Los Angeles, CA - In partnership with The Open Document Fellowship, the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) has announced plans to host a workshop on open standards in government at their upcoming conference, SCALE 4x. The focus of this workshop will be on the use of OASIS OpenDocument Format for Office Applications (ODF) and document accessibility standards in state and local government. The goal of this event is to foster a discussion about choice in software and open standards at all levels of California government. The workshop will be held on February 10, 2006 at the Los Angeles Airport Radisson and will lead into SCALE 4x, the 2006 Southern California Linux Expo.
Date: Feb 10, 2006
Location: Los Angeles Airport Radisson
Topics to be covered at this workshop include:
- Benefits of open standards versus their proprietary counterparts.
- Technical merits of OpenDocument and XML-based file formats.
- Avoiding vendor lock-in: The importance of choice in software for gorvenment organizations and their constituents.
- The security benefits of heterogeneous software environments.
Confirmed speakers include Gary Edwards (OpenOffice.org) and David Eisenberg (OpenDocument Fellowship). Additional details on the workshop line up will be announced in early January.
SCALE's workshop follows in the steps of similar discussions which have been taking place in Massachusetts. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts recently established ODF as as statewide standard. All agencies and contractors working with the state will be required to use this format.
Massachusetts chose the ODF standard in order to guarantee citizens access to public records. The State Information Technology Division found that access to documents and records stored in proprietary formats, such as Microsoft's Office 2003 format, could be cut off as soon as the vendor choses to cease development of their product. Documents stored in formats based on open standards such as ODF do not have this problem. Users are not locked in or dependent on a single
vendor in order to read their data, as any vendor can create software to read these documents without royalties or restrictions.
SCALE would like to publicly invite representatives from from local, state, and federal government organizations to attend this free workshop. Those interested in attending may register by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Ilan Rabinovitch at 818-442-1865.
About The OpenDocument Format (ODF):
OpenDocument (ODF) is a file format developed by OASIS, a standards body focused on structured documents and XML. ODF is intended as an open, cross platform, and vendor independent standard for editable office documents including: text documents, spreadsheets, charts, graphical
documents, and databases. The format competes with Microsoft's Office 2003 and Office 12 XML file formats.
ODF is supported by a wide range of software companies, government organizations, and open-source projects including: Sun Microsystems, IBM, Novell, Adobe, Corel, The National Archives of Australia, and others. Applications which currently support ODF include: OpenOffice.org, KOffice, Sun's StarOffice, and IBM Workplace. The royalty free and open license under which ODF is released will allow any individual or organization to develop competing products based on this format, without restrictions. This openness prevents vendor lock in, increases marketplace competition and provides consumers with a wide variety of choices in office suites.
About the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE):
The Southern California Linux Expo is the premier grass roots Linux and Open Source Software conference in the United States. SCALE 4x, their fourth annual event, will be held on February 11th and 12th, 2006 at the Los Angeles Airport Radisson. SCALE will includes seminars by leaders from the open source community, tutorials for beginners, and an exhibit hall with both vendor booths and non-commercial booths. Linux Expo of Southern California, Inc. is a non-profit organization currently comprised, but not limited to, members of the USCLUG, UCLALUG, and SCLUG. For more information see http://www.socallinuxexpo.org