ODF: What to Expect Today

Speaker: Ben Martin


ODF is an open standard for storing office documents like text, spreadsheets, drawings, and presentations. While ODF 1.2 has been a standard for years, most tools do not fully implement the entire specification. See how many current generation office suites implement or ignore the features of the ODF specification. I'll also cover some open source tools which you can use to check how well your own documents are preserved across many different office suites. Some results

I have been working on tools to help you work out what is supported by each office application and see how a document is presented on a platform that you do not have access to. Odfautotests runs hundreds of tests that have been derived from the standard, with each test aimed at showing how well each office application preserves a specific attribute of the ODF standard. So, for example, you can see at a glance what office application will throw away ruby text, and also see how the ruby text is presented. While you might not care about ruby text, returning an updated document to a Japanese client with it stripped out will likely lead to tension.

odfserver is a new tool created this year to allow files to be uploaded to a central server and have numerous office applications load and save each file to test compatibility.


Ben has a BIT, MIT, and PhD in computer science. He has been writing open source for over 10 years and has spoken at LCA many times, OLS, Linux Kongress many times, UKUUG, NLUUG, OSDC, Libre Graphics Meeting, and many academic conferences during his doctorate.

Ben created libferris which is like plan9 filesystems for Linux. Robots have now also come onto the radar with the latest trend towards increasing the level of autonomy of each robot.

Najaar 2016

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