09.30.08

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Report on ODF Adoption, OpenOffice.org Reaches RC3

Posted in Free/Libre Software, IBM, Microsoft, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 6:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ODF workshop, which was alluded to just moments ago, is said to have gone along nicely and this one report is cited by both Sutor and Phipps.

These are just a few of the government presenters we have assembled for the workshop. While the workshop is intended for governments, we have also assembled a number of influential speakers from the private sector who have been part of the growing public debate concerning document formats from the very beginning. Bob Sutor, IBM’s Vice President for Open Source and Standards, reflects back on the early days of the debate and takes a peek into the future. Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer, Sun Microsystems, examines ODF and the adoption-led market. With every major vendor now at least promising to implement support for ODF, how do we get from standardization to interoperability? With the expected arrival of ODF v1.2 and support for metadata, spreadsheet formula, and digital signatures, how has ODF’s value proposition been boosted for governments? We’ll also hear about the proposed revision of the influential European Interoperability Framework (EIF) and what it means for governments.

ODF Adoption

Brazil can be added to the list of counrties supporting ODF.

The Brasília Protocol (now translated to English) started the process of implementation of the Open Document Format (ODF) within the Brazilian Government. The Protocol was signed during the opening of CONSEGI 2008 by Bank of Brazil, Serpro, Dataprev, Post Office and Telegraph State Company (ECT), INPE (Institute of Spacial Researches), INPI (Institute of Intellectual Property), Ministry of Exterior Relations and others. All the institutions who signed the protocol are assuming the commitment to use the ODF standard, make it available to society-at-large, exchange documents between themselves in this format and to share solutions in open format. The news is on ODF Alliance website.

There are several more countries which have officially adopted a similar policy or taken a practical route of this kind. Here is an accumulation of names:

The Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) approved the Open Document Format (ODF) as a national standard, the ODF Alliance reported this week.

“Sweden now joins Brazil, Croatia, Italy, South Korea, and South Africa as countries whose national standards bodies have formal approved this standard”, the ODF advocacy organisation writes in this week’s newsletter.

OpenOffice.org

The third Release Candidate of OpenOffice.org 3.0 has just been released

OpenOffice.org 3.0 Release Candidate 3 build OOO300_m8 which installs as OpenOffice.org 3.0 has been uploaded to the mirror network.

If you find severe issues within this build please file them to OpenOffice.org’s bug tracking system IssueTracker and if you believe this is a show stopper then please notify the releases mailing list.

Simon Phipps published some notes about what he considers to be “Power Tools” in the software.

You may have seen that version 3 of OpenOffice.org is nearly ready for release – I am now running release candidate 2 and finding it ideal for work. Along with the new release, there’s an important change emerging in OpenOffice.org development.

The OOXML of References (Lock-in)

Here is a shocking new reminder of the dangers of lock-in. That’s what proprietary software applications — along with their accompanying formats like OOXML — can actually do.

Thomson Reuters demands $10 million and an injunction to stop George Mason University from distributing its new Web browser application, Zotero software, an open-source format that allows users to convert Reuters’ EndNote Software. Reuters claims George Mason is violating its license agreement and destroying the EndNote customer base.

ODF formatUsing lawsuits against the act of unlocking one’s personal data?? Simple formats, as opposed to code, being treated as a property??? 5 years ago I had to work very hard to rescue references from EndNote. There were conversion tools available, but for Thomson Reuters to fight them by threats is a tactless move. It’s predatory and it demonstrates the importance of file formats, which facilitate hostage scenarios (“your data is mine”) and extortion (“pay me for access to your own data”). Lessons can — and should — be learned from this.

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