Opponents to ODF strike back in Massachusetts

30.06.2006

ITD 'never defined what was open, they just picked a certain technology,' she said. 'It's a technology mandate by another name.'

But Will Rodger, public policy director for the Computer & Communications Industry Association, an advocacy group also based in Washington, said that OpenDocument, which was ratified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in May, is the only true open standard today.

'Folks are saying we don't want vendor lock-in from anyone,' Rodger said.

The report recommends delaying the switch to OpenDocument unless the ITD can show that disabled users won't find their ability to access doccuments in the OpenDocument format compromised.

Sun Microsystems Inc., one of OpenDocument's chief backers, said it may have a solution. Earlier this week, company officials demonstrated to ITD and disabled community activists how Microsoft Office plug-ins can be converted to open and save files in OpenDocument. Using Dragon's Naturally Speaking, a popular text-to-speech software, users could listen to OpenDocument files read 'flawlessly' out loud, according to Douglas Johnson, Sun's corporate standards program manager.