ODF Plugfest: Making office tools interoperable

“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

“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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