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More OpenDocument News
Thursday, October 06 2005 @ 07:35 PM EDT

Marbux has collected some news items about OpenDocument for us, things that are too important to miss, and I didn't want to separate them by putting them one by one in News Picks, so here they are in a collection.

************************************

Marbux's News Picks

  • OpenDocument XML standard submitted.

    OASIS News reports that "OASIS has submitted the OpenDocument Format OASIS Standard to the ISO/IEC JTC1 (International Organization for Standardization International Electrotechnical Commission's Joint Technical Committee) for further approval as a de jure standard."

  • OpenDocument XML adopted in Australia.

    The Australian National Archive has selected OpenDocument XML for long-term storage of government documents. GovTech News also reports that Open Source Victoria has called for all remaining Australian government institutions to follow Massachusetts' lead in adopting OpenDocument XML:
    "Open Source Victoria congratulates the U.S. State of Massachusetts for taking the lead and acting to future-proof its electronic archives. We urge all Australian Governments, federal, state and local to do the same," said OSV spokesperson Donna Benjamin. "Doing so will greatly increase the likelihood that documents can be read and used in decades to come. It also guarantees there will be multiple sources for tools which read and write this format." . . .

    Benjamin explains the difference like this: "It's all about control. With OpenDocument, you are in control of what you do with your documents. With Microsoft Office, Microsoft is in control. Open standards in file formats mean that anyone can access the complete specification and implement software which can read and write OpenDocument files. Microsoft, by comparison, hides information because it wants to make sure people keep using its own office suite, and has embedded legal traps in the licence of its new Word XML format. We recommend that agencies move to OpenDocument, which has already been field-tested by tens of millions of users for five years."

  • Corel commits to WordPerfect support for OpenDocument XML.

    Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports on eWeek that Corel has announced WordPerfect will support OpenDocument XML, although Corel did not commit to a release date. WordPerfect 13 is due for release in early 2006. Corel participated in the development of the OpenDocument XML standard:

    "Suffice to say, Corel remains committed to working alongside OASIS and other technology vendors to ensure the continued evolution of the ODF standard and the adoption of open standards industry-wide," Wood [Greg Wood, communications manager for Corel WordPerfect] added.

    Still, he said, "it is not appropriate at this time for Corel to disclose its plans for OpenDocument in future versions of WordPerfect Office."

    At WordPerfect Universe, there is speculation among its cadre of close Corel watchers that the announcement also means WordPerfect may finally gain its long-promised support for Unicode.

  • Massachusetts ITD de-FUDs Microsoft comments.

    Massachusetts Information Technology Division has posted a FAQ that, without explicitly referring to them, de-FUDs Microsoft's comments on the Massachusetts OpenDocuments XML decision.

  • U.N. Group seeks comments on FOSS/Open Standards Primer.

    Comments have been requested on Free/Open Source Software: Open Standards Primer, a draft document issued by the International Open Source Network, an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Asia Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP) and supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada. [The comment deadline was October 1 (previously was December 5), but it's possible that late submissions would be considered.] The document gives a fair amount of attention to OpenDocument XML and applications implementing it.

    This primer provides a rationale for the use of Open Standards in Government. Also in this primer is an overview of standards setting bodies and FOSS software and tools to create new content as well as migrate to solutions based on Open Standards.

    Many public institutions like government agencies and civil society organizations are obliged by new legislation to place information in the public domain. Unfortunately many of them are using proprietary format which require members of the public to purchase or illegally copy expensive proprietary software. This primer provides a rationale for the use of Open Standards in Government.

    The primer provides existing case studies on the polices and initiatives of goverments implementing open standards policies. It covers issues of patents and licensing issues with open standards implementations.

    You can even download the primer in OpenDocument XML format, among others.

  • With OpenDocument XML quickly gaining traction as a common file format, look for an explosion of web-based apps that can support that format on multiple platforms. Here's an example: Knomos.org , a LAMP web-based law office management solution that spits out data in OpenDocument XML format [English page]. It's optimized for practice in the European Union and Italy specifically, but is available in multiple languages including English.


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