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OpenDocument facts

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Mar 29, 2010 03:37 PM
OpenDocument is a free and open format, and an ISO standard. Anyone is free to write applications that support it, without fear of patent claims or licensing issues.

In contrast, proprietary formats from Apple and Microsoft attempt to block an established, free and open format by heavily pushing one they have much more control over. Microsoft has used its lobbying power to try and fast track their own formats through the standards process.

Unlike OpenDocument, which is well-supported and cross-platform, Apple and Microsoft formats are only truly supported by proprietary software from one vendor, and because of this, they are often designed to implement every bug, glitch and historical feature from previous versions of the software. Indeed, the specification to implement Microsoft's latest format is over 6000 pages long, making it much harder for other software to implement the format.

For governments, businesses, archivists and others, it's critical that documents be stored in a way that can be read for years to come, and the specification of OpenDocument has undergone an extensive accessibility review, ensuring it to be fit for use by people with disabilities, and OpenDocument is built on technologies which have already gone through the World Wide Web Consortium's extensive Web Accessibility Initiative processes.

We are calling upon all computer users worldwide to reject proprietary formats from Microsoft Office and Apple's iWork, and asking them to support OpenDocument.

OpenDocument facts

  • OpenDocument is supported -- governments around the world are adopting OpenDocument

  • OpenDocument is standard -- The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have recognized OpenDocument as ISO/IEC 26300:2006. The standard "defines an XML schema for office applications and its semantics. The schema is suitable for office documents, including text documents, spreadsheets, charts and graphical documents like drawings or presentations, but is not restricted to these kinds of documents."

  • Add your own OpenDocument facts at LibrePlanet

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