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OpenDocument Format: The Standard for Office Documents
March/April 2009 (vol. 13 no. 2)
pp. 83-87
Rob Weir, IBM
For many years, when you used a word-processing application, your files were stored in a format that was fully understood only by the application you used. WordPerfect stored WordPerfect files, Microsoft Word stored Word files, and so on—and, while developers often included ad-hoc support for their competitors' formats, that was a hit-and-miss thing, vulnerable to changes in the proprietary formats. The same went for presentation slides and spreadsheets. We all have experience with the results of this, with the difficulties in exchanging files between different applications. OpenDocument Format (ODF) is an XML-based open standard file format for office documents such as these. ODF is application-, platform- and vendor-neutral, and thereby facilitates broad interoperability of office documents. In this issue's "Standards" department, IBM's Rob Weir, who worked on the ODF standard, will take us through some of the history and details of it.

1. "Governments Increasingly Turn to OpenDocument Format as ODF Alliance Marks Unprecedented 2008," ODF Alliance, 2008; www.odfalliance.org/pressRelease20081222-annual-report-odf-2008.pdf .
2. R. Shaw, "Stupid FEMA Tech Blunder Will Thwart Some Katrina Claim Applications," Huffington Post,2 Sept. 2005; www.huffingtonpost.com/russell-shawstupid-fema-tech-blunder-_b_7055.html .
3. Y. Savourel, J. Kosek, and R. Ishida, "Best Practices for XML Internationalization," W3C, 2008; www.w3.org/TRxml-i18n-bp.
4. P. Korn and R. Schwerdtfeger, "Open Document Format v1.1 Accessibility Guidelines Version 1.0," OASIS, 2008; http://docs.oasis-open.org/office/office-accessibility/ v1.0/cs01ODF_Accessibility_Guidelines-v1.0.pdf .
5. OpenDocument Format Alliance, "ODF Annual Report 2008," 2008; www.odfalliance.org/resourcesAnnual-Report-ODF-2008.pdf .

Index Terms:
standards, XML, documents, opendocument format, odf
Citation:
Rob Weir, "OpenDocument Format: The Standard for Office Documents," IEEE Internet Computing, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 83-87, March-April 2009, doi:10.1109/MIC.2009.42
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