The power of powerpoint

My uncle just sent me a letter my father him wrote over sixty years ago. I had no idea the letter existed until I got it. Reading through it has got me to thinking about how we can preserve documents for the long term.

I’m only vaguely familiar with all the work on Open Documents and Open Formats so I decided to poke into this a bit. There are wikipedia articles: OpenDocument and Open Format.

The article on Open Format has a link to the Massachusetts Information Technology Division.

I followed that and saw mention of something call Open Initiatives.

I followed that and saw mention of Open Source Legal Toolkit.

I opened that page and saw there is a document Legal and Other Issues in Open Source Licensing.

Given my interest in open-source licensing issues I decided to take a look at that document. I tried to open it only to learn is a PowerPoint document.

The State of Massachusetts has produced a document about Open-Source that requires I buy a copy of PowerPoint to read it. Adding insult to injury, I see there is also a Quick References for Open Source Licenses in the form of an Excel spreadsheet.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Can someone in the Massachusetts government please explain why I have to pay money to buy software just so I can read what is presumably a public document?

I can’t, but I will be writing more on this topic in future posts.

Don’t worry. I will use HTML to write them and they will be freely available here at wordpress.com. You won’t have to buy any software to read them.

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