The first Document Freedom Day in Slovenia has passed and it went pretty good.
I know that for the biggest impact I should have reported about it the very same day or at least the next one, but a) I was too tired b) I had to much other important tasks to do and c) I wanted to gather everything so I can submit a nicely rounded off report. Warning: longer post ahead.
The impatient of the more audiovisual persuasion can check out the photos of the DFD cake transfer at the Supreme Court here, the evening event's pictures on Kiberpipa's Flickr account and the lectures and the Q&A; session on their video archive. Others read on.
Quarter to eleven a group of us (Katja Guček, Rok Papež, Igor Kolar and me) met in front of the Court palace in Ljubljana. Despite heavy rain and some shenanigans including our cake, the court's security x-ray scanner and several people giggling, the cake reached its destination safe and sound. There we met the representatives of the Supreme Court – Alenka Jelenc Puklavec, (temporary) president of the Supreme Court; Janko Marinko, secretary of the Supreme Court; Gregor Strojin, head of the PR office; Bojan Muršec, director of the Centre for Informatics and head of the open source and open standards projects.
What followed was a full hour of chatting while eating (our) cake and supping (their) coffee not only about the importance of open standards, but – what we honestly did not expect – a deeper insight into how important these are to the courts, their painful experience with closed formats that stopped being supported, how hard they fought to be able to use open formats and open source solutions. What was really touching was how much dedication these people (as well as the Supreme Court's former president Franc Testen and others) have put into this. It showed that the biggest hurdle for the migration to open standards along with some open source solutions was neither finiancial nor technical nor practical, but solely pressure from the politics and the business side.
The courts were also the first in the country to produce a study on how much a migration to open source alternative (mainly OO.o at the time) would cost. It showed – oposed to the later governmental study – that the open source solution would in the longer run cost less, be a lot more reliable and tweakable. In the means of openness as well as in using standards, code and access to and from the people, it surprised us that our courts are at the very top of the EU – on par with the Finnish!
This all shows that our courts trully "get it" – we can only wish the government, parliament and others follow suit!
This is one cake and coffee I think neither party will easily forget. We were reassured of our choice and they were happy that a civil initiative is starting to form to be vocal about the importance of document freedom and free software.
Of course pictures were made and are available here.
The evening event¶
The event was quite a success as well.
We met in Cyberpipe/Kiberpipa at six in the evening and there was about 25-30 people present all the time. Because the people at Kiberpipa were so kind to record the whole event, I can provide you with the video and audio. The whole event was quite informal and people were mingling and talking while munching snacks between presentations.
After the greeting, I made a short introduction into open standards and open formats [video&audio]. I took the oportunity to promote the FSFE and our Fellowship group a bit as well.
After that Gregor Strojin explained a bit about the Supreme Court's need of open standards and Bojan Muršec held a presentation of the courts' centre of informatics and on how the courts migrated to ODF and OO.o during the years 2003-2006 [video&audio].
The last presentation was held by our Fellowship's own Andrej Čremožnik, who presented several open formats for multimedia and compared them to their proprietary counterparts both technically and otherwise [video&audio].
We concluded the formal part with a round table, giving the microphones also to the public. This resulted in a nice Q&A session [video&audio].
Of course, there are pictures from the evening event available as well.
We could have made even better use of the oportunity, but all in all it was more then good for our first event. A list of internet articles (we found about 20) who mentioned the event is available on the FSFE Wiki. Apart from that the DFD was mentioned in the IT section of Delo (one of the two biggest newspapers in Slovenia) and mentioned on at least two radios. I gave an oral statement for STA, a short live interview for Radio Slovenia International and in the evening Radio Val 202 (both very popular national stations) came to check out the event and interview all of the lecturers. A list of links can be accessed on the Fellowship Wiki.
Althought it was quite a handful, it went good. I hope the rest of the DFD teams had and equally successful day.
hook out → was a good day :]
P.S. As a cherry on top, we were later told that the rest of the cake went to the IT department – to the people who did the hands-on technical work of migration and everything – where everyone got a piece and they made a small party out of the occasion as well. So the cake was shared equally between the policy makers and the techincal staff. Despite the rain, it could not be a better day for document freedom in Slovenia.