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“OpenDocument is Bringing a Renaissance”

Bob Sutor posits that “OpenDocument is bringing a renaissance of document creation and publishing.”

His arguments are quite clearsighted. The office suite has been a fixed product for a long time, when, from the perspective of its users, it should have morphed and mutated to fit dozens or hundreds of different specialized niches. The monolith is a dinosaur, the new mantra should be “smaller, faster, and specialized.”

“I know many of you will be thinking open source here, but the existence of commonly implemented open standards that are beyond a single vendor’s control means that there will be multiple, competitive implementations. This means better, more usable features, better security (because people will compete on this element), better performance, and lower cost. It is important to remember that ODF is just one example here. We’re going to see this repeated over and over again for other standards and in many industries…”

“What will also happen will be the development of high quality SDKs created for ODF and some standard things you want to do with it. For more than thirty years, UNIX users have used a string of filters to process, analyze, reshape, and format information. The binary formats used by WYSIWYG office applications dulled our senses to what we used to know how to do.

All of this will lead to a collapse of the office suite market, but we’ll still see the creation of even more documents that are more widely used and, fundamentally, just more useful.”

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