I am sure you edit and open PDF and Microsoft Word Document files on a daily basis. But did you ask yourself how these types of files are stored on your PC? Or why you have to use specific software to utilize them?
Take .DOC files for example, you have to purchase the Microsoft Office suite to fully edit this kind of file. No one, except Microsoft, exactly knows how these files are created and stored on a computer; also no one knows how they are elaborated and processed, this means that other programmers and developers cannot create their own programs to process this type of files without Microsoft consensus and without knowing the full specification of this format.
However, there exists an international standard regarding electronic documents, it is the Open Document Format (ODF), it is standardized by ISO and it is considered an "open standard", this means that everyone can access this type of files and can develop applications which read and edit such files.
Why using ODF?
Normal users can see many benefits of the ODF format, since it is "open" everyone can develop applications which read and write in ODF format, this means more competition between software houses and best prices and service for you.
Because ODF is a standard, you can open ODF files on multiple platforms and operating systems. You can save a file on your Windows PC and then send it to other Mac and Linux users, all of them will open the file as exactly as you saved it.
Take also in consideration that you can chose between different software applications which support ODF in writing and reading documents, this allows you to collaborate with others regardless of which software they use.
In addition, the ODF will result in major portability, more freedom of choice and lower expenditures if adopted by your government or organization.
ODF files are easy to use and have a good file size.
How can I open and edit ODF files?
There are many applications which support ODF, some of them are free. Try OpenOffice.org (Windows/Linux), KOffice (Windows/Mac), NeoOffice (Mac), Google Docs…
Technically speaking, what is ODF?
A set of XML files and directories, which can represent a set of type files (word processing, spreadsheet, presentations, mathematical formulas, drawings…)
You can save in these files vector graphics, 3D shapes, forms, animations, sounds…
Are there other standards?
The most similar standard is the OOXML, but it has many localization troubles, security faults, incompatibilities and bugs. To know more about OOXML problems check www.noooxml.org.
To know more visit this site (http://www.documentfreedom.org)
Labels: Open Source