Saturday, February 17, 2007

ODF and Other Sundries: How I Wasted My Day

I pretty much wasted a day today doing some surfing and responding to other blogs, mostly with regard to ODF. John Carroll on ZDNet asks, "Does ODF lack sufficent detail?" Anyone familiar with me knows that my answer to this is an emphatic "No." That by itself isn't very convincing, though, so there is a spirited debate in the TalkBacks. The references lead everywhere, including Rob Weir's excellent blog, An Antic Disposition, Groklaw.net, and other places. If you're of a mind to head over to ZDNet, I'd urge you to read the Wikipedia articles on OpenDocument and OpenFormula first. Yes, Virginia; OpenOffice.org's spreadsheet formulas are documented.

BTW, if you missed it, Sun Microsystems has released the ODF Plugin for Microsoft Word 2003. With it, the ODF community has done what Microsoft apparently could not... built a plug-in that allows you to seamlessly open and save OpenDocument formatted files, and have this set as your default. Don't be the last on the block; get yours today. Remember, this is for Word 2003. By contrast, in addition to OpenOffice.org (which I use for the heavy lifting) I also have Microsoft Office 2007 here. I installed the ODF Add-in sponsored by Microsoft. I was somewhat shocked by its inadequacies, but I'll save some typing and let Sam Hiser explain why.

Along the way I found that Zaine Ridling has posted an excellent review of three modern word processors: StarOffice / OpenOffice.org, Microsoft Word 2007, and WordPerfect X3. I urge you to check it out.

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