Enterprise Linux Log

Mar 27 2007   9:41AM GMT

OpenDocument Format Alliance celebrates one year anniversary



Posted by: ITKE
Tags:
Legal, licensing issues
Uncategorized

I used to cover the OpenDocument Format in spades over at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, but things have been a bit quiet on that front for a while, at least from our site’s coverage of it anyway. But the slow boil that is ODF (an open standards-based file format meant to compete directly with proprietary formats like Microsoft Word) has persisted over the past year.

It all began, as far as our site’s media coverage was concerned, with a clash of the titans in the Massachusetts over the fate of ODF in that state. Blogger and IP attorney Andy Updegrove gave us a lifeline into the inner workings of the debate via his blog at ConsortiumInfo.org while execs like Sun Microsystems’ Simon Phipps told us of a looming Digital Dark Age that would descend on users if ODF was not adopted en masse.

One of the organizations formed to help ODF along was the ODF Alliance, which celebrated its one year anniversary this month. I covered their progress back in April 2006, when membership was swelling thanks to the weight given to it by founding members IBM, Sun Microsystems Inc. and Oracle Corp.

Today, they sent me a brief release with some of their progress over the past year.

  • More than 50 federal, state, and local bodies across the globe are using office applications that support ODF, including the India Election Commission, Finland’s Ministry of Justice, and the City of Vienna
  • 7 national governments have recommended ODF or open standards for document formats in legislation, policy statements or interoperability frameworks including Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, and Norway
  • Studies from six governments on moving to open standard supported applications for document formats have shown savings of 60-90 percent over 5 years
  • Ensuring that the needs of persons with disabilities are addressed, OpenDocument v1.1, which incorporates accessibility-related enhancements, was approved unanimously by OASIS in January 2007.

That last point was especially important to the state government workers of Massachusetts, who had been worried that a migration off of Office to ODF would have meant headaches or worse (an inability to do their jobs).

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