ODF.jpg No-to-ooxml.jpg

Why Document Freedom?

We live in an age in which paper documents increasingly get replaced by electronic records. Document freedom is fundamental for your documents to outlive the application you are currently using and allows you to choose and change applications freely.

"Previous proprietary document formats have become difficult or impossible to read within little more than a decade. There is no reason to believe this trend will not continue if allowed so to do. Without open standards for our documents we are likely to inflict a 'digital dark-age' on our descendants when they discover that they are unable to read any of the sources for their history, such as Government records, acts of Parliament, property title deeds, scientific research papers, and family histories. They will not forgive us if we fail to act to protect them now, but instead allow another generation of poorly specified proprietary standards to become widely adopted." - from UKUUG press release

"In the case of document format storage, a standard is truly important because formats (poor or not) that eventually lose implementations over time carve out blank spaces in our history once we can't read them properly. These same formats are also the source of certain information inequalities in society (e.g. those who can't obtain an implementation for financial, social or political reasons). This may not matter so much for Acme Inc's quarterly reports but it sure does for government, health and other socially vital information. Remember when some hurricane Katrina victims couldn't use the FEMA website because they had slightly older computers? This isn't a made up boogyman, this is stuff that bites us as a society fairly regularly. Now imagine a hundred years from now when we can still read the constitutions of our countries, research papers, poetry and other examples of human kind's great literary works that are hundreds or even thousands of years old ... but can't read the documents we're creating at the start of the 21st century. How will we learn from our history if we can't study it fully?

Getting proprietary formats out of the way as soon as possible so that we do not extend this mess any further than necessary is absolutely the responsible thing to do in light of our (hopeful) future." - Aaron Siego

Document Freedom and Democracy

Electronic records kept today include records of your government, such as tax and legal records or minutes of parliamentary proceedings. Making sure that such records remain in the control of the government is essential for a functioning democracy. The same is true for all interactions between citizens and their government, which should never depend on monopolies or on the proprietary product of a single company.

How to achieve Document Freedom?

Make a stand by saving your documents in ODF today. If your application does not support ODF, get one of the ODF supported applications like OpenOffice.org, KOffice, AbiWord, etc


Here's a quotation for the ages, from an Alex Brown comment on Andrew Updegrove's Standards Blog (scroll down) asking Brown if he'd agree that ODF was cleaner than OOXML:

"I'd go with that. I think ISO/IEC 26300 (ODF 1.0) can be compared to a neat house built on good foundations which is not finished; 29500 (OOXML) is a baroque cliffside castle replete with toppling towers, secret passages and ghosts: it is all too finished."

Now he tells us. Still, better late than never. And I couldn't have put it better myself. But if it's that bad, why is it an ISO standard? A standard with secret passages is a standard no one can implement unless they have a map and the keys. We don't have either. Only Microsoft does. Thanks, ISO, for this little anticompetitive joke. [...]

The public cares about ODF, because it realizes it will impact every one of us directly, and we see the obvious, that OOXML is a spoiler. This has nothing to do with market share.

Courtesy: PJ @ groklaw

The role of standards

For users, the benefit of a standard is to have compatibility between competing products in the market. As soon as there are two or several standards for the same applications, these are no longer standards, but mere technical specifications. If there had been only one ISO-approved format, it would have been a means to relaunch competition and innovation in the office productivity market. if there are several, the situation remains the same as in the past. The existence of a dual standard doesn't bring anything more than the absence of a standard. - Frédéric Couchet, APRIL, the main French advocacy association devoted to promote and protect Free/Libre Software.

Rigged ISO Process

   There were 30 in the bed and the little one said, “Roll over, roll over.”
   So they all rolled over and 23 fell out.
   There were 7 in the bed and the little one said, “Roll over, roll over.”
   So they all rolled over and 4 fell out.
   There were 3 in the bed and the little one said, “Roll over, roll over.”
   So they all rolled over and 2 fell out…
   There was 1 in the bed and the little one said, “Norway votes Yes!”

by Steve Pepper, the Chairman of the Norwegian mirror committee for SC34 (K185) for 13 years until resigning a couple of weeks ago in protest against Standard Norway’s decision to vote Yes.

Events[edit | edit source]

On Barcamp Bangalore 6[edit | edit source]

Anivar Aravind announced a session on Technopolitrics:The ooxml way , An Observation on ISO's banana standard on Barcamp Bangalore 6

When: 19th and 20th April

Where: BCB6 Summer Edition, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

Candle Light Vigil for Document Freedom[edit | edit source]

The Candle light vigil demands India to appeal ISO approval of ooxml based on its comments and no vote. We also demand the Department of IT to draft a clear national policy for the use of Free standards for data storage.

This programme is planned as a starting point for various events & awareness campaigns on Document freedom.

When: 15 April 2008, 6pm

Where: Near Corporation Circle, In front of the Townhall, Bengaluru

We request all user to

  1. do not send attachments in proprietary formats like .doc, .xls, .ppt
  2. We request people not to pollute their friends computers and the internet with unethically encoded documents.
  3. inform the users that they do not have right to decode the documents they themselves have written, if they use proprietary software
  4. distribute open office cds, containing apps with source code for windows.
  5. distribute live cds.


  • pravi dot a at gmail dot com 998six34856five
  • anivar at movingrepublic dot org 080-234three56zero6 /944nine0099zero8
  • Vikram Vincent vincentvikram at swatantra dot org -- 9448810822

Participate in online discussions at fsug-bangalore mailing list

On Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Hindu news after event.jpg

Blogs/Online News[edit | edit source]

Photos[edit | edit source]

Candles for freedom.jpg Candle in darkness.jpg
No backdoor standards.jpg Ooxml banana standard.jpg

Open Letter to Wipro, Infosys and TCS[edit | edit source]

Pictures of Open Letter on College Notice Board


Online Coverage[edit | edit source]

Open Document Format as the default Document standard for Institution[edit | edit source]

  • As a part of Document Freedom Day 2008, Fossers of Vidya, the Free Software Users Group, [Thrissur/VAST Vidya Academy] submitted a request to Principal of the institution requesting ODF as the institute standard. The request suggested for making ODF the default standard for all academic requirements such as project submission and seminar presentation making and for all institutional document archiving.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Banners/Posters/Slogans[edit | edit source]

OOXML: "The best Standard money can buy"

Articles/Blogs[edit | edit source]

India Specific[edit | edit source]

International[edit | edit source]

Campaigners[edit | edit source]

  1. Praveen A
  2. Anivar Aravind
  3. Renuka Prasad B
  4. Vidya Shankar M H
  5. Baswaraj Ningashetty
  6. Chandra shekar B
  7. Chandrashekar B H
  8. Soumya M D
  9. Kishore A
  10. Sharath Shashidhar
  11. Jay Kiran# Sharath Shashidhar
  12. Pradeep
  13. Nischal
  14. Subramanyam
  15. Keshav
  16. Komal Saraff
  17. Kadambini
  18. Jayatheertha
  19. hitha
  20. Manjunath Maruthi
  21. Farahn khan
  22. Imtiyaz Quazi
  23. ArunKumar N Shiva
  24. Muneeb Ahmed
  25. Sudheendra ghorpade
  26. Narash J
  27. Nagaraja y
  28. Rajaram K
  29. Venkatram G R
  30. RadhaKrishna
  31. Raghwvendra Singh
  32. Nabakamal Das
  33. Ramesh Sheelvant
  34. Shah Naresh
  35. Shah Bhavesh
  36. Mahipal Kamanchi
  37. Reddy Krishna
  38. Sandeep Harkude
  39. Srinath P
  40. Shumba Rai
  41. Sony KOyalkar
  42. Mangala K S
  43. Vinayka Hampiholli
  44. Vijaya
  45. Sushmitha
  46. Suhas D P
  47. Aman Kumar
  48. Ali Azgar
  49. Manali mankad
  50. chandrashekar
  51. Chandan C
  52. Udaya krishana P
  53. Rashmi S Bhat
  54. Shwetha G
  55. Pavan Kumar
  56. Ashok Kumar 17:10, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
  57. Shyam k
  58. Chandrasekharan Nair S
  59. BaijuMuthukadan 06:05, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
  60. Shivraj Kattimani
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