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Thursday, February 21, 2008

ODF Standard Editor Calls for Cooperation with OOXML

The teams developing ODF (OpenDocument Format) and OOXML (Office Open
XML) standards should work together, evolving the two in parallel, the
editor of the ODF standard said Tuesday in an open letter to the
standards-setting community. The Microsoft-sponsored OOXML document
format is just days away from a critical meeting that will influence
whether the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) will
adopt it as a standard as its rival ODF was adopted in May 2006.
Relations between supporters of the two formats are, for the most part,
combative rather than cordial. Patrick Durusau, ISO project editor for
ODF, or ISO/IEC 26300 as it is known there, thinks supporters of the
two formats would be more productive if they allowed the formats to
co-evolve, he wrote in his open letter . Durusau thoughtfully avoided
the ODF and OOXML formats for his letter, choosing instead PDF, itself
adopted as an ISO standard in December. From Durusau's "Co-Evolving
OpenXML And OpenDocument Format": "If we had a co-evolutionary environment,
one where the proponents of OpenXML and OpenDocument, their respective
organizations, national bodies and others interested groups could meet
to discuss the future of those proposals, the future revisions of both
would likely be quite different. Co-evolution means that the standards
will evolve based on the influence of each other and their respective
user communities. Both remain completely independent and neither is
subordinate to the other. What is currently lacking is a neutral forum
in which proponents can meet and learn from each other. Creating such
an environment is going to take time and effort so I would like to
suggest a first step towards fostering co-evolution between OpenXML
and OpenDocument..."

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