Old unaccessible documents, rejoice!

The Document Foundation announces the Document Liberation Project

Berlin, April 2, 2014 – The Document Foundation (TDF) announces the birth of the Document Liberation Project (http://www.documentliberation.org), a home for the growing community of developers united to free users from vendor lock-in of contents. Together, these hackers will offer a solution to the routine problem faced by many computer users, who have their personal digital contents stored in an old, outdated and unaccessible file format.

“Frequently, these old files cannot be opened by any application. In fact, the users are locked out of their own content, and the most common reason for this inability to access old data is the use of proprietary file-formats that result in vendor lock-in”, says Fridrich Strba, the Document Liberation Project leader. “Even worse, when a public administration stores documents using a proprietary or a non documented format, it unintentionally restricts access to essential information to citizens, administrations and businesses. Astonishingly enough, even governments might be unable to open their own documents after an upgrade of their operating system and office software”.

The Document Liberation Project was created in the hope that it would empower individuals, organizations, and governments to recover their data from proprietary formats and provide a mechanism to transition that data into open file formats, returning effective control over the content from computer companies to the actual authors.

Since the birth of LibreOffice in 2010, several community members have taken it upon themselves to improve format interoperability with proprietary applications. Encouraged by community interest, even from outside the LibreOffice project, the developers have so far provided read support for proprietary file formats including MS Visio, CorelDraw, MS Publisher, Apple Keynote, and a handful of different old Macintosh formats. In addition to LibreOffice, import libraries for these file formats are used by Abiword, Calligra, CorelDRAW File Viewer, Inkscape and Scribus.

The Document Liberation Project aims to attract developers from all corners of the open source world to join with the LibreOffice developers, strengthening existing relationships and forging new ones with all who have shared goals in the domain of file formats. The object is to contribute to the growing open document eco-system by providing powerful tools for the conversion of proprietary file formats to the corresponding ODF ISO standard document format.

For additional information: http://www.documentliberation.org/contact/.

Support LibreOffice

LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org. Money collected will be used to grow the project both at global and local level.


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