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ODF Plugfest: Making office tools interoperable

Oct 29, 2010, 18:03 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Koen Vervloesem)

"On the 14th and 15th of October, the federal, regional, and community governments of Belgium organized an ODF Plugfest in Brussels. After plugfests in the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain, this was the fourth vendor-neutral event where all the lead developers and architects of Open Document Format (ODF) implementations — open source and proprietary — can meet to discuss interoperability issues and present what's available on the market.

"The first day of the event was reserved for the ODF implementers: Abisource, DiaLOGIKa, Google, IBM, Itaapy, KO GmbH, Microsoft, Novell, Sun/Oracle, and OpenOffice.org. LibreOffice developers weren't able to make it for the first day, but for now the new OpenOffice.org fork doesn't differ very much from its upstream with respect to ODF support. The various vendors did some interoperability testing scenarios focused around specific parts of the ODF standard. The scenarios can be consulted on the wiki of the OpenDoc Society (click on "Scenarios" and then on "20100415") and in the program. For example, the ODF implementers tested interoperability of the YEARFRAC spreadsheet function — an important function that is involved in many financial calculations.

"Another testing scenario concerned change tracking with tables. This is a notoriously difficult topic, and the different vendors had a lengthy discussion about a proposal from DeltaXML to improve this in ODF. There were also some scenarios involving digital signatures in ODF 1.2 as well as some smaller tests. Based on the outcome of the tests, the developers of the various office suites surely have some homework to do."

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