OpenDocument gathers worldwide support

by Jean Hollis Weber

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On 10 October 2005, the Open Document Fellowship announced its existence, stating that its mission is to promote the new internationally agreed standard for digital documents, Open Document Format (OpenDocument). The Fellowship, formed in September, has attracted support and interest from around the globe.

The Fellowship's aims include providing factual information about the Open Document Format, such as the degree to which companies and their products are committed to supporting the format, and making sure that OpenDocument can be always supported by any software application or company. The organisation also supports the development of software tools to complement the format.

Founding members include Gary Edwards (OASIS OpenDocument TC), Mark Taylor (Executive Director of the Open Source Consortium), and Richard Rothwell (Chair of SchoolForge UK).

Founding member Adam Moore, Friends of OpenDocument Inc., said:

"As a true Open Standard, OpenDocument is available for the benefit of all. It levels the competitive playing field and provides wider opportumities for innovation, diversity and choice. This choice and diversity is a natural evolutionary consequence of the market maturity of general productivity software. We believe all responsible citizens in the digital market place will embrace ODF as the central focus for document production."

Users whose data is stored in OpenDocument will never again face the problem of not being able to access data because the application that created it is no longer available to them. Open standards already enable users of different computer systems (both hardware and software) to access the Internet and communicate with each other. ODF enables users of different computer systems to freely exchange and use files.

For more information, see the Fellowship's website,,
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