[Fsfe-ie] EU: OASIS Open Document Format (ODF) approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

teresahackett at eircom.net teresahackett at eircom.net
Wed May 10 13:30:10 CEST 2006

EU: OASIS Open Document Format (ODF) approved by the International
Organization for Standardization (ISO)
eGovernment News – 04 May 2006 – EU Institutions – Infrastructure and

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has formally voted
for the OpenDocument Format (ODF) to become an international standard.
ODF is now ISO/IEC 26300. The official documentation of the new standard
is expected to be published in August 2006, after having gone through a
publishing process for approval of the final text.

The OASIS ODF emerged from work done at the open source OpenOffice.org
project. This work was later submitted to, and further developed at
OASIS, where it was accepted as an official OASIS standard in May 2005.
The six-months approval ballot for its adoption as a standard by ISO and
the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) ended on 1 May 2006.

The promotion of Open Document Format in public administrations is part
of the IDA and IDABC activities in support of pan-European
interoperability. The initiative includes studies on technical solutions
as well as the “TAC Recommendations” from 2004 urging the industry to
provide applications based on open formats that will allow electronic
documents to be exchanged among authorities, and between authorities,
citizens and business in a way that does not force the use of specific
software products and ensures universal readability of the documents.
The recommendations included the support of the OASIS standardisation
efforts and asked industry to join the effort. They also pleaded for the
submission to a public standardisation process in ISO.

In the meanwhile Microsoft, which took not part in the OASIS project,
has introduced its Office Open XML specification into an ECMA
standardisation process, also headed for consideration by ISO/IEC. Upon
completion, it would be submitted to the same voting process as OASIS ODF.

Industry organisations such as the OpenDocument Format Alliance (ODF
Alliance) congratulated the ISO for its sweeping approval of the
OpenDocument Format. Marino Marcich, Executive Director of the ODF
Alliance commented: "Approval of the ODF by ISO marks an important
milestone in the effort to help governments solve the very real problem
of finding a better way to preserve, access and control their documents
now and in the future. There's no doubt that this broad vote of support
will serve as a springboard for adoption and use of ODF around the world.”

Open Forum Europe (OFE), also an organisation supported by major players
in the field “warmly welcomed” the announcement of the new standard. The
organization “calls upon every European National Government to act now
to formally adopt ODF as the recognised open standard for data formats
and to take practical action to implement this.”

© European Communities 2006
Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.
The views expressed are not an official position of the European Commission.


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