milligrams)?

          When was the last time you bought a half gallon of cola (as opposed to a 2-liter)?

          Just food for thought.

          • ergh. skipped my modding comments here :)
            it also goes the other way. here in europe we have some of things in imperial system when i start to think about it.

            let's see...

            car wheel diameter, equipment rack width (and more or less heigth), display size (though usually also noted in cm for everything else besides computer screens), computer peripherals width (hdd/floppy/optical drives etc)...

            there probably are others i have forgotten.
    • Combine a large pool of workers with a low-cost-to-implement software package... and you've got the recipe for success!

      To quote C&C: Generals, "It's a good move for China!"
  • by alienmole ( 15522 ) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:11AM (#15880542)
    Why is the UN wasting its time on Asia-Pacific, when it could be recommending that Israel and Hezbollah "seriously consider" adopting Microsoft Office? The shared trauma of dealing with Office will surely bring the two sides closer, eventually leading to a ceasefire after Clippy the paperclip pops up one too many times.
    • Exactly what I was thinking. I know the United Nations mean well with this, and it's probably a great idea to implement. But don't they have higher priority items to be working on???
      • by HugePedlar ( 900427 ) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:25AM (#15880669) Homepage
        Maybe the UN is composed of many different departments which are capable of doing more than one thing at a time?
      • If they dropped everything they were doing everytime we had an international crisis, they would never get anything done.
        Your assuming much more could be done in they devoted their full attention to the problem.
        A lot of time is spent trying to solve a problem and seeing what happens.
        • A fundamental flaw today in most businesses / groups. It happens all the time at my work place. Management wants 20 things done, so instead of working on 2 at a time, spit them out, then do 2 more, spit them out, then do 2 more, etc. ... my management decides to have 8 projects running at a time, with limited resources on each. Sure they get more tasks done up front, but they end up with poor quality, and many times they end up scrapping some of the projects because they just dwindled. Same thing with t
      • From TFP: Sunil Abraham, manager of the International Open Source Network (IOSN) at the U.N....

        Well maybe Canada, Europe, and the U.S. could support the UN open source geeks in resolving the crisis by sending Theo, Linus, and RMS! After all, they are so even-tempered and compromising, that they should be able to bring the sides together into mutual understanding and caring :)

    • Well, see, the civilized world in the meantime has conventions against the use of cruel or unusual punishments. Just because some assholes have been shooting rockets at each other's civilian population, doesn't mean you can go and subject them to Clippy (the modern Chinese Water Torture) until their mind snaps.

      Plus, hey, think of your own good first. There's no shame in that. Them bombing each other is one thing, but if you make them fly airplanes into the Microsoft buildings, you could be stuck with Dubya
  • by Anonymous Coward
    About one half of humankind lives in Asia. If linux adoption is to be advocated continent by continent, I propse that we first take over Antarctica. The advantages are clear: 1) With the high proportion of scientists in the local population, linux is already in a good position to take over the remaining computers of the Antarctican continent. 2) Penguins.
  • While the West maintains its position as leading the global economy and farming out labor to the inhabitants of various countries in continental Asia, and while the West remains largely in the position of mandating the usage of Microsoft Office's myriad Office formats, it will almost certainly be the case that business correspondence within these countries will remain in the various incarnations of DOC. It then will follow that as we see with Windows itself people will instinctively use the software at
    • While the West maintains its position as leading the global economy and farming out labor to the inhabitants of various countries in continental Asia

      Actually this isn't a sustainable position economically. The more work which gets farmed out the greater the economic development of the Asian continent, the richer they become. Funnily enough they're catching up real quick now. In the meantime the US prints money to finance a war in Iraq devaluing the dollar hugely and allowing them to catch up even faster.

      Yes

      • I am almost reluctant to dismay you so, but I must inform you that the West includes Europe. This should come as little surprise to most seeing as the term refers to the cultural tradition started in Ancient Greece, carried out through continental Europe and later brought to the Americas, but I suppose inconvenient things like reality would make your diversionary ranting even more difficult for you to relate to the substance of my comment within your own mind.
  • Unfortunately, this is not likely to happen so long as there is no financial incentive. Software piracy being so rampant as it is in Asia, why would a company there bother to switch to Free Software?

    Then again, Microsoft's grumblings about South Korea and the subsequent brouhaha might presage a new resolve to curb piracy (and with it, inadvertantly erode their global market dominance).
  • Switching to ODF is like switching to the Metric System
    The USA won't change.
  • ... to which Asian countries reply: who the fsck are you talking to?

    Asia is not one homogenous region guys, and can't be addressed as such. A call to specific countries would probably be more productive.

    That said, Asian countries are going to be at the forefront of technological expansion (and by that I mean adoption of new technologies) in the coming years as a result of their increasing literacy rates and prosperity. It makes sense for ODF to squirm in before Microsoft gets a stranglehold on the market
  • It's not easy to grasp what they are talking about from the title of the article. Abbreviations run little out of hands on slashdot...

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.

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