Open Document Format gains more support

By EDRi · November 7, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The first international workshop of Open Document Format (ODF) public sector
users took place in Berlin on 29-30 October 2007, hosted by the Foreign
Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The position of the German Foreign Office, as host of the event, was made
very clear. The Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in his
opening word, called ODF “a completely open and ISO-standardized format”,
considering it an “excellent basis” for “a free exchange of knowledge and
information in a time of globalization”. The Foreign Office has already
linked its foreign missions in a network using open-source programs and
shifted to OpenOffice and Linux operation systems on their laptops and has
in view to extend this program to all diplomatic workstations by the middle
of 2008.

According to Florian Schießl of the LiMux Project Office of Munich, where a
migration to Linux is in progress, the ODF is a good tool in reducing the
large range of templates and macros in the municipal government and in
creating more uniform file management standards. The municipal
administration of Freiburg will also implement a project for the migration
of 2000 workstations from Microsoft Office 2000 to OpenOffice, relying in
the future solely on ODF and PDF. ODF will also be adopted as the standard
file format by all agencies and departments of Schwäbisch-Hall as Horst
Bräuner, IT director, stated.

Germany is not the only country in favour of ODF. As expressed by Gavin
Beckett of the city administration of Bristol, UK, a migration to Sun
Microsystems’s StarOffice is currently in progress in the city
administrative offices. Mr. Beckett pointed out that the difficulty in the
development of the progress is the inertia and habit of the office employees
having been used Microsoft operation system for many years. “The point is to
overcome deeply ingrained modes of behavior,” he stated.

Brazil and India are also leaders in the use of open standards in the office
area. Deivi Kuhn of Serpro, a company coordinating the use of open source in
Brazil, declared that ODF standard adopted by the International Organization
for Standardization, a good tool providing both access to knowledge
and ensuring user freedoms, was mandatory for e-government state
interoperability standards. In India, in the federal state of Assam, PCs
with Linux and OpenOffice were given to students and the migration to open
source software was in progress in government offices.

German Foreign Office comes out in favor of Open Document Format

ODF Workshop (29-30.10.2007)

EDRI-gram: OOXML – negative vote at International Organization for
Standardization (12.09.2007)