Bonum Certa Men Certa

Web-based Office Suites and ODF; New PDF -> ODF Route

It's everything except OOXML

While we generally have no faith in CDF, we have recently carried on some discussions with Marbux (he still wants others to listen). One thing which he gets correctly is that there exists another lesser-appreciated great threat to Microsoft Office. It is the large variety of Web-based office suites, not just those native applications which support ODF.

Web-based Suites



To give you an example of the significance of this, have a look at the following new presentation.

Open Source is a great resource for educators not only because it is free, but many times you can find specific applications for your needs. Click through the Google slide show and click on the links if you would like to download any of the applications.


Here it is embedded as an iframe:



ODF formatOkay, so the content of this presentation hasn't much relevance here, but mind the fact that the presentation gets displayed properly even with JavaScript disabled. It may look like YouTube's Flash, but it's not. Follow the link and have a look. It is a great threat to more 'traditional' office suites since it is portable, but lacking connectivity it might have to rely on Google Gears or another off-line office suite which supports the same format/s (probably ODF). Remember that Google supports ODF. It has explicitly expressed its objections to OOXML on numerous occasions.

The fact that HTML5's draft does not contain Ogg among its recommendations is partly Nokia's fault. It's shameful because this tactless move from Nokia could truly hurt tools such as the one above. HTML still lacks video support that obviates the need for proprietary RIAs like Adobe Flash and its uglier new rival.

Desktop Interoperability



There is some new information available about OpenOffice.org 3, which ought to be available in September this year. Of interest is the fact that PDF, an international standard (ISO-approved), can now be imported and therefore be translated to ODF, which is already on its way to KOffice and plenty of other software.

Have just another quick look at some of the features OpenOffice.org 3 will bring.

We love OpenOffice.org, hereby referred to as OpenOffice like normal people do. We like the fact it does pretty much everything we need for free, we like the out-of-the box PDF and Flash support, its better-than-Word ability to work with large documents, and the joys of using a standard file format that’s actually, you know, a standard.


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