As governments start to standardize on the Open Document Format
instead of Word, a big concern has been on mitigating the cost of the
transition. Now an open source programmer has developed a plug-in that
will allow Word to read and write ODF files, News.com
But the plug-in won’t be made available until state governments like
Massachusetts vet the software.
“We’d rather have a level of validation that is worthy enough so that
when other entities want to consider OpenDocument, eighty percent of
the testing is done for them,” Edwards told CNET News.com on Friday.
He said that the OpenDocument Foundation will respond to a request for
information Massachusetts issued last week on an ODF plug-in for
Office. He noted that the plug-in for Word, for example, was well
tested but there remains work to be done for Excel and PowerPoint.
Here’s an interesting tidbit from Edwards – and a word to the wise for
The technical break-through came when developers stopped following
Microsoft’s interoperability instructions and started considering
undocumented APIs, he said.
“Your big mistake is following instructions Microsoft provides. You
need to be looking at what Microsoft does, not what they tell you to
do,” Edwards said.