ODF 1.2: When will it be properly supported?

OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) has finally approved version 1.2 of ODF, the Open Document Format. The announcement can be found at this location. Related blog post by Microsoft's Dough Mahugh and IBM's Rob Weir were already written a few days earlier.

While Rob Weir states in his blog that "Most likely your office suite already supports ODF 1.2 today" it seems to me that few if any suites actually write correct ODF 1.2 files. Many claim to write ODF1.2 but it seems few do.

  • Microsoft Excel does not write ODF 1.2.
  • Google-docs claims to write ODF 1.2 but its files are missing a required mimetype specification and have many other errors.
  • LibreOffice has some long standing errors in its ODF1.2 files, for example this bug that had been filed against the original OpenOffice.org well over a year ago.
  • The last OpenOffice.org release had many ODF bugs filed against it, but since its move to Apache nothing much seem to have happened.

Perhaps now that ODF 1.2 has officially been released the ODF 1.2 support of these suites will finally be improved. Users depend on it for interoperability between applications.

OpenOffice.org as a reference implementation of the ODF standard?

Luke Kowalski's OpenOffice.org Apache incubator proposal turns out to be quite humorous reading:

The OpenOffice.org implementation will serve as a reference implementation of the Open Document Format standard.

You may ask why I find this especially funny? Well as a Gnumeric developer interested in Gnumeric's ODF export and import I frequently try out whether some of the other ODF implementation can read Gnumeric-generated ODF files and whether Gnumeric can read the files generated by those other implementations. As a consequence I find myself often filing bugs against those other implementations. An implementation that aspires to be a reference implementation of the Open Document Format standard should be expected to be responsive to such bug reports.

Check out the date of http://openoffice.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=102958!