stdlib: FSFLA's Workgroup for Free Open Standards

FSFLA has launched a workgroup to promote the adoption of Free Open Standards, including in international and Latin-American national standardization bodies, and the rejection of non-standard file formats and of proposals of standards that do not qualify as Free Open Standards.

We use Free Open Standards not in opposition to the wide adoption of the term Open Standards, but rather as a means to clarify that we refer to the forming consensus on the meaning of Open Standards: standards that promote interoperability and prevent vendor lock-in.

The initial focus of our workgroup is on promoting the adoption of the Open Document Format (ODF), ISO/IEC 26300:2006, including in national standardization bodies and through the Document Freedom Day, and on avoiding the adoption and ratification of other competing proposals, such as Microsoft's Office OpenXML (OOXML), ECMA-376, ISO/IEC DIS 29500.

As of Sept 2, the world has managed to avoid OOXML's immediate approval in ISO's Fast Track procedure, but there is still a risk of approval after February's Ballot Resolution Meeting, in votes to be cast up to March 29, 2008.

Please help us collect information in our Wiki about procedures in national standardization bodies in Latin America, spread the information and get as many people and organizations to join the process such that Free Open Standards prevail. Although ODF is already approved and the decision on OOXML is very close, there are other standards in discussion, such as the already-approved Portable Document Format (PDF) and the alternative XPS proposed and promoted by Microsoft.


FSFLA joined in 2005 the FSF network, previously formed by Free Software Foundations in the United States, in Europe and in India. These sister organizations work in their corresponding geographies towards promoting the same Free Software ideals and defending the same freedoms for software users and developers, working locally but cooperating globally. For more information about FSFLA and to contribute to our work, visit our web site at or write to

Copyright 2007, 2008 FSFLA

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Last update: 2008-05-05 (Rev 3440)

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