March 2007 News Items

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30 Mar 2007
Minireview: NeoOffice 2.1 for OS X, Iljitsch van Beijnum, Ars Technica.
NeoOffice's default format for saving documents is now OpenDocument!

Standards NZ disappointed at Open XML fast-track, David Watson, Computerworld NZ.
Fast-track process may not allow enough time for thorough consideration, says Standards New Zealand chief executive Rob Steele.

My testimony to the Texas House and Senate regarding the open document format legislation, Bob Sutor
"Text for the testimony I delivered to both the Texas House and Senate this last Monday, March 24."

28 Mar 2007
Oregon eyeing open formats, Candace Lombardi, CNet
Oregon has a bill up for vote that would recommend the use of standards for for state agency documents.

And Oregon Makes Five for ODF - With a Twist, Andy Updegrove, Consortium Standards Bulletin.
Oregon has become the fourth US state this year to see an open document format bill introduced in its legislature.

27 Mar 2007
EU Asks Microsoft Rivals About Word, Excel Dominance (Update4), Matthew Newman, Bloomberg
"European regulators are questioning Microsoft Corp.'s competitors on whether the company is using its dominance in word processing and spreadsheets to thwart rivals, weighing whether to open a new front in the antitrust dispute."

Oregon joins states considering open-source legislation, Eric Lai, Computerworld
Oregon House Bill 2920, which would require state government agencies, the state library, and all public libraries in the state to make documents and records available in open document formats.

The ODF Alliance Celebrates One-Year Anniversary, The ODF Alliance
The ODF Alliance, composed of governments, academic institutions, non-government organizations and industry, has complete its first year of educating policymakers, IT administrators and the public on the benefits and opportunities of The OpenDocument Format.

26 Mar 2007
New ODF Validator! Daniel Carrera
"The OpenDocument Fellowship now offers an ODF validation service. Similar to the W3C validation service for HTML, you can use this website to verify a document’s compliance with the OpenDocument Format."

24 Mar 2007
Danish Document Controversy Raises International Concerns, John Gøtze
"OpenDocument Foundation is very concerned about the development in Denmark."

Novatica-Upgrade ODF issue, Sam Hiser, fr0mat.net
Gary Edwards, Sam Hiser and marbux of the OpenDocument Foundation contributed an extensive article to the ODF issue of Novatica-Upgrade magazine (November-December 2006). The hardcopy and early online versions came out at first in Spanish, and are now offered in PDF in English: "Interoperability: Will the Real Universal File Format please Stand Up?"

23 Mar 2007
OU Student's Software Aids Disabled, Jim Stafford, RedOrbit.
Chase Pritchett, a junior computer science major at the University of Oklahoma, wrote a Java-based tool that ensures users with visual disabilities can read and use OpenDocument Format files.

The Case for a Single Document Format: Part II, Rob Weir
"In this post, Part II, we'll try to explain the forces that tend to unify or divide standards and hopefully make sense of what we saw in Part I."

18 Mar 2007
The Case for a Single Document Format: Part I, Rob Weir
"This will be a multi-part post, mixing in a little economics, a little history and a little technology... attempting to make the argument that a single document format is the inevitable and desired outcome. In Part I we'll take a survey of a number of different problem domains, some that resulted in a single standard, some that resulted in multiple standards."

16 Mar 2007
OASIS takes Open document format to China, Stuart Corner, iTWire AU.
"OASIS enjoys increasingly strong participation from the Chinese business community."

Xandros Server 2.0 targets shops moving to open solutions, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, eWeek.
O3Spaces supports OpenDocument as well as legacy formats, and is for shops looking to fill an essential need for mixed network environments making the transition from proprietary to open solutions.

Frugal computer users turn to free software, Andi Balla, The Detroit News.
OpenOffice.org has given users the ability to automatically save in common legacy formats or the more universal OpenDocument format.

15 Mar 2007
EU Conclusions from Open Document Exchange Formats Workshop.
At the February workshop, there was strong consensus among Member State administrations on the necessity to use open format, that "openness" is the basic criteria, there shall be neither incomplete implementations nor proprietary extensions, etc.

13 Mar 2007
Korea Ministry of Information and Communication adopting ODF, Open Malaysia blog
"The Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) announced on the 7th that it is intending to adopt OpenDocument Format (ODF) as its software document standard for administrative work."

12 Mar 2007
Microsoft guns Open XML onto ISO fast track, Eric Lai, Computerworld
"ISO agreed Saturday to put Open XML... on a fast-track approval process that could see Open XML ratified as an international standard by August."

NZ objects to Microsoft Open XML standard fast-track proposal, David Watson, Computerworld NZ
"Standards New Zealand is objecting to a proposal to fast-track approval of Microsoft’s controversial Open XML file format."

11 Mar 2007
ISO will put Open XML on fast track unchanged, Groklaw

Q&A: Former Mass. CIO feels 'bittersweet pride' after battles with Microsoft, legislature, Carol Sliwa, Computerworld
"Gutierrez says he would make same choices again that he did in ODF and IT funding fights"

09 Mar 2007
OpenDocument Enhances XML Accessibility, Cate O'Malley, CMS Wire.
"OpenDocument 1.1 will be important in assisting those who have low or no vision or who have cognitive impairments."

07 Mar 2007
'Legitimate concerns' raised over Microsoft's Office formats, Matthew Aslett, Computer Business Review Online
"Microsoft Corp's director of corporate standards has conceded that 'legitimate concerns' have been raised in response to its attempt to fast-track the approval of its Open XML format by ISO."

05 Mar 2007
California Demanding Open Document Standard - Microsoft Resists, John Martellaro, The Mac Observer.
California has introduced a bill that would make the Open Document Format (ODF) a procurement requirement for its state agencies.

Open Standards Advocates Gather to Explore Advances for eBusiness and eGovernance, SDA Asia Magazine.
The fourth annual OASIS Symposium for Open standards supporters will be from 15-17 April 2007 in San Diego, California, USA.

OpenDocument Workshop: Adoption, Accessibility, Programmability and Future
To be held 9AM-noon on 18 April at the OASIS Symposium. "The members of the OASIS ODF Adoption TC will be hosting a special half day workshop dedicated to topics important to understanding the ODF standard and its technology."

03 Mar 2007
Microsoft and the OOXML ISO standard process, Mathfox, Groklaw
Includes a link to the summary Ecma document, with Ecma's proposed actions, and the full text of the French response (in English).

When is a standard not a standard?, Edward Macnaghten, Free Software Magazine
"The object of a format standard is to facilitate and promote genuine interoperability and choice... After examining the technical issues I think that ODF has gone a long way to achieving this and that Microsoft's OOXML has not. I would like to expand on some of OOXML's contradictions and problems, some possible counter arguments that exist for them and my personal problems with those."

01 Mar 2007
Open Standards Advocates to Discuss eBusiness and eGovernment, Grid Today.
"We're not living in the standards world of the 70s, 80s, or 90s, and customers know it. They're demanding real open standards and not those where 'open' was inserted by the marketing team"

Any objections? For Open XML standard, yes (still), Eric Lai, Computerworld
"All eleven countries expressing negative opinions sit on ISO’s 30-member JTC-1 Committee on Information Technology." Includes a link to the summary Ecma document.