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Developers Gather for ODF Day at the KDE Community aKademy 2006 Conference

[Press release by OSDL] Open source software developers, joined by Intel and IBM technical staff, exchange knowledge and plan ODF supporting projects; OpenDocument Developer Kit proposed

Dublin, Ireland, October 2, 2006 --The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) Desktop Linux® (DTL) group, NLnet, and the KDE open source development community recently hosted an ODF Day at aKademy 2006. This year the leading open source developers from the KDE community were joined by senior technical staff member representatives from Intel and IBM for a day of seminars and technical talks on the many facets of software development opportunities enabled by the new ISO/IEC 263000 (OpenDocument Format) international standard.

Dr. Barbara Held, presently serving as Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General of the European Commission Program for Interchange of Data between Administrations (IDA), stated in her keynote address, "In the view of the European administrations and Member States, the ODF standard is at the very top of the pile by far from all other proposed open standards."

The Interoperable Delivery of pan-European eGovernment Services to Public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens (IDABC) promotes open document formats for European eGovernement services. The European administrations require accessibility, sustainability, independence, and scalability of document solutions.

Open Document Format (ODF) is not just a file format for personal productivity application suites such as OpenOffice, Koffice, or IBM Workplace. The power of ODF is that any open source and/or commercial software application can generate ODF document data and when combined with other applications that implement ODF support, deliver new business value in highly collaborative and interoperable solutions.

The promotion of the ISO/IEC 26300 Open Document Format standard in public administrations is part of the IDA and IDABC activities in support of pan-European interoperability. The initiative urges the industry to provide applications based on open formats that will allow electronic documents to be exchanged among authorities, and between authorities, citizens and business in a way that does not mandate the use of specific software products and ensures universal consumability of document data across these many application instances.

The KDE office suite, Koffice, is an important proof point that demonstrates that the ODF standard can be implemented by more than one office suite. A true open standard is not a standard when implemented by only one application. Many ODF software solutions are listed at Wiki/OpenDocument.

The developers attending the ODF Day at aKademy set their sights outside of the traditional well known office suite domain to discuss and plan a wide variety of new projects based on ODF XML. At the global KDE conference, Rob Weir from IBM presented a proposal to create an OpenDocument Developer Kit (ODDK) including an ODF API that will expose a higher level abstraction of ODF for application developers. The ODDK will help developers quickly become productive with ODF without having to master the underlying XML specification.

The ODF standard represents a portable document data format that will drive innovation in applications that generate, filter, convert, augment, view, or analyze documents and the data contained within. Rob Weir, an OASIS ODF Technical Committee member and IBM software architect, said, "ODF XML and related Internet and open standard technologies will lead to a golden age of document processing, both client and server side, with innovation driving new value for government and industrial enterprises."

During ODF Day, the developer community gave consideration to several ODF usage models as prime opportunities to leverage ODF as a portable document format: see ODF/Models.

At the KDE Conference in Dublin, Ireland, representatives from the European Union assured the gathering of KDE and ODF developers that this golden age of document processing is clearly in the eGovernment strategy for Europe. John Cherry, OSDL DTL Initiative Manager, said, "The time has come for applications to grow up around the ODF and for this open standard to reach its potential in the global document exchange markets."

About NLnet

NLnet is a non-profit organization with a mission and a philosophy. The mission is to advance and innovate network technology. The philosophy is Open Source: free availability of technology.

About KDE

KDE is one of the largest and most active project in the Free Software world. For almost ten years it has delivered a powerful and easy-to-use graphical desktop environment and applications for Linux and other UNIX systems. Behind KDE there is a vibrant community of software developers, translators, artists, usability experts and committed users, a community that continually proves that Free Software can be of world-class quality.

About the Open Source Development Lab

OSDL --sponsor of Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel-- is dedicated to accelerating the growth and adoption of Linux-based operating systems in the enterprise. Founded in 2000 and supported by a global consortium of major Linux customers and IT industry leaders, OSDL is a nonprofit organization that provides state-of-the-art computing and test facilities available to developers around the world. With offices in China, Europe, Japan and the United States, OSDL sponsors legal and development projects to advance open source software as well as initiatives for Linux systems in telecommunications, in the data center and on enterprise desktops.

OSDL is a trademark of Open Source Development Labs, Inc. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. Third party marks and brands are the property of their respective holders.

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