January 2007 News Items

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31 Jan 2007
More Matter with Less Art, Rob Weir
"I wish to discuss a recent blog post, a vigorous defense of Microsoft's Office Open XML and XAML from Novell's Miguel de Icaza. His post is so wrong, on so many levels, that I am somewhat at a loss for words..."

29 Jan 2007
ODF Toolkit Could Restructure OpenOffice. SDA Asia.
Sun has started The Open Document Format (ODF) toolkit project to allow for easier integration of ODF and to provide programmers with a framework to create and process ODF documents.

27 Jan 2007
A Review of the Wikipedia Article on ODF, Rob Weir
"My aim was to do some fact checking and make some suggestions on some additional references that might be included... I have not endeavored to do a full edit of the article."

26 Jan 2007
Italy adopts ODF as a National Standard, Open Malaysia Blog
"This is to inform you that starting today ODF is available on UNI Catalog, therefore we can say that 'ISO/IEC IS 26300 has been adopted as Italian Standard'. On main page of UNI website, there is an article which gives more information on ODF."

Microsoft faces new Office standards battle, Clive Akass, Personal Computer World
"The British Standards Institute (BSI) is being urged to object to recognition of Microsoft’s new office formats as an international standard."

25 Jan 2007
OpenOffice developer launches ODF toolkit project. Craig Morris. Heise.
Sun has initiated an ODF toolkit to provide programmers with a framework to create and process ODF documents. The idea is to make it easier to integrate the OpenDocument format, which has been taken up as an ISO standard, in new applications and electronic workflows.

CSIR opts for open document format in its migration to an open source environment, Media release
"Towards the end of 2006, the [South African] Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) adopted the open document format (ODF) in support of access to information and as an enabler of the adoption of open source software (OSS). In terms of the adoption of the standard, CSIR word processor, spreadsheet and presentation files will be in ODF, wherever possible."

OOXML v. ODF: What a Week!, Consortium Standards Blog
"It's been an unusually active week in the contest between already ISO-adopted ODF and OOXML, as the latter moves through the first step of the ISO the adoption process... Here's a chronology of the principle events of just the last seven days, and how they fit into the overall scheme of things:"

IT Standards Hijack Threatens European Economic Competitiveness, OpenForum Europe (OFE) and ODF Alliance
"A chorus of concern is growing among the European business community over the fast tracking of the approval process of a new IT standard, which will limit office software competition and saddle the European economy with increased future IT costs...."

Interoperability, more and less, Bob Sutor
"Interoperability is the ability for two different and independent software applications to exchange information without loss of data, semantics, or metadata."

23 Jan 2007
Deadline Looms to Express Concerns about ECMA 376 Office Open XML, Groklaw
"Any who have issues with the Ecma 376 Office Open XML standard, currently being fast tracked for ISO adoption, may wish to contact their national ISO representatives with those concerns." Lists the objections to EOOXML and links to a page listing reps to contact.

ODF Toolkit Project, OpenOffice.org press release
"...we are inviting developers everywhere to take the source of the world's leading Free and Open office productivity suite in bold new directions. These may include technologies that engage tools for collaboration, communication and content creation of every kind; tools that will complement and even transcend the already powerful productivity suite. The anchor of this new project is the OpenDocument Format (ODF)..."

22 Jan 2007
IBM Redefines Collaboration With New Lotus Notes and Domino Platform, IM
"...In Notes 8, customers will be able to use productivity editors that support the Open Document Format (ODF) at no additional cost, giving them access to crucial office tools without the cost of a separate license..."

Running on ODF Inside of MS Office, Sam Hiser, OpenDocument Foundation blog
Same item in Gary Edwards' blog
"Perfect Conversion Fidelity & The daVinci ODF Plugin for Microsoft Office. ... Microsoft's Ecma-approved Open Office XML file format specification is filled with contradictions to existing ISO/IEC standards products. How do we reasonably migrate from a world where Microsoft Office bound business processes drive critically important economic, governmental and organizational concerns? How do we migrate these processes to OpenDocument ("ODF"), which is an international standard designed for interoperability? And is there any possibility of converting with acceptable fidelity the billions of binary documents trapped in Microsoft's proprietary file formats? The world wants to move to ODF XML. But the question is, 'Can This Be Done?' And further, 'Can this be done without costly disruption to our day to day business processes?'"

ODF as the Perfect MS Office File Format, Sam Hiser, OpenDocument Foundation blog
Same item in Gary Edwards' blog
"What is the da Vinci plugin for Microsoft Word? Where did it come from? How does it work? And can it really convert files generated by Microsoft Word versions 97-2007 into fully compliant, OpenDocument format-ready applications? Can it do so so without disruption to bound business processes, dependent line of business applications, and assistive technology add-ons? ... The OpenDocument format ("ODF") is able to handle anything Microsoft Office can throw at it, and handle it at least as well as Microsoft's new EOOXML file formats. " Article includes "How to Add native file support for OpenDocument to Microsoft Office" and "How to: Interact with Microsoft business processes using OpenDocument."

21 Jan 2007
Let the ODF Revolution Begin, Ian Altman, VARBusiness
"The main benefit of ODF is that it assures content will always be available to the people who create it and to those with whom they share it... With ODF, the age of closed standards and locked documents is coming to an end."

18 Jan 2007
Searching for Openness in Microsoft's OOXML and Finding Contradictions, Groklaw
"... does OOXML really qualify as a standard? ... contradictions in the OOXML standard can be reported by member bodies of the ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1. February 5 is the deadline... Because of the apparently unresolvable contradictions being discovered, the questions being asked are whether ISO should reject EOOXML from the fast-track process and instead use the regular process, and whether, if there can be no resolution of some of the contradictions discovered, ISO should accept the specification at all..." Includes an explanation of the ISO process.

EOOXML objections, Grokdoc
Wiki with "abundant resources for further study and consideration".

Conformance and Certification: The ODF Standard and Microsoft's Office Open XML Specification, Stephen Walli
"'Standards' with only one implementation aren't... The ODF world has the ability to demonstrate this message in a way that meets the needs of customers, and the demonstration through a branded certification is much more powerful than unaligned vendor rhetoric."

17 Jan 2007
The Contradictory Nature of OOXML, Consortium Info Blog
"...more and more contradictions are being found by those that are slogging their way through on this very tight timeframe. Here is a sampling..."

Preservation of State Documents Act, Minnesota House of Representatives
"H.F. No. 176, proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 16E." Ccriteria are currently met only by OpenDocument.

16 Jan 2007
Calling Captain Kirk, Rob Weir's blog
"The Ecma Office Open XML (OOXML) specification seems to presuppose the existence of a Universal Translator of sorts."

Docvert 3.0 final released
"This web service software takes multiple word processor files (typically .doc) and converts them to Oasis OpenDocument and HTML."

UK schools advised to hold off on Vista, Office 2007. ComputerWorld.
Schools shouldn't deploy MS Office 2007 until it will interoperate with products focused on the OpenDocument Format. Direct link to BECTA report.

11 Jan 2007
Contradicting Microsoft Office Open XML, Bob Sutor's Open Blog
"Microsoft and ECMA are now running the Microsoft Office Open XML specification through the ISO process and the first thing up is the contradiction period. This is the time when objections to the specification can be presented and then resolved, if possible."

ODF is starting to take hold in Argentina, Bob Sutor's Open Blog
"We have word from Argentina that ODF has been adopted by the Government of Misiones (a province in the north-east of Argentina)..."

10 Jan 2007
EOOXML -- What is a 'contradiction' at ISO and what are its procedures?, Marbux's blog, OpenDocument Fellowship
"With Ecma Office Open XML (EOOXML) now in the 'contradiction' phase at ISO/IEC, what does a contradiction mean in context? Here is some background on what a contradiction is according to JTC-1 Directives, along with a short discussion of relevant procedures and contact information."

Microsoft/Ecma's submissions to ISO for Ecma Office Open XML, Marbux's blog, OpenDocument Fellowship
"The attached documents were sent by Emca to all JTC1 members in addition to the specification... JTC001-N-8455-4.pdf... is a summary whitepaper where Ecma makes the case for why this is a wonderful standard... Low barrier to adoption? Compactness? Prepares for the future? ... a specification of over 6,000 pages that can only be implemented by a single vendor and a covenant not to sue that grants rights (if any at all) only for the current version of the Ecma specification."

08 Jan 2007
Bi-Directional Multilanguage Fidelity ODF Concerns, Open Malaysia Blog
Rebuttal of a vendor's claim that ODF lacks multilanguage support for bidirectional language requirements, based on a "misunderstanding between the specification of the standard, and the complete implementation of application level file filters." This articles demonstrates with examples "that ISO 26300 has excellent capabilities for multi-lingual usage, and [is] suitable for multi-lingual usage in countries such as Malaysia."

Microsoft Vista and Office 2007: Interim report with recommendations on adoption and deployment, BECTA, UK
The British Education Communications and Technology Association (BECTA) recommends in this report that UK schools and colleges only consider deploying Office 2007 when its interoperability with ODF is satisfactory. Publication ID: BEC1-15465. Number of pages: 20. PDF, 332KB.

02 Jan 2007
Mass Plus ODF: A Winning Combination, Walt Hucks's blog
Summary of recent news and commentary.