BBC article with Excel attachment

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Should BBC link data in proprietary formats to their articles?

Yes - why should they act as the freedom police?
3
21%
No - they have an obligation to facilitate information flow without bias.
9
64%
Don't Care - Clickity-clickity, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!
2
14%
 
Total votes : 14

BBC article with Excel attachment

Postby Oyster » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:19 am

Question : Should BBC link data in proprietary formats to their articles?

e.g. the Excel attachment here...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8562801.stm

I have read in LXF about their excellent contribution to the Dirac codec. Should they go a step further and declare a policy of only dealing with open standards and formats for information?
What do you think?
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Postby Rhakios » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:53 pm

It's Nielsen's data, what are the BBC supposed to do, ignore it, refuse to link to it, or convert it to a free format that will actually just confuse the majority of the BBC's users?
It is not the job of the BBC to promote Free Software any more than it's their job to promote Apple or Microsoft products (something which I wish they'd stop doing).

Edit: Parenthetically, apart from one bit you need to look quite hard for, I'm surprised to see that porn hardly exists on the internet. :roll:
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Postby droseraholic » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:19 am

The XLS file opens fine in OpenOffice Calc anyway (and, like it or not, XLS is a much commoner format than the native OpenOffice ODS Spreadsheet format - as long as versions of proprietary formats used aren't the newest ones [e.g. XLSX - although I believe newer versions of OpenOffice can use these?] and can be opened by the likes of OpenOffice, there shouldn't be too much of a problem - if ODS for example were used, many people using older versions of MS Excel couldn't open the file).

It's a difficult balance to strike, but my general feeling is that using DOC or XLS files as attachments are ok as long as they will work in at least OpenOffice as well. Ideally, for information produced by government, BBC or other similar publically-funded organizations, they should test the files in various versions of MS Office and OpenOffice to ensure they are usable by as many people as possible.
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Postby towy71 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:05 pm

The thing that slays me is that the Open University demands that work is submitted in Microparp Orifice format :x :x
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Postby Rhakios » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:40 pm

towy71 wrote:The thing that slays me is that the Open University demands that work is submitted in Microparp Orifice format :x :x


Then, you'll like this story and this one. :lol:
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Postby nordle » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:26 am

I think the BBC should use its public funding to make content available in the format that meets the requirement of most of its consumers.

If the beebs audience where some sort of 60/40 split, then it would make sense to go with an open format.

But given that Linux accounts for 1% of users (something like that), it would seem a waste of money to re-train its users + provide new software to produce content in another format.

Equally if an Excel spreadsheet is produced using Gnumeric, thats great. But don't produce a .gnumeric file if only 1% of users have software already installed that will view it.

Having said that, it is license payers money that has essentially paid for that content, and it should be available for future users. Using an open format might best secure the future of the content.

mmm. I've just confused myself. Maybe the EU should step in and demand that ALL operating systems / Office software sold in the EU should have support for one particular open format included. Then there would not be an issue. Wouldn't matter how it was produced, and wouldn't matter on what platform it is viewed, nor would it matter how old content would be affected by changes in one companies policy.
That would actually be of use rather than this "pick a browser" thing the EU forced through, which cost millions to get done and will achieve....not much.
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Postby jjmac » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:22 am

Howdy,


nordle wrote:

>>
I think the BBC should use its public funding to make content available in the format that meets the requirement of most of its consumers.

If the beebs audience where some sort of 60/40 split, then it would make sense to go with an open format.

But given that Linux accounts for 1% of users (something like that), it would seem a waste of money to re-train its users + provide new software to produce content in another format.
>>


Oh dear (grin).
.
.
.

"It would seem"

It isn't the role of government to indulge in what passes for 'business' either. It is to try and ensure all the peoples are playing fairly. Not ripping each other off or telling marketplace whoopers. We can't really rely on the old myth that their snouts will end up growing so long ... etc ...

Especially in the case of the media. If it wasn't for the ABC over here in .au, we wouldn't have _any_ media input that could be relied upon to be without some proprietary agenda attached to it.

And as the popular formats are more a result of manipulations rather than choice ... then yes ... they should try to correct that, or rather, even it out. Democracy is not about a case of 'majority rules', it is about 'proportional representation'. To ignore the 'open' formats in preference for a proprietary one is a failure on their part to appreciate their role in the wider scheme of things.

I'd chop most of their heads off if i had my way. Just to teach them how to be nicer, and all that.

viva open formats ...
revolt against the oppressors ...


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Postby sentient_one » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:54 am

.xls pretty much defacto standard
But, on the whole, should move towards non-proprietary filetypes
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