From an press release:

The future of extends beyond the office suite. With the creation of our new ODF Toolkit Project, which we are announcing today, we are inviting developers everywhere to take the source of the world’s leading Free and Open office productivity suite in bold new directions. These may include technologies that engage tools for collaboration, communication and content creation of every kind; tools that will complement and even transcend the already powerful productivity suite. The anchor of this new project is the OpenDocument Format (ODF), the ISO and OASIS standard format for office applications and the most flexible and adaptable format for the future.

Any application can be engineered to express its files in the ODF and any application can open and edit ODF files created by another compliant application. Vendor lock-in, in which the user must continue to use expensive and proprietary software only because the files created using it are unreadable by other applications, has been the bane of governments, businesses, and individuals for at least the last twenty-five years. With the ODF users reclaim their works and vendor lock-in is eliminated. It is for this reason that governments and businesses are looking to the ODF and The stakes are too high.

The ODF Toolkit Project takes that freedom even further. Developers are not bound by the legacy constraints of the office suite; they will be able to more easily include ODF in their applications or create new applications that use ODF. It does not matter whether it extracts, manages, creates, or integrates information. The ODF Toolkit Project lowers the barriers to working with and implementing the ODF for all.

–The Team

The Community is an international team of volunteer and sponsored contributors who develop, support, and promote the leading open-source office productivity suite,\’s leading edge software technology (UNO) is also available for developers, systems integrators, etc. to use in extensions or in their own applications. supports the Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) OASIS Standard (ISO/IEC 26300), as well as legacy industry file formats and is available on major computing platforms in over 90 languages. software is provided under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) and may be used free of charge for any purpose, private or commercial. The Community acknowledges generous sponsorship from a number of companies. Users will obviously benefit, and almost immediately. To give just an example: The future of collaboration and communication, not to mention much of commerce, depends on applications that can exchange files without the hassle of incompatibility; the future depends on truly open and flexible standards and formats. But much of what is created today and almost all that is exchanged uses proprietary formats, effectively limiting collaboration.

With the ODF Toolkit Project, any suitable application, large or small, will find it easier to implement the ODF, allowing users to create and exchange, collaborate on or simply save their files as they please, without the fear of vendor lock-in or file obsolescence.

Developers and others interested in contributing are invited to join us now and make something new!

To learn more, go here.

[tags], free office suite, open source, bill webb, bill’s web, office alternatives, open document format, ODF[/tags]