NATO: ODF is fine with us

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A colleague just sent me a link to the NATO “3.4. NNEC Core Enterprise Services” which is part of the NATO Interoperability Standards and Profiles document. Lo and behold, about half way down the document in the Standards section is “OpenDocument ISO/IEC 26300:2006.” That is ODF.

Adopter by adopter, person by person, country by country, organization by organization, ODF keeps winning.

Preceding the mention of ODF are two entries which I find a little confusing.

  • Office 2000 formats: Office XP – Not to be used for new systems.
  • Office XP formats – Pertains to the interchange formats of MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, irrespective of the actual MS Office version or general office automation package being used.

My interpretation of this is that they want people to use the Microsoft Office XP binary formats, even if they are using Office 2003 or 2007. People are not to save in, say, Office 97 formats.

Clarifications and corrections welcome.


  1. It’s rather like saying “What shall we use to keep our video recordings on ?”
    The likely choices are VHS Videotape, or ISO standard DVD.

    Everyone is saying “For new projects, we will use DVDs”
    Even though VHS did dominate the videotape era, and they have a pile of VHS videotapes on the shelf gathering dust, they’re not going to go for incremental developments of the VHS standard.

    I expect people will want to keep a few VHS tape players around, until they break down and spare parts are no longer readily available, so they can watch their old videos.

    But new stuff goes onto DVDs, as a matter of course.

  2. > “OpenDocument ISO/IEC 26300:2006.” That is ODF.

    ODF 1.0 to be exact – but apparently no one supports ODF 1.0 today.

    – Alex.

  3. >> “OpenDocument ISO/IEC 26300:2006.” That is ODF.

    > ODF 1.0 to be exact – but apparently no one supports ODF 1.0 today.

    >- Alex.

    To be exact, ODF 1.0 is included in ODF 1.1; any application that can edit ODF 1.1 should (at least) read ODF 1.0 without loss. In addition, an ODF 1.0 application such as 2.0 can reasonably work with a document coming from, say, 2.4 which supports ODF 1.1.

    As another example, I developed a Perl-based ODF API which works without care of the ODF version (

    ODF 1.1 is by no means a *new* document format; it’s a minor upgrade.

    So one should not speak about ODF 1.0 and ODF 1.1 as they were two different document formats. Don’t forget that the changes between 1.0 and 1.1 were introduced through a regular maintenance process, mainly driven by technical people, and not under political pressure like the recent “upgrade” of a well-known alternative document format specification.

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