Posts tagged ‘ODF’

MS Office 2007 SP2 Is Out

Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Office 2007 was released earlier this week.

The new update gives Microsoft Office users some of the features that OpenOffice and KOffice users have enjoyed for years, such as PDF export and the built-in ability to use OASIS-standardized ODF file formats.

I can’t currently test it out. My (family’s) Windows computers run WordPerfect and OpenOffice, not Microsoft Office. The computer I brought with me to Missouri does not run Windows.

There were some suspicions that their implementation would continue their historical anti-competitive embrace, extend, and extinguish behavior. I’ll refrain from that point of view until and unless the company shows me that they are indeed going that way. For now, let me congratulate Microsoft and its end users on finally joining the world of the future.

Friday, 2009-May-01 at 16:30

Open Document Support by Microsoft Wordpad In Windows 7

Windows 7 (the latest version of Windows which was available as a free beta) ships with a copy of WordPad that supports ODF as standard

Open Document Support by Microsoft | The Outserve Limited Blog

This according to Outserve Limited. Click through to their site to see screenshots.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Monday, 2009-April-13 at 20:18

PEAR Site Has OpenDocument Project For PHP

OpenDocument is a package to read, create or modify office documents in open document format.OpenDocument format is a replacement for proprietary office formats such as .doc or .xls. This package is a very useful tool for php developers and another point to switch from proprietary office formats to OpenDocument one, that means switching to open source software and standards.OpenDocument was developed as a project of Google Summer of Code 2006 Program.Package provides object oriented style for working with open documents, a little similar to DOM as for XML.

OpenDocument

This is the description of a project on the PHP PEAR site. I have to say that it looks abandoned, but that could be a false impression. Here's hoping that work continues on this. This could give every PHP developer the potential to import or export ODF documents within his project.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Monday, 2009-April-13 at 17:55 4 comments

Not Dancing Yet

I agree with CyberTech Rambler and Ditesh of the OpenMalaysia Blog: there was and is a standards conflict, if not a war. Ditesh gives some examples.

Those who cannot see this [PDF] have their eyes closed. This wasn’t some anti-Microsoft frenzy. It was Microsoft realizing that they hadn’t planned for the market coalescing around a non-Microsoft controlled, vendor-neutral standardized file format, ODF. They then unleashed their attack dogs to try to chew up anyone and anything that supported ODF while they crammed OOXML through Ecma and ISO.

As PJ pointed out, Massachusetts forces it to rethink this strategy, and Microsoft came out fighting. OOXML passage through ECMA and ISO is a war. May be not the big crash of superpowers, but at least a guerilla war fought between a superpower and local, disorganized fractions such as this fly-by blog. Interestingly, most anti OOXML/proODF people do not see Microsoft supports for ODF in Microsoft Office’s next service pack, and its decision to rejoin the ODF committee at OASIS as them winning the war. Do I believe this is a turning point in the war? Not yet. It will depends on what is delivered in the service pack, and Microsoft behavour in the committee. However, it can potentially be a turning point. — CTRambler

I also agree with CTRambler that the result (whether Microsoft support for ODF brings it to a happy end) depends very much on the implementation of ODF that Microsoft uses in Office 2007 SP2.

It is only those in Redmond who feared that ODF would so damage their office suite market share that they’d all be joining MLM plans. The rest of us already know that Microsoft will do quite well in a fair competition, gradually losing share (the way that AT&T did the first few years after telecom deregulation). This would actually help the company, as it would force them to jetison money-losers like Zune and MSN/Live and to change the way the company is managed.

In fact, those of us who deal with end-users want Microsoft to be one of several popular options for office software, because this is best for end-users, even if it is uncomfortable for some vendors. Those who use software benefit from single format-multiple vendor standards (SFMV). We want Microsoft to be a part of our SFMV universe.

Let me repeat it in case anyone might have their eyes closed: We want a strong, profitable Microsoft to be part of a competitive market for office software, because this is best for end-users, assuming SFMV. The second we throw in multiple vendor-specific formats (MVSF), of which OOXML is an example, it becomes possible for a single vendor or a small number of vendors to abuse end-users over and over with impunity. (Remember, OOXML is a proprietary format in drag.) To claim that opposing OOXML’s attempt to monopolize the market and revealing its crucial design flaws is being “anti-Microsoft” requires either self-deception or dishonesty.

So, I am looking at Microsoft’s announcement with cautious hope. I am hoping that they are really going to integrate ODF into their product, and not make it a half-baked “me-too” addition. I am hoping that they will participate in the OASIS TC without any intention of sinking or polluting the format, but of making it better. Better for their needs (including accurately representing content imported from previous editions of their software), better for the needs of StarOffice/OpenOffice.org, better for the needs of KOffice, better for the needs of AbiWord/Gnumeric, better for both commercial entities that wish to utilize the format AND for free software projects using GPL and other FSF/OSI approved licenses. And I hope that the results are so good (including the financial results) for Microsoft that they never need to continue with OOXML, and instead quietly make ODF the main default format for their office products.

If / when that happens, I’ll be dancing …

Sunday, 2008-June-01 at 21:14 1 comment

National Standards: ODF March Continues

According to the ODF Alliance Newsletter, standards bodies in Brazil, South Africa, and Croatia have approved OpenDocument Format (ODF) as a national standard. In Brazil, ODF is the recommended format for government document interchange. In South Africa, “ODF will be the standard for document exchange between government agencies and the public.”

Because government documents are actually the property of the citizens themselves, it is vital that they be released in formats that are not tied to any specific vendor, that they use fully-open standardized formats. Perhaps there are a few people for whom being in favor of ODF means favoring vendor lock-in through competing format standards, rather than vendor-independence through unified formats being shared by competing vendors. Repeat after me: “Users of software benefit from ‘one format, many vendors‘. Only vendors benefit from many formats, each with a single vendor.”

It is great to see that the flurry of lobbying and other activities that helped to get a competing format standard approved at the ISO recently have not stopped countries around the world from continuing to press forward on the important groundwork of data freedom, including the very important ONE FORMAT, MANY VENDORS aspect. I look forward to renewing our efforts here in the United States to take control of our data away from corporations and put it back in the hands of individuals.

Tuesday, 2008-May-13 at 16:31

SQLManager Brings ODF Import/Export To Leading Databases

SQLManager Brings ODF Import/Export To Leading Databases

If you have been looking for a way to utilize your ODF documents as
input to your DBMS server, or a way to use the output from the DBMS with
your other ODF-capable software, take a look at SQLManager.

Their SQL Studio product is available for MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL,
Interbase/Firebird, and Oracle databases. For example, the data export
tool for MySQL is described as "Exporting data to 19 most popular
formats: MS Excel, MS Access, MS Word, RTF, HTML, PDF, XML, TXT, DBF,
CSV, ODF, SYLK, DIF, LaTeX, SQL, Clipboard, and others".

The data import tool says it can "Import from 10 most popular formats:
MS Excel 97-2007, MS Access, XML, DBF, TXT, CSV, MS Word 2007,
OpenDocument Format and HTML" and that it can use SSH and HTTP tunneling
for added security .

The product does require a Windows operating system, but can use a local
or remote DBMS server. Pricing information is on
the site
. The product also supports MS Office 2007/OOXML formats.

It is always encouraging to see more enterprise-oriented applications supporting ODF. It means that they really are seeing customer interest. It would be a good idea to forward a link to this information to your company CIO. They are frequently in the dark because it suits their contacts at existing software vendors to keep them that way. Hundreds of people come here each day, looking for applications that can open ODF files. If your company does not yet have the capacity to work with ODF files, you are behind the curve. (Thanks to Legal Software Downloads for pointing this one out.)

Sunday, 2008-March-16 at 13:21

Hey BRM! Don’t Give In!

I join Google in urging the delegates at the ISO to support truly open standards.

Currently, the technology industry is evaluating a proposed ISO standard for document formats. Given the importance of a workable standard, Microsoft’s submission of Office Open XML (OOXML ) as an additional international standard has caught the attention of many. In September 2007, the original request to ISO was defeated. After further technical analysis of the specification along with all the additional data available on OOXML, Google believes OOXML would be an insufficient and unnecessary standard, designed purely around the needs of Microsoft Office.

This isn't the old days when it was acceptable to use file formats that were vendor-specific, and often unreadable by similar applications made by other vendors.  These days, there is no rational reason for creating documents in file formats that are not vendor-neutral open standards.  Truly, office applications have improved little since 1997, so there is no burning reason to choose a particular vendor's product over another—except for the current case, where the most widely-used vendor uses closed and secret formats as a tool for maintaining their dominance.  (Yes, I know that they have opened the formats up a little in recent days.  But it is still not open enough.)

So, until OOXML is cleaned of its most glaring flaws, made vendor-neutral and freed of "IP" impediments for implementers, ISO and other reputable standards groups need to reject it.  For office software, choose something that reads and writes OpenDocument Format in addition to legacy formats (such as .doc, .xls, .ppt).  If your company's software does not read and write ODF, take a look at the list of software that does use ODF.  You can continue to use your legacy Microsoft office suite until upgrade time by utilizing Sun's ODF plugin.

Thanks to Bob Sutor for the tip.

Thursday, 2008-February-28 at 20:16

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