The problem of old document formats being unreadable by newer software is especially frustrating. It removes effective control from the hands of the original authors, with potentially very damaging effects. Individuals, businesses and even governments have been known to get locked out of their own files after upgrading to newer releases of their preferred office software. Unless something changes though, the problem is only going to get worse as the years go by. Thankfully though, the newly formed “Document Liberation Project” has a plan to help rectify the situation. They aim to do this by collecting samples of all known document formats, documenting them, and building import filters so they can be imported into open source software like LibreOffice.
Sponsored by The Document Foundation, the Document Liberation Project also aims to help governments, companies and individuals to migrate to the Open Document Format (ODF) standard as a long-term storage format for their creative work. Remaining backward compatible even as new versions are released, the spread of the ODF offers real hope for those who think that control of digital content needs to be kept out of the hands of proprietary vendors.
Read Simon’s full announcement on InfoWorld.