Wednesday Nov 05, 2008

ODF Toolkit Union

Another milestone on the Open Document journey was just announced. Sun and IBM are joining together to sponsor the new ODF Toolkit Union, a collaborative community to develop the tools software developers need to support ODF in their applications. The goal is to make it very easy for any application to embrace ODF and to do so with a collaboratively-developed codebase so that it's really easy to make interoperable documents.

There's a substantial initial code donation there from Sun, including an ODF DOM and a .Net ODF library, all licensed under the Apache License v2. There is also an ODF validator, to help developers check the documents they create are correctly constructed.

Hopefully this will catalyse participation by a very wide range of developers, and promote the spread of document creators and consumers that work smoothly together. If I can clarify things for any organisation wanting to join the Union, get in touch by e-mail (details at the foot of the page). And if you're at ApacheCon, come and find me today and ask.

Tuesday Jan 23, 2007

ODF Tookit Project

I do sympathise with the view that Stephen has about having too much news in one week, but in the midst of all the excitement of the Intel announcement and Sun's return to profitability, the OpenOffice.org community made a very important announcement yesterday that I'd like to point out to you.

It announced the ODF Toolkit Project, a community with the goal of creating shared software that both OpenOffice.org and other communities and developers can use to create applications that create and consume OpenDocument Format. Having an open source implementation of a standard like the OASIS-derived ISO/IEC 26300 is important becuase it provides the basis for the much faster proliferation of compatible support for the standard. Having that code be common to multiple open source and commercial projects is also important - it makes the burden for us all less while making the value for us all more.

While other formats seek only to be fully implemented once, having architecture-neutral componentry that implements ODF in this way will be a key to format freedom. Just say no to software standards with no open source implementation - those aren't standards, they are time-to-market barriers by their inventors.

This is very much in the spirit of the concept Rob Weir of IBM articulated a while back, and I very much hope they and many others will join together to make the project successful - the folks who voted "+1" to start the project are setting a great example. Sun is committed to the project, and you can read more about that from Sun's Juergen Schmidt.

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Thoughts and pointers on digital freedoms and technology markets. With a few photos too.

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