IndependentSoft ODF.Net Library For ISO 26300

Wednesday, 2007-January-24 at 11:01

A company called IndependentSoft has created a .Net library to process files in ODF format.  The library works [note: I am going by their statements; I have not tested it] with .odt (word processor) and .ods (spreadsheet) files.

ODF .NET is Open Document Format API for .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework. ODF .NET supports Open Document Format standard as defined in the OASIS Open Document Format. ODF .NET allows you to write applications to create, open, parse and edit text documents and spreadsheets. Many popular office application like OpenOffice support this standard and you can create documents with ODF .NET and open them with OpenOffice applications or open, edit and parse existing documents created with OpenOffice applications.

This is an interesting application of the dot-net framework to XML data.  In theory, this could allow some of the job sites that use ASP (CareerBuilder and Monster) to accept resumes in OpenDocument Format and process them into their internally-used format.  Likewise, this could be useful for those who develop software for recruiting agencies, which seem to always want Word .doc format resumes because their keyword-matching software is designed for .doc files, assuming of course that the software is written using a .Net language and the CLR runtime.

Their spreadsheet example and word processor example show how to use the library with Visual Basic.Net and C#.Net.

This is good news, because it means that even in the Microsoft-centric .Net world, ODF is gaining some traction.  If you have a similar library for Java, REBOL, REXX, Python, Ruby, or even a C or C++ .dll or .so library, I would like to hear about it.  In fact, if you have such a library written in any language, I would like to hear about it.  Send me e-mail: h_u_c_k_s_t_e_c_h AT w_a_r_m_m_a_i_l DOT c_o_m (remove underscores).  If you contact me, please use the subject "ODF Library" for libraries, or "ODF Application" for applications.  Be sure to tell me how close you are to fully-implementing the standard, what license(s) you are using, and your pricing.  Of course, Web, e-mail, telephone contact information, operating system(s), and something about the level and scope of your documentation. (You really do not expect someone to use your library without any docs, do you?)  I want to do whatever I can to make it drop-dead simple for someone to add ODF support to their products.

This is one of the major reasons why the market is moving to XML-based file formats.  Imagine, a few years from now, when people routinely do all sorts of things that they would never have thought of today.  Starting with a simple word processor document, they could perform all sorts of transformations in order to use their own data in numerous ways and places, thanks to XML & XPath / XSLT in ISO 26300 / ODF files.  I cannot imagine why someone would lock themselves into an XML format that does not work with XPath / XSLT, as that removes one of the techniques that can be used to process the data contained in the file, possibly limiting the usage of said data.

Entry filed under: ODF, XML. Tags: .

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