April-June 2007 ODF News Items

These news items are copied from the OpenDocument Fellowship’s website.

June 2007

12 June 2007
New York state to debate open document format legislation, Eric Lai, Computerworld UK
“Move would force state to examine the options. A New York politician has launched a bill that would order the US state to examine a switch to open document formats for official business.”

11 June 2007
Achieving Openness: a closer look at ODF & OOXML. Sam Hiser.
A comparison of two of the XML-based formats, OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Office Open XML (MOOX), across widely accepted definitions of openness has revealed substantial differences.

10 June 2007
Legislators Wimp Out on Open Document Format Bills, Andy Updegrove, Consortium Standards Blog
“Does it matter if those in elected office claim that they are not competent to address the bills that are brought before them by their fellow representatives, and to make the hard calls? The answer is yes for three reasons.”

08 June 2007
Do we need two ISO standards for document format? – Part 4, Open Malaysia.
While the OpenDocument Format is sufficiently open across all four key criteria, OOXML shows relative weakness in each criteria and offers fundamental flaws that undermine its candidacy as a global standard.

07 June 2007
New York becomes latest state to ponder ODF, Elizabeth Montalbano, InfoWorld.
New York State Bill A08961 encourages use of open standards for government documents.

Opendocument – epetition reply, UK Prime Minister’s Office
“The UK Government champions open standards and interoperability through its e Government Interoperability Framework (eGIF). Where possible the Government only uses products for interoperability that support open standards and specifications in all future IT developments…”

06 June 2007
ODF and Web 2.0, Bernard Golden, CIO
“ODF represents the next battleground in corporate computing… it’s obvious that a significant part of the potential customer base is refusing to be locked in at the product level… the application is only relevant as a way to create, store, and manipulate data. And that data is, increasingly, becoming something well beyond a self-contained document…”

05 June 2007
Chinese Tech Stock Weekly Summary
Sun Microsystems, the OpenOffice.org community and Redflag announced an agreement to collaborate on integrating new features in the Chinese localization of OpenOffice.org, a key implementation of OpenDocument Format, the ISO 26300 open standard file format for office application is completely vendor neutral.

Documents for the Long Term, Rob Weir
“The suitability of a format for long term archiving depends as much on the formal structure of the technological dependencies as it does on specific details of the technologies involved. The greatest technologies in the world, if assembled in an unstable dependency arrangement, will lead to an unstable system.”

Comparing OpenDocument (ODF) with MS-XML (OOXML/EOOXML) – and why Multiple Competing Standards are a Bad Idea, David Wheeler
“Microsoft continues to give its bizarre argument that multiple competing (conflicting) standards for the same purpose is a good thing. They are dreadfully confused. Having multiple competing products is a good thing, but having multiple competing standards is terrible.”

04 June 2007
Microsoft Lobbies Legislatures to Kill ODF Bills: Time to Tackle The Issue Elsewhere, Ken Hardin, IT Business Edge
“Microsoft will take a well-deserved beating this week in the wake of a ComputerWorld article about how its lobbying efforts derailed states’ legislative efforts to mandate the use of open document standards.”

In Other Words, Open Formats Surging Ahead, Jonathan Eunice, Illuminata Perspectives
“…these legislative and lobbying skirmishes are happening precisely because the concept of open document formats is now seen as important and achievable… The march of openness and open standards is progressing rapidly.”

03 June 2007
Microsoft trounces pro-ODF forces in state battles over open document formats, Eric Lai and Gregg Keizer, Computerworld
“Bills fail in five states; Minnesota approves watered-down study legislation. In a resounding victory for Microsoft Corp., bills seeking to mandate the use of open document formats by government agencies have been defeated in five states, and only a much-watered-down version of such legislation was signed into law in a sixth state.”

02 June 2007
Governing coalition to push for the adoption of open IT standards, Robert W. Smith, Heise Online
“Dr. Uwe Küster, the party whip of the parliamentary group of the Social Democrats (SPD) in the Bundestag, the lower chamber of Germany’s federal parliament, said that the governing coalition would within the next two weeks submit a motion that would make open formats mandatory for the information technology of the federal authorities of the Federal Republic… The focus would be on office software… the Open Document Format (ODF)…”

01 June 2007
StarOffice flies with Singapore Airlines, Aaron Tan, ZDNet Asia.
Travelers without laptop PCs, or who don’t wish to fire up their computers, can still work on their documents while onboard selected Singapore Airlines (SIA) flights, accessing OpenDocument files and other formats on their own USB storage devices and even export documents in PDF format.

May 2007

21 May 2007
UOF-OOXML Translator Project with China, Andy Updegrove, Standards Blog
The news of the day should put any doubt to rest about what a well-known vendor, being the major opponent of ODF and open standards, plans for ODF. It appears the vendor will do everything that it can, and wherever it must, to ensure that ODF makes the minimum inroads possible into its vastly profitable Office franchise. Text of the vendor’s press release announcing the arrangements.

18 May 2007
Message to Denmark: Dual Format Standards Are Bad, Simon Phipps
One single, baseline standard for document files is clearly preferable. However, when it comes to OOXML, because of its complexity and the way it unfairly advantages a single vendor’s products, OOXML is clearly a very poor choice for a national standard. Therefore it is essential to advocate having a single standard and for that standard to be OpenDocument (ODF).

17 May 2007
They must love ODF, and that’s fine, but this is not about ODF, Bob Sutor
Commentary on 16 May press release titled “Microsoft Votes for Choice”.

Nice Standard You’ve Got There (Hate to see you use it…), Andy Updegrove, Standards Blog
Commentary on 16 May press release titled “Microsoft Votes for Choice”.

16 May 2007
Microsoft Votes for Choice, Press Release
The major opponent of ODF today announced that it has voted to back the addition of OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.0 to the nonexclusive American National Standards list.

15 May 2007
ODF vs. OpenXML, Ephraim Schwartz, InfoWorld
“Convincing customers they have the better technology is the weapon of choice when it comes to winning business battles in high tech… At the highest level, ODF (Open Document Format) vs. OpenXML is a battle between two business competitors…”

14 May 2007
Presentations from ODF Workshop at the 2007 OASIS Symposium
PDF (2.2MB) containing presentations by Michael Brauer (2), Peter Brunet, Rob Weir (2), and Alan Clark.

13 May 2007
Norwegian Standards Council Recommends Mandatory use of ODF and PDF, Consortium Standards Blog
“According to a press release provided in translation to me by an authoritative source, Norway now joins Belgium, Finland, and France (among other nations) in moving towards a final decision to require such use.”

11 May 2007
Norwegian Minister of Government Administration and Reform requires use of Open Formats

02 May 2007
ODF/OOXML technical white paper, Edward Macnaghten, Free Software Magazine
A white paper based on a technical comparison between the ODF and OOXML formats. Includes link to a place to download the actual document (titled “Technical Distinctions of ODF and OOXML”) in ODT and PDF.

April 2007

30 Apr 2007
OpenDocument’s 2nd Anniversary, Michael Brauer, GullFOSS
On 1 May 2005 OpenDocument v1.0 was approved as an OASIS Standard. This article summarizes what has happened in the past two years.

28 April 2007
KOffice Developers Meet with KDE Core People for ODF Infrastructure, Inge Wallin, KDE.news
During the last year the KOffice developers have been working on the next generation of KOffice and will meet in Berlin during the weekend of May 12th-13th to do as much OpenDocument Format-centered development as possible.

17 Apr 2007
Sun’s McNealy Calls for Merger of OASIS/ISO’s ODF and China’s UOF, Andy Updegrove, Consortium Standards Blog

12 Apr 2007
OpenDocument Makes Formatting Compliance Simpler, Angela Natividad, CMS Wire
“…the OpenDocument Fellowship (ODF) brings us the ODF Validator, a simple tool you can use to verify whether your document complies with its formatting standards.”

11 Apr 2007
AB-1668 Is Good For California, Walt Hucks
Analysis and discussion. “…a file format… should be an abstracted representation of data and functionality that can remain relatively stable for several versions of the applications that created the file… ODF is similarly designed to enable users to access their data with any vendor’s office software.”

Learning more about ODF, Bob Sutor
“In the last two years, there has been a wealth of material on the web about the OpenDocument Format… Here are some great resources to learn more about ODF…”

10 Apr 2007
The Case for a Single Document Format: Part III, Rob Weir
“…we’ll look at the document formats in particular, how we got to the present point, and how and why historically there has always been but a single document format.”

From the ODF World: Peepel, Daniel Carrera
“Peepel is a web-based office suite, so it competes with Google Docs and similar services… Unlike Google, Peepel gives you a ‘virtual desktop’ where you can have several documents open in a single browser window…”

09 Apr 2007
California’s Open-Document Bill: AB 1668, O(blog N)
“This bill is common sense. This will be in the best interest of any organization, any industry, and technology in general… Allow me a moment to explain why…”

08 Apr 2007
Standards divide European archives, Kevin J. O’Brien, International Herald Tribune.
“We are [currently] essentially locked into products from one vendor. If they decide to change things, we are helpless.”

06 Apr 2007
Microsoft asking people to write letters opposing California A.B. 1668 – Open Document Format, comment posted to Groklaw
“I have an email apparently originating from Microsoft asking people to support their opposition to California A.B. 1668… by writing to the California Assemblymen involved…”

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