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Revision of ODF History from Mon, 2006-08-28 20:33

A long Tradition of Openness: The History of ODF

The OpenDocument format has a long tradition of openness. The first work on the file format started as early as 1999. Right from the beginning ODF was designed as an open and implementation neutral file format.

The open specification process started in 2000 with the foundation of the open source project and the community efforts within its XML development project. An even higher level of openness was established in 2002 with the creation of the OASIS Open Office Technical Committee (TC).

During the last seven years an increasing number of organizations and companies joined the ODF specification process. In addition, a growing number of applications implements the OpenDocument file format. Table 1 provides an overview about the history of the OpenDocument format.

Date / Time Frame Event / Milestone
1999 The Development of an XML default file format begins at StarDivision. Limitations of the old binary format and a need for Unicode support trigger the change. The goal is to create an open interoperable file format that can be used and implemented by other vendors as well.
August 1999 Sun Microsystems, Inc. acquires StarDivision.
13 October 2000 The open source project gets founded by Sun Microsystems, Inc.
13 October 2000 The XML community project gets setup on with the goal to define the specification of the XML file format as on open community effort.
2002 Definitions for CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) and complex text layout languages get added to the XML file format specification.
2002 The first collaborations with the KOffice project begin.
16 December 2002 The OASIS Open Office Technical Committee (TC) has its first conference call.
May 2002 1.0 and StarOffice 6 get released, both using the XML file format as the default file format.
August 2003 KOffice decides to use ODF as its default file format.
2003 / 2004 The original XML file format specification gets modified to reflect recent developments in the XML and office application area, e.g.:

* Introduction of XML namespaces that conform to the OASIS naming rules
* Switching from XML DTD's to Relax-NG as the schema language
* Improvements of the schema to better support the validation of documents
* Adaptation of the schema to new versions of standards
* Adaptations for additional office applications (KOffice)
* Adaptations for new office application versions ( 2.0)
* Removal of inconsistencies in the specification
* Error corrections
December 2004 A second committee draft gets approved, and the tile of this draft gets changed from “OASIS Open Office Specification” to “OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument)”
January 2005 The TC gets renamed to OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) TC.
February 2005 The third file format specification draft including public review feedback gets approved as a committee draft.
May 2005 The OpenDocument Format (ODF) gets approved as an OASIS standard.
September 2005 Sun Microsystems releases StarOffice 8 with ODF support.
September 2005 ODF gets submitted to ISO.
September 2005 INdT (research group belonging to Nokia) contributes ODF filters for Abiword and Gnumeric.
October 2005 2.0 gets released with ODF support.
October 2005 Sun issues a patent covenant statement:

“Sun's public non-assertion declaration may be summarized unofficially as an irrevocable covenant not to enforce any of its enforceable U.S. or foreign patents against any implementation of the OASIS OpenDocument specification”
December 2005 Softmaker releases Textmaker 2006 with ODF support.
January 2006 IBM releases IBM Workplace with ODF support.
March 2006 The ODF Alliance gets founded with 35 founding members in order to promote ODF in the public sector.
March 2006 The OASIS ODF Adoption TC gets founded.
April 2006 KOffice 1.5 which uses ODF as the default file format gets released.
May 2006 ISO approves ODF as ISO/IEC 26300.
June 2006 The ODF Alliance has already more than 200 members incl. companies and organizations like BBC, Corel, EDS, EMC, IBM, Novell, Red Hat, Oracle, Software AG, Sun Microsystems, and the City of Vienna. Focus Areas: BPEL | DITA | ebXML | IDtrust | OpenDocument | SAML | UBL | UDDI
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