[photopress:electronicfiles.jpg,full,alignright]The Ministry of Information Industry (MII) states the Chinese government is to set up a committee to consider the standardization of electronic files so they can adapt to different software. This is a great and good idea. More time has been spent dealing with incompatible file types than can be measured by science.
In most, although not in all, cases electronic files created by different software are not compatible, cannot speak to each other, cannot easily be adapted. Which hampers communication and sharing of information.
An official with the MII, said, ‘With the fast development of information technologies, electronic file information, including design blueprints, geographical information, electronic documents and archives information, has become increasingly important.’ But for them to be useful they have to speak to each other.
How bad is the problem? The MII suggests that electronic files can come in one of more than 10,000 formats. The situation is so bad (this is not confined to China, this is universal) that sometimes different versions of the same product are incompatible with each other. And, in most cases this means of capturing and holding information flow is monopolized by a very few big companies.
The official with the MII said the research and development of electronic file technologies and standardized systems had made it possible to advance the communication and sharing of electronic file information. This is universally true. Now the problem is to get the very few big companies who wish to keep a stranglehold on information loosen their grip.
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