IDABC, ThinkFree On ODF
IDABC, a European governmental consortium, recommends open, XML-based, data formats for editable files. In particular, they recommend ODF and OpenXML.
Did you ever receive a document you could not open? Chances are the sender used a different programme or version than yours to create it. Open document exchange formats avoid users being locked in to particular products or technologies. For administrations this offers greater accessibility to their public-sector information and improved interaction with citizens and business.
This is one of the reasons I like ODF so much. It comes with no need to get permission or a license in order to write software to utilize it. Because it is XML-based, there are many non-office suite software tools that can already work with it. And there are a number of office suites that are supporting it already or adding support in the future.
I wanted to let you know that Jonathan from ThinkFree informs me that their next version launches within a week, with full ODF import and export capability built-in.
Google Docs is currently able to import and export ODF, so it will be interesting to see which one is more faithful to the original document once ThinkFree’s ODF support comes out. Look for my review of the two applications soon.
To follow up on what I said earlier about WordPerfect waffling about ODF, I have to say that WordPerfect Office Professional v.7.0 was the best office suite ever. Nothing that I have tried before or since could compare. However, if WP wants my business, they have to provide me with the ability to continue to access my data long after the computers and operating systems their products get installed on are gone. What if a new super-BSD-slash-Windows-Vista-hybrid operating system comes out in five years, but Corel is out of business? Would I lose access to all of my .wpd files and .qpw files and so on? Corel, please stop waffling! Add full support of ODF in all applications in your suite. It would be helpful if your products were also available for the other operating systems that I use or will be using.
If you agree with me, write Corel a letter. Yes, snail mail. That's the only way to reach them. Ask them for full support for the OASIS OpenDocument Formats throughout their office suite. Tell them how many copies of their software you would be willing to purchase if they offered ODF.