A month ago we showed some video demos of the new OpenOffice.org. This included some OpenGL-accelerated eye candy, but one of the better features is probably the inclusion of a GPLv3 variant [1, 2]. Novell is likely to take its own separate route as a result.
OpenOffice will see a new release today: version 2.4.
There are already some previews of version 3.0 and encouraging signs of great adoption. Over at
commandline.org.uk, there is actually a proposal for blending in of ODF with the Linux Standard Base. It’s clear that GNU/Linux adoption is dependent on open standards, including that of documents.
Include ODF support in the Linux Standard Base?
Enter the Linux Standard Base
The Linux Standard Base Desktop Specification provides a standard desktop for developers to target when writing desktop applications.
The points raised there are valid, but it probably remains to be understood just how Linux-specific (or specific to any platform for that matter) ODF is. Everything should be universal, but Novell, Linspire, Xandros and Turbolinux won’t make things easy.
It has become increasingly obvious that adoption of Free software and the Free Desktop depends on the success and the network effect ODF can capitalise on. That’s why Microsoft is in a great rush. Microsoft know this, which is why its aggressive (even unethical or illegal) fight for OOXML is not just a fight for Office, but a fight for the relevance of its entire proprietary franchise, including Windows. That’s just how important ODF is. █