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ODF Alliance Newsletter: Latvia and UK Join the ODF Bandwagon

Posted in Europe, OpenDocument, Standard at 5:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Courtesy of Marino Marcich, ODF Alliance

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The United Kingdom has joined the growing ranks of governments that have now endorsed the use of ODF. Under the “Open Source, Open Standards and Re–Use: Government Action Plan” the UK government will specify requirements by reference to open standards and require compliance with open standards in solutions where feasible. The government indicated it will support the use of ODF. It will also work to ensure that government information is available in open formats, and it will make this a required standard for government websites.



Do you want to have input on the next major version of ODF? The OASIS ODF Technical Committee invites you to help define the feature set of the next major revision of ODF following version 1.2, provisionally named “ODF-Next.” The ODF TC has created the ODF Requirements Subcommittee, chaired by Bob Jolliffe, to gather, categorize and prioritize proposals for ODF-Next, and to report back to the ODF TC with recommendations. The target date for this report is 1 May 2009. The work on ODF-Next will take place concurrently with the finalization of ODF 1.2 (see below).



The OASIS ODF Technical Committee has recently finalized the approval of technical proposals which will be included in ODF 1.2, the most significant revision to the ODF specification since its approval as an OASIS standard in May 2005. Once these proposals are integrated into the ODF 1.2 draft and remaining editorial tasks are completed, the draft specification will be sent on for Public Review (hopefully before the end of April) and then finally onto a ballot for approval as an OASIS Standard. ODF 1.2 includes support for extensible metadata, spreadsheet formula, and digital signatures, among other enhancements.



The NLnet Foundation (in Dutch: Stichting NLnet), a philanthropic organization, is seeking ODF projects in need of funding. The program is a joint initiative of the Dutch government, led by the minister for Foreign Trade Heemskerk and the State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations Anna Bijleveld-Schouten. The deadline for submitting proposals is 1 April 2009. The “Netherlands in Open Connection” action plan called on the Dutch central administrations to be able to accept and use ODF files as of April 2008 and all other government bodies in the Netherlands by January 2009.



Latvia’s standards body, Latvian Standard (LVS), has officially approved ODF as a national standard. Latvia now joins Sweden, Brazil, Croatia, Italy, South Korea, and South Africa as countries whose national standards bodies have formally approved ODF. Taiwan’s approval of ODF by its Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI) was announced 21 January 2009.


DataNucleus Access Platform 1.1.0, which provides access to a range of datastores for Java applications, supports persistence/querying of OpenDocument spreadsheets.

ShowDocument is a free service for online meetings with fully synchronized co-browsing of any document in ODF or other file formats.

Gnumeric 1.9.4, the latest version of the Gnome office spreadsheet, is now out.

SpreadsheetExport is a PHP library for exporting spreadsheet data into different formats. Currently CSV and ODS (OpenDocument) are supported.

Sun ODF Plug-In 3.0 for Microsoft Office is now available, giving users of Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint the ability to read, edit and save to ODF.

Officeshots.org, a collaborative initiative of the Dutch government program “Netherlands in Open Connection” (NOiV) and the OpenDoc Society, is a free, web-based online tool allowing users to compare the output quality of a large number of office suites and web-based productivity applications.

Universal Extractor allows you to extract files, including ODF, from any type of archive.


Please welcome the following new members: Naber Web Solutions (Germany); Forex Direkt (Germany); Control Engineering Sweden AB; WWR systems (The Netherlands); and Dr. Hellmuth Broda Consulting (Switzerland).


Netherlands Open in Connection (NOiV) Congress [5 March 2009 – Utrecht, The Netherlands]

GoOpen 2009 [16-17 April 2009 – Oslo Norway]

Archaeo FOSS 2009 [27-28 April – Rome, Italy]

eLiberatica 2009 [23 May 2009 – Bucharest, Romania]

Berlin Open 2009 [22-23 June 2009 – Berlin, Germany]

Gran Canaria Desktop Summit [3-11 July 2009 – Canary Islands, Spain]


Thumbs up for open source as UK backs ODF [John E. Dunn|TechWorld]

Britain Endorses ODF; Why Not The U.S.? [Charles Babcock|InformationWeek]

Government expands support for ODF and open source software [Antony Savvas|ComputerWeekly.com]

UK Government Endorses Open Source and ODF [Simon Phipps|Sun Mink]

Venice region settles on open source and open standards [Gijs Hillenius|OSOR.eu]

Looking for Good Ideas for ODF-Next [Rob Weir|An Antic Disposition]

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