[linux-audio-user] [OT] Re: Is the Linux desktop really here?

Edward Barrow ej at selandre.co.uk
Wed Dec 10 14:34:46 EST 2003

On Wed, 2003-12-10 at 18:29, Mark Knecht wrote:
> On Wed, 2003-12-10 at 10:13, Juhana Sadeharju wrote:
> > [ someone ]
> > >As someone who runs a business, why would I want to pay someone $600 to
> > >fix 10 documents when I can buy Microsoft's tools for $300 and have
> > >guaranteed compatibility? That's a tough sell...
> > 
> > Hello. We should have a law which says the file formats should be
> > open formats. People who write and make documents should have a vendor
> > independent access to the documents.
> > 
> > At meanwhile, why one should be able to read Word and Excel documents
> > in Linux? One can always ask clients to print to the good old paper
> > or to an image file.
> > 
> > Regards,
> > Juhana
> Juhana,
>    We should have a law? That's a big step. It's more likely to end up
> looking like DRM than something that opens word processing formats to
> the world...
>    But, really, why should we have a law at all? It's my business to
> buy, use and get stuck inside a proprietary format that I cannot get out
> of, isn't it?
In Europe, there is half a law already: M$ can't use copyright to stop
you reverse-engineering something like a file-format-spec to make
something interoperable. Microsoft's control of the .doc and .xls
formats is much more dangerous than their control the desktop.
The gov't should only accept communications, submissions,
representations, in open (published) file formats. A good open
government case can be made for such rules; it would open up .doc very
But in the meantime, Crossover Office is essential!

Edward Barrow
Copyright Consultant
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