OpenDocument News

by Jean Hollis Weber

The OpenDocument Format Alliance's April newsletter (PDF) is here, or if you'd like to read it in HTML, the OpenMalaysia blog has reproduced it.

Rob Weir has published Part III of his excellent series on The Case for a Single Document Format.

A comment posted to Groklaw on 6 April said, "I have an email apparently originating from Microsoft asking people to support their opposition to California A.B. 1668... by writing to the California Assemblymen involved..." O(blog)N remarks, "This bill is common sense. This will be in the best interest of any organization, any industry, and technology in general... Allow me a moment to explain why..."

The list of applications supporting the OpenDocument Format is growing so rapidly that the team at the OpenDocument Fellowship is having trouble keeping their Applications List up to date, and it's a daunting task to review all the new applications.

Daniel Carrera briefly reviews one of the new additions to the list: Peepel, "a web-based office suite, [that] competes with Google Docs and similar services... Unlike Google, Peepel gives you a 'virtual desktop' where you can have several documents open in a single browser window..."

In February, the IDABC unit of the European Commission held a one-day workshop on Open Document Exchange Formats. There was a strong consensus among the EU Member State administrations on the need to use an open document exchange format (ODEF), on "openness" being an essential criteria of ODEF, and the need to avoid competing standards. Youc an read the conclusions here.

A UNESCO report (PDF), "Ethical Implications of Emerging Technologies: A Survey," recommends that UNESCO support open standards and protocols that are generated through democratic processes not dominated by large corporations. The use of OpenDocument Format and other open formats is also encouraged as they help mitigate lock-in to certain technologies.