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Massachusetts is accepting comments on this decision until Friday, July 20th.
Please join us in letting them know that as a government, we expect them to use
a format for their documents that is independent of any proprietary vendor and
fully implementable in free software. OpenDocument meets that requirement;
MS-OOXML does not.
"The OpenDocument Format Alliance (ODF Alliance), the leading organization advocating for openness and accessibility to government documents and information, today congratulated Japan for adopting a policy under which government ministries and agencies will solicit bids from software vendors whose products support internationally recognized open standards."
One of the great advantages of the OpenDocument format is that it is simply a zip file. You can unzip it with any archiver and take a look at the contents (which is a set of XML documents and associated data), change it, re-zip it and you have a new document. But, the OpenDocument Format specification, section has one little extra restriction when it comes to zip containers.
When I talk to organization X (fill in your favorite health care entity, government or medical society) they never fail to utter the dreaded statement: "We are vendor neutral." followed by a dramatic long pause.
The OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) is an XML standard that lets you store and exchange office application documents, including word-processor, spreadsheet, and presentation files. Whether you try to perform special tasks on files saved from such applications or work on applications to process such files, you should become familiar with this important format.
I’ve been so busy with other stuff that I’ve only peripherally been paying attention to an ongoing meme on the Internet about how the World Wide Web Consortium’s Common Document Format (CDF) had been identified by the OpenDocument Foundation as a superior document format to the OpenDocument Format that it had been backing for so long.
According to a press release issued today by the Portuguese Open Source Business Association, the government of Portugal has decided to approve the OpenDocument Format as the single editable, XML-based document format for use by government, and in public procurement.
To at least some people at Microsoft, this isn't about meeting the needs of customers who want a stable, solid, vendor-neutral format for storing and managing documents. It's just another skirmish with the open source crowd and rivals like IBM, and all that matters is winning. What a waste. What a betrayal of trust.