Some good news for all the OpenSource proponents in South Africa: The South African Government has gone ahead and adopted the OpenDocument Format as the new required standard for all official documents. They’ve even given it a nifty name, namely “Minimum Interoperability Standards for Information Systems in government (MIOS – the acronym was getting a little long so they dropped a couple of words from it).

The government wants all civil servants to be able to work with the OpenDocument Format by March and use at least one of its three approved document formats for all its published documents by the end of 2008. (If you have to know, the three formats of choice are: UTF-8 or ASCII plain text, CSC, or ODF)

Interestingly enough, their definition of ‘open standard’ seems to rule out OOXML at present.

Nevertheless, this certainly does give the OpenSource community in South Africa a little to crow about, so I’m glad they’re happy (This probably includes the ever-OpenSource-punting Merkaba as well).

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