The best thing about standards is that there are so many from which to choose. As Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) format and ISO/OASIS’s OpenDocument Format (ODF) battle for industry supremacy, a third contender has emerged from China.
Developed by Chinese software developers, vendors, end users, and academic institutions to promote innovation and interoperability, China’s Universal Office Format (UOF) is an open, XML-based format that leverages existing web standards and uses the zip format as a container like ODF and OOXML. At a recent WTO conference in Beijing, Sun chairman and former CEO Scott McNealy called for a merger between between ODF and UOF.
The prospect of merging ODF and UOF is not new. The UOF working group discussed the prospect of “harmonizing” the two standards in 2006, and an OASIS technical committee was assembled to collaborate with UOF developers in an effort to “evaluate the OpenDocument 1.1 specification against the Chinese linguistic, cultural, business, academic, government, technical and similar requirements with special consideration given to how UOF meets these requirements.” The committee also worked “to propose other recommendations regarding what steps should be taken for the purpose of harmonizing UOF and OpenDocument.”
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OpenDocument, ODF, UOF, OOXML, Sun, Microsoft, Business, China, Chinese, Office, Format, Merger