Feeds

Interoperability eludes Office and OpenOfffice

OOXML-to-ODF results may vary

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The simple task of opening a Microsoft Word document in OpenOffice using Open Document Format (ODF) and moving it back without jeopardizing your hard work continues to prove elusive.

Researchers have found a continued lack of interoperability between Office Open XML (OOXML), used in Word 2003 and 2007, and ODF more than a year after OOXML joined ODF as an official international ISO standard.

Their work also comes almost a year and a half after Microsoft convened an industry group with the job of closing the gap between the two, with Novell separately working on interoperability between ODF and OOXML.

Novell in December 2006 promised translators for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations between the ODF-based OpenOffice.org and Microsoft's Office.

Despite this, the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communications Systems (FOKUS) has found the level of formatting that'll be retained in a document will vary according to the parts of the document in question and the application or tools you use to open the document.

"Many of the functionalities, especially those found in simpler documents, can be translated between the standards, while the translation of other functionalities can prove complex or even impossible," FOKUS wrote in a white paper that wrapped up its research.

Also important was the where the document originated. "On a round-trip conversion it cannot be guaranteed that the initial document and the document resulting from the conversion will be identical," the paper said.

FOKUS tested interoperability between documents and spreadsheets, looking at presentation instructions, content, metadata, annotations, and elements such as headlines, tables, and captions. The team found problems with white spaces, graphics, and tables, while tracking changes are not supported in ODF in tables. Text formatting was "highly translatable".

FOKUS identified problems when moving a document from OOXML to ODF and back, or ODF to OOXML and back - called round-tripping - and when moving a document in just one direction.

The group earlier this year promised a document-test library and validation tool that would let developers verify if software they're building is compatible with OOXML.

The ability to move documents between OOXML and ODF has been a long-running issue, and the FOKUS report indicates that concerns raised elsewhere (here and here) over the level of interoperability between the two have yet to be completely solved.

You can read the full FOKUS report here (PDF). ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.