Issue VI

2006 VI cover

Open Document Format (ODF)

Volume: 2006, No.VI

Date: December 2006

Guest Editors: Jesús Tramullas-Saz, Piedad Garrido-Picazo and Marco Fioretti

Contents: Download full issue (PDF 1.4MB)

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Open Document Format (ODF)

To have a standard is, by definition, recommended. A standard establishes the requirements and rules of the game. However, a standard may be used in such a way as to create undesirable results, especially when patents and legal constraints that favour one party over another are involved. For this reason it is essential for standards to be open, developed in a spirit of collaboration among equals, and for their specification not to contain hidden constraints that make it hard to use. If these standards also ensure all citizens the right to access, store and transform digital information, regardless of the platform used, they immediately acquire an incalculable economic, social and political value.

Open Document is a standard (the only standard) for office automation documents, which sets out all the desirable characteristics that should be found in such documents. Its version 1.0 has been endorsed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), as ISO/IEC standard 26300:2006. It is the result of the open, collaborative work of all the main players: software developers, solution implementers and end-users. It is public and free of charge, and the legal requirements included in the standard prevent any partial or abusive use. It also makes use of other open standards within its own specification, such as XML, SVG and Dublin Core. Open Document had already been developed and approved as a standard by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, OASIS, in 2005, which ensures its continuing support and development by the main industry players.

This issue also includes papers from Mondo Digitale in Italy, the AICA-produced publication, and from Pro-Dialog, the publication produced by the Polish CEPIS Member Society. These papers cover the topics of programming languages and e-commerce respectively. The CEPIS News section is about the most recent developments of the Harmonise project.


The following papers are included in this issue:

  • Open by Design: The OpenDocument Format Standard for Office Applications by Erwin Tenhumberg, Donald Harbison and Rob Weir
  • Is OpenDocument an Open Standard? Yes! by David A. Wheeler
  • OpenDocument Hidden Traps and their Side Effects on Free/Open Source Software by Marco Fioretti
  • ISO-26300 (OpenDocument) vs. MS-Office Open XML by Alberto Barrionuevo-García
  • Interoperability: Will the Real Universal File Format please Stand Up? by Sam Hiser and Gary Edwards
  • ODF: The Emerging Document Format of Choice for Governments by Marino Marcich
  • Promotion of the Use of Open Document Formats by the IDA and IDABC Programmes by Miguel A. Amutio-Gómez
  • A Brief History of Open Standards in Denmark by John Gøtze
  • Standard Open Formats and Libre Software in the Extremadura Public Administration by Luis Millán-Vázquez de Miguel