The OpenDocument file format isn’t really something we cover a lot here on the Log or on SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, but from time to time I like to check in on it for no other reason than Simon Phipps from Sun Microsystems said a “Digital Dark Age” would descend upon us all if we didn’t get the world to adopt it. It’s also all about open standards, which for a guy who covers Linux and open source is a Siren’s Song.
It was a cool and completely foreboding premise: in the not so distant future documents of all kinds will be unreadable because the software that created them was proprietary, locked, and access expired with its creator. Basically, anyway; Simon put it much more eloquently than that (he has an accent).
Work has progressed since then thanks to the efforts of the OpenDocument Format Alliance (ODF Alliance, for short), and today a milestone of sorts was reached. The ODF Alliance is an organization of governments, academic institutions, non-government organizations and industry dedicated to educating policy makers, IT administrators and the public on the benefits and opportunities of ODF.
“During September and October, there were more than a dozen announcements of new or improved application support for ODF,” said Marino Marcich, managing director of the ODF Alliance. “These recent announcements are a clear reflection of the strong and growing demand for ODF in the marketplace.”
In total, there are now more than two dozen ODF-supporting text, spreadsheet, and presentation applications announced in the past three months, including some big name ones listed below:
- IBM’s Lotus Symphony includes an ODF-supporting word processor, a spreadsheet, and a presentation tool. (http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/home.jspa)
- Apple’s Text Edit, new release with the Leopard OS, provides reading and writing support for ODF. (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/300.html#textedit)
- Corel WordPerfect Office Beta allows users to open, view, and edit ODF. (Corel web page)
- Adobe’s Buzzword, an online word processor recently acquired from Virtual Ubiquity, will add support for ODF. (http://www.adobe.com/special/buzzword/faq.html)
- Sun ODF Plug-in 1.1 for Microsoft Office adds more languages and improves the import and export of ODF files into Microsoft Office, increasing the interoperability of the plug-in. (http://www.sun.com/software/star/odf_plugin/)
- Mozilla’s Firefox lets you view ODF and other OpenOffice.org formats in your browser. (http://mozillalinks.org/wp/2007/09/openofficeorg-documents-within-firefox/)
- OpenOffice.org version 2.3 is an update of its open source office suite that provides native support for ODF and offers security, performance, and database improvements. (http://development.openoffice.org/releases/2.3.0.html)
The struggle against Microsoft — and, really, that’s what this is — continues…