Archive for March, 2009

Happy Document Freedom Day

Document Freedom Day (DFD) is a global grassroots effort  to promote and build awareness of the importance of free document formats in particular and open standards in general.  If you have ever received a document from a friend that your software could not open, then you know the frustration of proprietary formats.  Document Freedom Day promotes open formats so that users can freely exchange their data no matter what software program they choose to use. Complete interoperability is the ultimate goal of those who support open standards.

And it’s not just a matter of convenience. Public documents stored on closed, proprietary formats require citizens to pay twice to access information that already belongs to them, once for the document creation, and again to access them.  There is also the danger of losing the information stored in those formats should the vendors go out of business, or decide that they no longer want to maintain that technology. Proponents of open document formats believe all public information should be stored using open standards accessible to all.

Melanie Chernoff, Red Hat’s Public Policy Manager explains that “Red Hat is committed to open source, open standards and open content. Document Freedom Day is an opportunity to single out  one of these important areas, open standards. DFD promotes open standards in the document space, which is where the average user really feels the impact of proprietary formats.

“We view Document Freedom Day as a great vehicle for highlighting the importance of standards to interoperability and user choice, which reflect Red Hat’s core values. “

Document Freedom Day is supported by a large group of organizations and individuals, including, but not limited to ANSOL, Ars Aperta, BrOffice.org, COSS, Esoma, Estándares Abiertos, FFII, Free Knowledge Foundation, Free Software Foundation, Free Software Foundation Europe, Free Software Foundation Latin America, Funambol, Google, IBM, NLnet, ODF Alliance, Open Forum Europe, Open Source Initiative (OSI), Opentia, OSL, iMatix, Red Hat, Sun, The Open Learning Centre.

The list of DFD Teams is available at: http://documentfreedom.org/Category:Teams


Video: The seeds of open source

Download this video: [Ogg Theora]
Video by Islam Elsedoudi, Kim Jokisch, and Tim Kiernan.

Sometimes open source ideals make for the strangest–and most wonderful–bedfellows. We met Dr. Vandana Shiva–physicist, scientist, environmentalist, and activist–several years ago. Her work saving seeds and protecting traditional knowledge in the farming industry parallels the openness, transparency, collaboration and freedom of open source ideology. Her simple, clear explanation of why knowledge should be shared–and the devastating results should it be hoarded–is part of the essential truth that makes the work we do so incredibly important. But don’t take our word for it.

Get more information about Dr. Shiva’s work.


Risk report: Four years of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® 4 was released on February 15th, 2005. This report takes a look at the state of security for the first four years from release. We look at key metrics, specific vulnerabilities, and the most common ways users were affected by security issues. We will show some best practices that could have been used to minimise the impact of the issues, and also take a look at how the included security innovations helped.

This report is an update to the three-year risk report published in Red Hat Magazine in February 2007.

» Read more