Explaining Open Standards email attachements

Fabian Keil freebsd-listen at fabiankeil.de
Tue Mar 30 17:59:00 UTC 2010

Hugo Roy <hugo at fsfe.org> wrote:

> I would like to publish that for Document Freedom day and I would like 
> your feedback before as well as your propositions to make it a better 
> text.

> When you attach a file to an email, please make sure that your 
> correspondent will be able to read your files correctly. It is a basic 
> principle of courtesy. There is an easy way to make sure it is possible: 
> use open standards. If you do so, your correspondent will have the 
> possibility to choose which program he or she wants.

For many formats my choice is not to install anything
and that choice is file format independent.

For example I'm currently not aware of a proper ODF reader I'd
want to install on systems I care about, in fact I'm not even aware
of something similar to antiword, which mostly works to get the
information I care about out of doc files, has a reasonable list
of dependencies, doesn't take ages to compile and is easy enough
to audit and use.

> Organisations and Software supporting Open Standards
>     * OpenOffice.org
>     * VideoLan, the project making VLC

Given that the page is about email attachments I don't
think VLC should be mentioned here.

>    3. ^ Microsoft Office by default save your files in the ".doc" format 

                ... Word     ...      saves ...

> or the ".docx" format. If you share these documents with people using 
> different word processors, it will not be working properly. Good 
> alternatives for Microsoft Word are documents in .RTF or in .ODT (use 
> the "Save As" feature)

Most of the time an even better option is to simply copy and paste
the frickin' content into the email directly, as the recipient is
unlikely to care about the fancy layout anyway, and if she does,
she can always request the source file. It also saves bandwidth
and makes discussing the content easier.

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