By cjsasaki on Sep 18, 2007
A few years ago, when I had the privilege of managing our desktop software engineering team (which included the Staroffice/OpenOffice engineers) a couple of engineers approached me to see if I would support an effort to try to create a standard on the new XML-based format that StarOffice and OpenOffice output now supported. It didn't take a rocket scientist a lot of time to think that the world was ready for a truly open standard that didn't include some proprietary binary pieces that was embedded in a competing "open" format. The format had to be completely human readable and could be used openly by all competing products. It wasn't a war of words, but a really good idea.
All politics aside, it makes a lot of sense to have completely open document formats that anyone can create content in and of course read anywhere. I'd love to see ODF viewers for the iPhone, Blackberry, and even Windows Mobile devices. This ability would go beyond just PDF and would open up more opportunities for developers, and of course, richer experiences for users (like me).
Hats off to the team in Hamburg for the genesis of the idea, and for the folks across Sun and the industry at large for seeing a good idea really grow into a global cause.