Bonum Certa Men Certa

OpenDocument Takes One Giant Leap, One Step Backwards

Sun Microsystems has just unleashed some key software from its pro-standards arsenal. People can now download the final version of a plug that adds OpenDocument support to Microsoft Office.

Under the name Sun ODF Plug-in for Microsoft Office, Sun has released its import/export filter for the OpenDocument format (ODF), which the ISO has recognized as a standard, for versions 2000, XP, and 2003 of Microsoft's Office suite; the plug-in can be downloaded via our software repository.


Meanwhile, you may wish to know that Denmark is already discussing document standards. Coming from Denmark, it is a tad disappointing to see that they even consider OpenXML alongide OpenDocument. Bob Sutor gave a bunch of talks over there. We brought together some videos of his talks, in case you are curious.

Here is a fragment from an article that covers the current situation in Denmark.

Government backing for document formats is seen as significant because it could help promote wider use of the standards in the market. If governments mandate the use of ODF, it could help office suites such as OpenOffice.org, which use the standard, to compete more effectively with Microsoft's dominant Office suite.


Simon Phipps of Sun Microsystems uses a nice little analogy to demonstrate the importance of truly open standards. Everything should be fully compatible with the products of multiple manufacturers. He uses some photos to illustrate his point with lightbulbs.

I want a choice of colours, of energy technologies, of wattages, of shapes, of reflector styles and so on. But I want them all with a common connector so that when I'm shopping I know any bulb will work. Choice that serves the customer is choice of bulb, not of connector.

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