brainstorming: which formats to use and which to avoid

E L Tonkin py7elt at
Tue Jun 12 13:41:30 UTC 2001

There's nothing to stop us presenting data any way we feel like it, so
probably there is no reason not to repackage the format list in the way
Greenpeace would have it ie. black and white.

However, this sort of simplification should be backed up by more detailed
information - linked to the doubtful/blacklist should be a full list of
the exact status of the doubtful formats and of the blacklist formats, and
a clear distinction should be made. Bear in mind that some of the
acceptable formats suggested are only understood by *nix software as of
this moment - so one at least needs to give the choice between 'slightly
bad' and 'very bad' for users of non-free OS's. ie. for Windows users -
should they store their music in MP3, Windows Media Format, or Real
Audio...? or their documents in Word, WordPerfect, WordPro, RTF?

IMHO, there is an important difference - some of these formats are more
tightly controlled than others. Those which are nearest to portable should
be recommended as 'the lesser evil'. 

I suspect the presentation of all this (and the topics covered) depends on
the people you intend to target with this list - GNU/Linux users?
Manufacturers/industry? Or the general computer-using population?


On 12 Jun 2001, David Mentre wrote:

> Ok, so I should detail a little:
>  - one objective to only use two categories is to incitate formats being
>    on the Bad Side(tm) to evolve in order to be on the Good Side(tm).
>    This is exactly what happened for the products on the Greenpeace
>    "with GMO or doubtful" (i.e. black) list. And that is indeed our long
>    term goal: promote a world where at least all exchange formats are
>    open and free.
>  - education purpose: sometimes you need to introduce a simplified
>    concept to get a rough idea before getting to the details.  As far as
>    I have understood, this is the purpose on those lists, i.e. to make a
>    poster.  It does not mean that you should not provide further
>    explanations and details on a web site.
> That's said, I do nothing. So I let people really working on this
> project decide for me. :)
> d.
> -- 

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