ODF gains ground

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Squaring Off

In the ongoing competition for business document format dominance, the ODF Alliance in its annual report claims increasing momentum for the Open Document Format, an open-source format that competes with Microsoft's Extensible Markup Language format.

The report lists the following developments during 2007:
  • The Netherlands and South Africa officially adopted policies requiring ODF's use by government agencies, and Norway required the use of ODF for all published, revisable documents on government Web sites. That makes a total of 13 countries and six regional governments that have adopted pro-ODF policies.
  • The International ODF User Workshop in Berlin brought together officials from 20 governments worldwide that have already announced pro-ODF policies or are actively considering such a step.
  • Software support for ODF expanded to include more than 40 applications.
  • Accessibility-related improvements were incorporated into ODF v1.1, allowing ODF to meet or exceed the accessibility features of any other office document format.

'I expect 2008 to be a year in which 'critical mass' will be reached in terms of the number of governments requiring the use of ODF, a turning point that will bring to an end the era in which proprietary document formats have dominated the public sphere,' Graham Taylor, chief executive of Open Forum Europe, which coordinates ODF Alliance activities in the European region, said in a press release.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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