City now accepts documents in Open Document Format
The city of Dortmund (Germany) is levelling the playing field for open source software solutions. The city in January stated that it accepts electronic documents in the Open Document Format (ODF). Do-FOSS, a free and open source software advocacy group in the city, welcomed the “landmark decision”.
The decision to support ODF follows questions submitted by council members in 10 of Dortmund’s 12 city districts, Do-FOSS explains on its website. The districts criticised the city's central district for supporting only a proprietary document format.
The city replies that it will support the use of ODF for persons that do not have access to a computer supplied by Dortmund. When documents need to be processed in the city’s proprietary enterprise resource system (ERP) or various other solutions that depend on proprietary office tools, the city can only accept a decade-old proprietary electronic document format.
Lead by example
Dortmund’s support for ODF was welcomed by Christian Gebel, a member of the Dortmund city council. "I appreciate that the administration is beginning to level the playing field for open source office solutions”, Gebel said in an email.
“The city administration has taken an important step”, the council member added, although he expects that introducing free and open source software alternatives for the established products will take a long time. “The Do-FOSS initiative surely has ideas for the next steps. If they convince politicians and the administration, Dortmund could set a trend for other municipalities to follow."