The adoption of ODF in the South African public sector

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The adoption of ODF in the South African public sector

  1. 2. ODF adoption in South Africa A case for the adoption of ODF in the South African public sector Senior Researcher Meraka Institute
  2. 3. Agenda <ul><li>About me </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption in South Africa: some context </li></ul><ul><li>Formats and standards </li></ul><ul><li>The case for ODF </li></ul><ul><li>Open source </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
  3. 4. About me <ul><li>Where I come from and what I do </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meraka Institute, South Africa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>national ICT R&D institute </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>facilitates economic and social development through </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>human capital development </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>needs-based research and innovation </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thomas Fogwill </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Software R&D </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Open source software </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Description logics </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Agenda <ul><li>About me </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption in South Africa: some context </li></ul><ul><li>Formats and standards </li></ul><ul><li>The case for ODF </li></ul><ul><li>Open source </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
  5. 6. ODF adoption: Context <ul><li>Information society and the public sector </li></ul><ul><ul><li>wikipedia: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“An information society is a society in which the creation, distribution, diffusion, use, and manipulation of information is a significant economic, political, and cultural activity” </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. ODF adoption: Context <ul><li>Information society and the public sector </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information is an important commodity in information societies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most countries have information societies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government's mandate: service delivery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>key information resource for citizens in an information society </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>typically captured in public documentation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open access to public documentation an imperative </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. ODF adoption: Context <ul><li>The South African context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing country </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the “digital divide” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the “information divide” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our history, and the imperative of openness and freedom </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. Agenda <ul><li>About me </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption in South Africa: some context </li></ul><ul><li>Formats and standards </li></ul><ul><li>The case for ODF </li></ul><ul><li>Open source </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
  9. 10. Formats and standards <ul><li>Closed, proprietary formats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vendor lock-in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data “owned” by owner of format </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prohibits free access to information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interoperability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom to implement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom of choice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“Future proof” </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Agenda <ul><li>About me </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption in South Africa: some context </li></ul><ul><li>Formats and standards </li></ul><ul><li>The case for ODF </li></ul><ul><li>Open source </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
  11. 12. The case for ODF <ul><li>Benefits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open standard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Several implementations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mature implementation – OpenOffice.org </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free and Open implementations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Competing standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OpenXML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standards South Africa SC71L - “No” to OpenXML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ISO, 2 September 2007 - “No” to OpenXML </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Agenda <ul><li>About me </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption in South Africa: some context </li></ul><ul><li>Formats and standards </li></ul><ul><li>The case for ODF </li></ul><ul><li>Open source </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
  13. 14. Open source <ul><li>Benefits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Modify & improve </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Localisation (esp. small non-English markets) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customise, fit for purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No vendor lock-in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local support and service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning, investing in local skills development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>... </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. Open source <ul><li>Linux adoption in CSIR and government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CSIR - Project Vula </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>migrating 2500+ staff to Linux and OSS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SA government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FOSS adoption policy accepted: Feb 2007 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FOSS project office established: Sep 2007 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>OpenOffice.org </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Implements ODF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports non-standard and proprietary formats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mature suite of applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Localisation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Customisation </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Agenda <ul><li>About me </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption in South Africa: some context </li></ul><ul><li>Formats and standards </li></ul><ul><li>The case for ODF </li></ul><ul><li>Open source </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
  16. 17. ODF adoption <ul><li>Brazil, India, Denmark, Belgium, France, Malaysia, Italy, Poland, USA </li></ul><ul><li>CSIR and the Meraka Institute </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Vula </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ODF adoption in CSIR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issues encountered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Document conversion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>External collaboration on documents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Formats accepted by external agencies </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 18. ODF adoption <ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Obtain high-level buy-in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phased adoption (Win/Lin/Partial/Full) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>JIT conversion support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Merge efforts for legacy/proprietary document formats </li></ul></ul>
  18. 19. Agenda <ul><li>About me </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption in South Africa: some context </li></ul><ul><li>Formats and standards </li></ul><ul><li>The case for ODF </li></ul><ul><li>Open source </li></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
  19. 20. Conclusion <ul><li>Open access to public information and documentation an imperative </li></ul><ul><li>Open document standard -> open access </li></ul><ul><li>Open access -> transparent governance </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom to implement, freedom to choose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>imperative in developing world context </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ODF adoption is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>feasible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>desirable </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Contact details <ul><li>Thomas Fogwill </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Whitepaper </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.meraka.org.za/ODF/ </li></ul>

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