|12:00 - 13:30, March 29, 2014
|Ramunto's Brick and Brew Pizzeria
9 South St
(individual event pages have moved)
Document Freedom Day is an annual event "celebrating information accessibility and raising awareness of Open Standards."
On Saturday we met for lunch at Ramunto's Brick 'n Brew in Hanover (with kind thanks to our sponsors, DFD and FSFE!) to discuss open standards/FOSS in education and government.
We had 10 people show up for the event, including computer programmers, educators, and technologists. With a wide variety of interests, jobs, and backgrounds, we had a lively discussion on what's currently going on re: open standards in NH and VT, and where we think things are heading in the future.
Interestingly, both NH and VT have laws on the books promoting the use of open standards and encouraging the use of open source software in government. The goals of the bills are laudable, but do not necessarily result in the widespread adoption of formats such as ODF or the introduction of FOSS tools such as LibreOffice, Inkscape, and GNU/Linux in the schools.
Interoperability with existing, established entities is a big barrier to change. Teachers at a primary school level often use materials prepared by professors or others at universities; the fact that most in higher education are using the latest versions of proprietary tools such as MS-Office, and are creating content in only the latest version of various non-free file formats, makes it difficult to hold a successful trial of alternative tools.
But all is not hopeless! :-) There are a number of promising avenues for our advocacy, including
- Promoting/proposing the adoption of the ODF file format (even MS-Office includes support for this standard in recent versions)
- Introducing both FOSS and open hardware to schools
- Challenging existing/proposed deployments of iPads and other locked-down hardware with alternatives running FOSS
- (Is there any apparent heir to the OLPC XO? Especially one available for purchase by anyone?)
We'll continue our discussion on the DLSLUG discuss list and work to make strides towards accomplishing our goals for open standards and Free/Open Source software. We welcome participation, especially from people in the New England region!
LibreOffice Community Outreach Herald
The Document Foundation
The LibreOffice USA Community will be celebrating DFD on Saturday, March 29th with a noon lunch meetup at Ramunto's Pizza in Hanover, NH.
This year our discussion will focus on open standards in government and education:
- Current use of standards by local government and schools
- Effective methods of encouraging adoption of open standards
- Community-building in New Hampshire, Vermont, and the rest of New England
We'll have stickers, posters, and pamphlets to share at your workplace, local library, or school.
We'll have a party pack from the DFD folks that includes
We'll also have some LibreOffice stickers, brochures, etc.
UPDATE: projects at LibrePlanet have been very generous with stickers (incl. MediaGoblin, CC, OpenHatch, FSF, OpenITP, Tor, etc), so we'll have a bunch of goodies.
Through the generosity of DFD sponsors, we have some funds for pizza. Individual contributions cheerfully accepted :-)
- UV Makers has a meeting on the 29th at 2pm, so we'll schedule the DFD event until 1:30pm to make sure that people may attend both.
- Contact Robinson via the Marketing/US/Mailing List.