26 September 2006


aKademy 2006: OpenDocument Day

One of the two large specialised tracks at aKademy this year is the OpenDocument Day - the other one, HCI day, will be tomorrow. We started off today with the keynote by Barbara Held who talked about open formats and standards, and what the European Union can and cannot do with them. One of the largest problems turns out to be that what we call an OASIS standard is not a proper standard according to their rules: only specifications approved by DIN, ISO, and such institutions are. Still, there seem to be an interesting movement and open standards might very well have a good future.
Then, we had a series of lightning talks, starting off with Lotzi Bölöni on a test suite, or as he rather sees it, a series of sample documents. I was up next with a presentation on OpenRaster, a proposed open graphics interchange format which would ideally have a "container" counterpart in OpenDocument Raster. The next two talks were by Rob Weir and Florian Reuter, who both talked about common object models and toolsets.
After an excellent lunch, Sam Hiser continued with a talk on the "Promise of ODF" which gave a bird-eye view of the project, and Tim Eves pointed out some issues with minority languages and font support. Jaroslaw Staniek concluded the lightning sessions with a presentation on databases and ODF. We had a break and waved goodbye to some of our guests. Then we continued with some plenary discussions during which it became apparent that there is quite some opportinity for collaboration between the various parties. We are currently rounding up the discussions, will probably do some more informal talking afterwards, and then will go for dinner tonight.

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