Latvia: ODF acceptance mandatory
Last Wednesday, Simon Phipps, former open source evangelist at Sun, reported on his blog, on a presentation he had given at a conference in Latvia concerning the Open Document Format (ODF). Speaking before him, a Latvian government official had made the announcement that, from now on, all government departments in Latvia must accept documents in ODF. As confirmed by OSEPA (Open Source software usage by European Public Administrations) figures, Phipps said that the move isn't limited to this small Baltic state, but that it is part of a larger development in progress among public administrations across Europe: nobody wants to force citizens to use a commercial office package when communicating with their public authorities.
The Document Foundation's LibreOffice fork of OpenOffice has apparently become very popular, but Phipps stated that "many citizens will want to use software other than LibreOffice to edit ODF documents". He said that he is surprised about the incomplete support for ODF provided by Apple and Google Docs. "It's ironic that the best proprietary ODF support right now is from Microsoft", he concluded.