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I continue to feel imposed upon whenever anyone sends me a DOCX/XLSX file, based on the (incorrect as it happens) assumption that I, like them (or their employer), have sold out my personal sovereignty to the Redmond borg. Makes me feel sad the the level of awareness of "fully compromised personal liberty" is so breathtakingly low. In addition to the impending climate catastrophe, there're at least a couple more elephants in this room, people.

The fact that this is also true of people in our local and national government is actually unacceptable given that vendor-neutral formats are easily available. This is the gov't effectively mandating a single vendor's (and an overseas one, who pays way too little tax, to boot!) software to engage with it. Not acceptable, people.

@lightweight Have you seen this from the standards community? I have, and I find it ironic.

@alcinnz I'm not sure who the "standards community" are... here in NZ? People who should know better (like folks in gov't who work with procurement)? I've seen most send out fauxpen-standard (OOXML) docs, mostly without ever even considering/being conscious of what they're doing. My goal is to help them feel uneasy about it :)

@lightweight I've seen it in Australia.

I guess my issue with this is figuring out what's the most appropriate time without appearing difficult.

@alcinnz yes, I exercise restraint sometimes, but it's usually with people I don't feel are savvy enough to understand my invective... and that's damning enough in itself.

@lightweight I don't think it'd work for either of you given your professions but I do my part by feigning naivety of a sorts, and putting on my best "old lady paying for groceries with 1000 coupons and a personal cheque" and asking why they're sending me something that needs me to buy this software if i buy it can i send them the invoice how soon will they reimburse me can they send me it in this free format or maybe as a txt? This only works with faceless bureaucracies, not friends @alcinnz

@lightweight (telling people "okay, i'll do what you asked, where do i forward the invoice?" is a little lifehack to get them to change what they want you to do.) @alcinnz

@emsenn @alcinnz nice one - will keep that up my sleeve - the complicating factor here is that it's not a question of expense... it's the principle of the thing (and the fact that I run Linux, for which Microsoft, despite their oft professed "love" has not yet made MSFT Office available... so it's not available at any cost - I hope it goes without saying I'd never run Windows ;) )

@lightweight Sometimes, the only thing you can do is get someone to feel pressure to change their mind, not pressure to consider their opinion, if that makes sense. A lot of people don't care about principles, and so you'd have to like, deconstruct and break down a lot of their beliefs to figure out why, and then rebuild them to "and that's why an open-source thing instead!"

Sometimes you can just whine and say "do it my way," and know your way is better. @alcinnz

@lightweight Now of course, if you think someone would reconsider their opinion, and you've got the energy to give it a shot, then please, do! I try to when I have the energy; it's an important part of what is, frankly, a culture war that needs to be fought on every front we can figure out. @alcinnz

@emsenn @alcinnz heh. Yes, sometimes, when you know it's a lost cause, it's hard not to just make the person feel bad... but I try hard to avoid that. Which is why I sometime rail in hypotheticals (without names) on Mastodon... :)

@lightweight I guess what I'm saying is, sometimes, you shouldn't avoid it, and it's the right thing to do - it might be the /only/ thing you can do, short of ignoring the problem with them completely, and - I don't know you so this isn't a judgement of you but - that's always felt even more disrespectful than intentionally stirring a negative emotion in someone. @alcinnz

@emsenn @lightweight After all the fundamental is that they get pressured by others to use Microsoft Office, etc. So we're totally in the right to pressure them otherwise.

@lightweight I work in government and manage to get by with libreoffice, but it is actually crazy to me that we license Office for 5-8 thousand employees.

What's almost comical is that every time someone sends me something in Word or PowerPoint format it'll end up being incomprehensible and I have to spend time communicating with them to even figure out what they actually want.

I think we'd be better off discouraging the use of these tools internally. Even if it were open formats.

@rune I tend to agree. Those tools give power without the knowledge or maturity to understand how to use it. We (in the web dev world) refer to the results as "angry fruit salad". Given that no one really knows what "semantic" means any more, and MSO's interface is a chaotic hodgepodge of semantic and ad hoc tools, it's no wonder PDFs are seen as anti-accessibility (they were all created in MSO by people who had no idea what a valid document even is).

@rune this depicts the state of the NZ gov't's relationship (and, by extension, most other NZ organisations/bizzes who need to comply/interact with gov't) with the Microsoft Corporation: davelane.nz/mshostage tl;dr NZ and its people are quite unaware that they are effective hostages of MSFT.

@lightweight that's just the beginning. All our mailboxes are in 365, we use Azure, their OMS logging platform, "advanced threat protection".

It would take years maybe decades to get out if Microsoft decided to screw us over.

@rune Yup. NZ (and most other countries) could be shut down more or less indefinitely through either one of: MSFT "teaching us a lesson" if we challenge them (see South Korea), their monoculture being pwned by a third party (e.g. US "intelligence" or a bot net herder), or subtle incompetence (most likely scenario) like a slow-burn update screwup that corrupts system data or similar.

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