Blogger: Guy Creese
Burton Group has just published a comprehensive overview of the ODF/OOXML debate, along with projections and recommendations for IT planners. We’ve made the overview available for free (I must admit I'm not sure for how long), as we believe this topic warrants expanded industry debate before a February, 2008 ISO ballot on OOXML, and we want to help catalyze and advance the debate.
An excerpt from the overview:
The software industry has rarely seen debates as intense as those surrounding OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Office Open XML (officially “Ecma 376 Office Open XML” [also known as ECMA-376 and OOXML]) during recent years. It’s a story that has many elements appropriate for a James Bond movie, with multibillion dollar business empires at risk, global political intrigue, and even some conspiracy theories at the intersection of capitalism (commercial software products), democracy (industry standards), and communism (e.g., related standards controlled by the People’s Republic of China). This is improbably heady stuff for what’s ultimately a debate about something as mundane as file formats.
The overall document summary:
Industry debate about the relative merits of OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Ecma 376 Office Open XML (OOXML) highlights the significance of the productivity application market shift from binary and proprietary file formats to vendor- and product-independent Extensible Markup Language (XML) models. The competitive stakes are huge, and the related political posturing is sometimes perplexing. In this overview, Research Directors Guy Creese and Peter O’Kelly introduce ODF, OOXML, and related World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards, and project their implications for future productivity applications.
Please note that this overview, like all Burton Group research, is a completely vendor-independent perspective; Burton Group does not engage in vendor “white papers” or other vendor-paid writing projects. This is another way to say we'll probably ruffle some vendor feathers on this one, but we've tried hard to look into this objectively and in some detail (the report is 37 pages long).
It also builds on themes we’ve covered in other recent research, including next-generation hypertext, DITA and other means of improving XML content reusability, and XQuery. Collectively, we believe these advances will fundamentally improve the ways information workers collaborate and manage content.
You can download the document on this page [http://www.burtongroup.com/Guest/Ccs/WhatsUpDoc.aspx]. Note: we will ask you to register, if you’re not a current Burton Group customer.