Open Formats. To see things clearly
To communicate without restrictions
Interoperability is a complicated term, though it refers to a simple and common-sense idea. Everyone must be able to choose the software product that is most appropriate for them to exchange information, and modify it as the need arises. Proprietary IT reveals its “depriving” aspect when it willingly uses file formats that are incompatible with other solutions. This strategy, familiar for office software, makes it possible to subjugate users. Demanding interoperability is freeing oneself in order to communicate freely.
Openness to foster accessibility
Just as the source code of a Free Software program, which is available, gains from being disseminated, so does the structure of a file format or communication protocol. This enables anyone to integrate these files or communication tools into their own IT solutions, and modify them to suit their needs. Open formats are especially useful in the field of accessibility. They make adapting IT solutions to the needs of users with disabilities easier. With Free Software, IT adapts to human beings, and not the other way around.
IT is everywhere, and now serves as a repository for a large part of our cultural and family heritage. But IT is evolving fast. Will we still be able to access our photos, videos, and other data, in a few years' time and even beyond? If a file format is closed, it is very complicated to access its contents without seeking help from the publisher, if the latter is still around. Choosing open and interoperable formats today makes our exchanges more fluid, and also ensures continued access to our data in the future.