January 29, 2002

Proposal: The open data format initiative

Author: JT Smith

NewsFactor Network writes, "Outlook Express and Outlook -- while severely limited in how they export data -- can import mail messages from a wide variety of competing products. By the same token, competing products can import from them as well. The annoying part was that this wasn't data I was not supposed to read. Had I the time and inclination, I could have cut and pasted each one from Outlook Express into a text editor and saved it. This was my data, but I couldn't easily do what I wanted with it. It's no mystery why every application wants to be a data sink; it's a competitive advantage to lock users into your proprietary format. But users are suffering, prevented from manipulating their own data as they see fit. I propose a solution to this problem: the Open Data Format Initiative (ODFI)."


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