OASIS Launches OpenDocument XML.org

OASIS announced yesterday in Lyons, France, that it has launched a public Website "designed to serve as the official community gathering place and information resource for the OpenDocument Format (ODF)" sponsored by IBM, Sun Microsystems and, interestingly, Intel as well.  According to the brief press release, readers are encouraged to contribute content.  Editorial Guidelines can be found here.

The site already contains quite a few features, including Wikis, white papers, links to external resources, and so on.  It's nicely done and easy to navigate, and while it's hardly comprehensive at this point, each heading has at least a page of material.  Hopefully, these categories will be filled out with much of the substantial amount of data that has accumulated over the last year in particular.

It will be interesting not only to see how well this site catches on, given how many sites exist that have their own resources and following, including the ODF Alliance site, serving the public sector, and ODF Fellowship site, serving a general audience, the sites of the open source projects that support ODF, such as OpenOffice.org and many other sites and blogs that follow ODF regularly.

It will also be interesting to see how activity at this site compares to what goes on at OpenXMLDeveloper.org, a somewhat similar site launched by Microsoft back in March.  According to the home page of the site, registered members reached the 500 mark last week.  Data on traffice is here.

It would also be interesting for someone to do an in-depth comparison some day, using efforts such as these as examples, of which model is most successful and influential: the bare-bones, under-resourced efforts, such as the ODF Fellowship and the blogs, or the institutionally sponsored and well-funded Websites, such as the Microsoft and OASIS sites.  Each has it’s own strengths, including, on the unofficial side, passion and conviction, and on the other, resources and authority.

Of course, each does its part, and as in so many other ways, the Internet provides a way for all manner of people to participate in ways that were totally unavailable only a short while ago.  

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