New translations of ODF toolkit infographic

For Document Freedom Day on March 25th we worked with Open Forum Europe and Open Source Consortium to produce a new toolkit for Government technology leaders. Now the first translations are in: German and Danish editions of the toolkit’s infographic are available, thanks to Svitlana Pavelko and Leif Lodahl.

ODF Toolkit infographic in English
ODF infographic in English
ODF Toolkit infographic in German
…in German
ODF Toolkit infographic in Danish
…and in Danish

The toolkit aims to help Government technology leaders speed adoption of Open Document Format (ODF), the required standard for sharing Government documents since last July. It includes the newly translated infographic, as well a folder with principles and benefits of ODF, and a comparison of supporting office suites and document file extensions.

We’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the project, and the Plugfest which inspired it, and look forward to more resources being added in future.

Comparison table of ODF 1.2 support in applications
Comparison of ODF 1.2 support in applications

As work on LibreOffice for Android and LibreOffice Online progresses, we can expect two more ODF editors to add to the list of options.

ODF for cloud communication added to Government catalogue


Collabora is making it easier for the UK Public Sector to comply with Governmental Open Document Format (ODF) policy by offering interoperability services through the G-Cloud6 digital marketplace. Public bodies may now directly commission Open Standards-based solutions to incompatible proprietary formats, and gain expert assistance bridging barriers to legacy back office systems as they move documents to and from Cloud based services.

The Open Document Format (ODF) is a vital interchange format for moving documents between Cloud Services. Many Cloud-based office suites appear to have no native file format, as all data is stored remotely, accessed only via a web interface — the software implementation is concealed to end-users. Performing data-migration into and between Cloud services demands detailed understanding of import / export systems and format compatibility. Transfer between incompatible systems necessitates a data medium that includes all of a document’s rich content and formatting. As the most widely accepted Open Standard in the field, ODF is ideally suited to this task.

Open Standards are essential for interoperability and freedom of choice based on the merits of different software products and services. British procurement policy mandates the use of Open Standards to realise independence and cost efficiency and vendor independence.

Increasingly popular mobile and web-based apps have greatly expanded the options available public sector buyers. Compatibility remains a crucial necessity when deploying new and disparate systems. ODF offers sophisticated capabilities together with maximum industry uptake and support. A variety of products from competing vendors provide ODF implementations across all major mobile, workstation, and server platforms.

As contributors to the ODF standard and experts on its implementation, Collabora is delighted to have been accepted to the GCloud programme.

Major announcements from the ODF Plugfest


Last night Open Forum Europe and The Community For Open Interoperability Standards published a press release about the Open Document Format (ODF) Plugfest event from earlier this week.

Collabora attended and wrote our expectations for the meeting on Monday; now here are the outcomes. The announcements, some of which have already been reported, are very encouraging for the future of ODF and the spread of the native LibreOffice format. Here is the press release verbatim:

Cabinet office Plugfest builds momentum for ODF

On Monday and Tuesday, 8th-9th December, a group of technologists, SMEs, corporations, individuals, and representatives of Governments gathered in Bloomsbury, London over two days to collectively improve the implementation of Open Document Format (ODF).

“Plugfests provide both vendors and organisations implementing the standard with knowledge about ODF and the software that supports it.” said Linda Humphries, Senior Technical Adviser at the Government Digital Service. “The aim is to help vendors to improve their products so that users have a better experience when they exchange documents.”

The Government’s policy mandating ODF for editing and sharing documents, announced in July by the Minister, commits all departments to adopting the format to boost the strength and diversity of apps which read and write ODF documents. The Cabinet Office partnered with the OpenDoc Society to host this week’s event. Magnus Falk voiced Government priorities when his speech on Monday demanded “serious choice” for Government IT buyers, and a level playing field for suppliers based on the use of Open Standards and ODF.

Several major announcements highlighting an increased commitment to ODF were made. A major strength of ODF lies in its many independent implementations providing choice and flexibility. Ten independent implementations of ODF were represented, and significant technical progress was made in automated testing by 50+ delegates from 30 organisations, including 17 Government representatives.

The Dutch Government representatives commended the UK Open Standards policy, which shares it’s own aims, for delivering interoperability and avoiding vendor lock-in. They also announced they will host the next Plugfest in Summer 2015

“This week’s Plugfest marked a historic high for co-operation between ODF stakeholders in Government, software vendors, and small to medium enterprises” said Basil Cousins, Director of Open Forum Europe, “it’s encouraging to see the Cabinet Office participating in ODF implementation to drive their ground-breaking policy of file-format openness, interoperability and competition”.

Following strategic presentations and meetings on Monday from leaders including Government Deputy CTO Magnus Falk, Google’s Chris DiBona, Collabora’s Michael Meeks and Boris Devouge of Microsoft , Tuesday provided a day for technical development and testing. Particular progress was made with support for tracked changes within documents – a key feature for Government ODF users, which is yet to be implemented in Microsoft Office products and Google Docs. Compatibility between change-tracked documents was demonstrated in three Open Source implementations including LibreOffice, Apache OpenOffice, and EuroOffice, and 183 new tests were written to check formatting and interoperability with other applications.

“Interoperability is a core benefit of Open Standards such as ODF, and technically speaking the situation has never been better” said Michael Meeks, of the Document Foundation Board of Directors. “It was great to see the progress around change tracking, and we look forward to all vendors contributing to positive improvements in both implementations and the standard in this area. Across desktop, mobile, and server, ODF has never worked more consistently better”.

About Open Document Format (ODF)

Approved as an OASIS standard in 2005 and as an ISO standard in 2006, ODF is supported by a wide range of desktop office suites, web-based editors and mobile applications including leading commercial offerings from Google, Microsoft, and IBM, as well as multi-platform Open Source products including LibreOffice, OpenOffice, WebODF, EuroOffice, and Calligra Suite. It has since been adopted as an official document standard by national governments in Europe and Latin America.

About The Community for Open Interoperability Standards (COIS)

COIS is the British division of OpenForum Europe (OFE) which supports OFE’s Vision, Policies and Code of Conduct with the mission of creating a level playing field for ICT suppliers and freedom of choice for the citizen/user by supporting the drive to adopt Open Standards through the UK public sector. COIS seeks to connect the Public Sector with the technology community, guided by the Cabinet Office’s Open Standards Principles. It is committed to transparency, politically and technologically neutral, non profit & self funded with industry support and managed by a co-operation of industry organisations. Views expressed by COIS do not necessarily reflect those held by all its supporters.