2009. november 17., kedd

European governments help increase ODF interoperability

Representatives from three European member states, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands, took part in the second Open Document Format (ODF) interoperability workshop held in the Italian town of Orvieto at the beginning of this month.

Fabio Pistella, president of Italy's Center for ICT in Public Administrations (CNIPA), in his opening address told the attendees of the workshop that Italy is about to start a three-year promotion campaign on open source software, writes Roberto Gallopini, one of the organisers of the ODF workshop on his web blog.

The ODF plugfest in Orvieto brought together about thirty ODF developers and government representatives. It was the second such meeting, the first of which took place in the Netherlands in June.

Bart Hanssens, interoperability expert at Fedict, the Belgian Federal ICT advisory body, showed attendees how to sign ODF documents using the country's electronic identity card. He explained that Fedict wants users to be able to sign sourcedocuments, not only PDF.

The application, written in Java and at the moment only fit to be used in combination with OpenOffic, is in beta, Hanssens said. "But it is already very stable."

NOiV, the Dutch resource centre on open source and open standards, on 3 November announced its Officeshots web service, that allows users to compare the output of their ODF documents in several competing office applications. The service is available in a number of languages, including English, French, German, Chinese and Dutch.


Next to representatives and developers from large IT firms such as Google, IBM, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, the plugfest also attracts a number of other IT companies. Jakub Ondrušek, a developer at Comsultia, a Slovakian IT company, for instance discussed his work on converting DocBook and ODF documents. The Hungarian IT company Multiráció and the University of Szeged presented their joint research and development work on EuroOffice, an version of OpenOffice extended with tools such as translation services and ways to display geographic data. Dirk Vollmar, from the German IT company Dialogika updated the attendees on the company's work to convert OOXML and ODF.

"This is a unique workshop where commercial vendors, governments and open source developers discuss updates to their implementations of ODF. For example, we showed Microsoft that it could improve how it stores illustrations and graphics in ODF", commented Michiel Leenaars, director of the Dutch Internet Society and one of the organisers of the plugfest.

Galoppini, institutional relationship manager of the Italian OpenOffice association: "These workshops are useful to educate governments about the fact that open standards are first and foremost about participation. True interoperability demands implementers’ good-will, but also more participated open standards processes and practises."

More information:
ODF plugfest in Orvieto
Plugfest presentations
Galoppini's blog

Source: Osor
Nov. 17. 2009.