Open Document Foundation Down and Out

By Michael Flanakin @ 8:35 PM :: 2181 Views :: Technology, Microsoft, Open Source/Standards :: Digg it!

Within the past month, the Open Document Foundation officially declared it would no longer support the Open Document Format (ODF). I had my speculations about the reasoning behind this move, but I can't say I would've guessed the foundation would close its doors. Of course, that was before the W3C knocked its own contender who the Open Document Foundation has chosen as its next poster-child, Compound Document Format (CDF), down a few pegs. That may sound a bit harsh, but apparently, W3C's Chris Lilley stated, "CDF... was not created to be, and isn't suitable for use, as an office format." There's nothing really wrong with this, but it definitely took the wind out of the foundation's sails. So much so, that there doesn't seem to have been any public announcement of the end of the foundation. All we know is the official website (broken link) has been taken down.

So, what will this mean for ODF? Who knows. It would've been nice to have seen the foundation approach Microsoft regarding Open XML, but that obviously didn't happen -- surprise, surprise. ODF won't simply go away. Sun and IBM are pushing it with pretty big budgets, hoping it'll grow the dying Open Office initiative. There have been some speculations noting that this could be the early stages of ODF's slow death, but I don't think it'll go so easily. I guess the astonishing thing is that the foundation just called it quits on the effort they supposedly felt so strongly about. If they really felt so strongly, I imagine they'd have worked a little harder to find a viable solution, even if it was to back Microsoft.