The Document Foundation, the organisation supporting the development of LibreOffice, is calling for supporters to promote the use of Open Document Format (ODF). Standardisation organisation OASIS would welcome and assist renewed marketing efforts, as would the Open Source Initiative, says OSI director Italo Vignoli.
Vignoli, who is involved in marketing LibreOffice, hopes to build a group of ODF advocates to educate the general public and raise public sector awareness of the importance of the open ICT standard.
ODF (ISO 26300), a format specification for office applications such as spreadsheets, presentations and text documents, is supported by many commonly used office productivity tools. The standard is recognised by most European governments, including France and the United Kingdom, as well as by the European institutions.
However, most public sector organisations continue to rely on a mix of document formats that are either proprietary or not fully supported. This causes document interoperability problems and increases complexity. It is also a barrier to public administrations that want to use open source office solutions.
Interoperable and valid
The Dutch government is one of the EU Member States that contribute to ODF development. It has co-funded automated interoperability tests to check the portability of office documents across applications and operating systems.
The Netherlands is also supporting the ODF Plugfest, a series of hackathons where software developers improve ODF interoperability. Most of the results of these hackathons and other ODF-related development are documented on the OpenDocument Format Community Wiki.
In addition, ODF interoperability has been improved in France by cities and ministries, as well as by public services in Germany and Switzerland.
Another test method to check the validity of document formats was announced two weeks ago at the LibreOffice conference in Tirana (Albania).
2009/05/03: Microsoft Office 2007 SP2 claims support for ODF 1.1. With hard work and careful thinking, they have successfully achieved technical compliance but zero interoperability! MSO 2007sp2 won't read ODF 1.1 from any other existing application, and its ODF is only readable by..
Archivists trying to preserve material stored in obsolete formats face a mighty challenge in retrieving decades of work by the Australian writer and feminist
Yesterday, on Document Freedom Day, I posted the following on LinkedIn:
What role, if any, did science minister David Willetts take in helping Microsoft try to overturn government IT policy?
In the years since the birth of the LibreOffice project in 2010, several of our community members have taken it upon themselves to improve format interoperability with proprietary applications. Emboldened by the new freedom provided by forking, LibreOffice developers joined forces with a group of engineers who specialized in understanding the structures and contents of closed, proprietary file formats. The first fruit of this collaboration was libvisio, a library to parse files written in the binary Visio file format, developed as a Google Summer of Code 2011 project.
To celebrate Document Freedom Day, I have written a short white paper about interoperability. It starts with a short synopsis of the evolution of document exchanges since the days of the printed fi