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On 11/19/2012 01:13 PM, Steven Bradley wrote:
I remember this discussion a few years back, when MSO was the defacto
standard, and a moving target. One of the most important things for any
agency, company government, or individual is backward compatibility. I have
many documents that are difficult for me to retrieve, and I wrote them less
than 20 years ago, using DOS programs.  I can only imagine what things will
be like in 30 years for those "old" files. I believe it's of paramount
importance, even in this age of rapid development and change, to realize
that electronic storage of documents is the wave of the future. They must
all be stored in a simple-to-access format that any program can read, not
just the latest flavor of the "big boy."  I am actually fairly concerned
about this, since the concept of proprietary file types has never been
addressed by any government agency (it would be easy, for example, for the
USGovt to mandate that all files be maintained with the formatting in a
separate file.  If a large govt (China, the US, EU) mandated that simple
change, then all files would cease to be proprietary, except for formatting
changes.  One might lose the formats, but the file itself would have a
permanence that most files do not now have.  I might also suggest that the
file formatting be subject to some sort of regulation (yes, they CAN do
that!), which makes all formatting retrievable, no matter how long it's
been since the file was created.
Otherwise, we'll all lose a huge amount of information.
That's my opinion.  YMMV....
Steve Bradley
Add to file formats, ability to read the old media (floppies, zip-disks, etc). Back to your point, it will probably take government action to force the use of ODF or similar standard formats over any proprietary formats. I am waiting for the MSO version that drops support for doc and related formats.


Jay Lozier

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