February 7, 2007 1:40 PM PST

OpenDocument up for adoption in Texas, Minnesota

Minnesota and Texas may become the next states to adopt the OpenDocument Format as the required standard for their agencies, thanks to two state bills up for vote.

The Minnesota Preservation of State Documents Act, if passed, would require that all documents "including text, spreadsheets and presentations" of the state be created in ODF. The XML-based document format is a rival to Microsoft's Office technology.

The one-page bill, HF0176, was introduced to the state's legislative Committee on Governmental Operations, Reform, Technology and Elections on January 17 by Rep. Paul Thissen. Reps. Melissa Hortman and Steve Simon later joined as co-authors of the bill.

If it passes the vote, Minnesota Preservation of State Documents Act will go into effect on July 1, 2008.

The Texas bill SB 446, authored by state Sen. Juan Hinojosa, was filed with the state senate on Monday. That act, if passed, would take effect on December 1, 2007, but agencies would be given until September 1, 2008, to comply.

If the changeover happens, not only will Texas agencies have to create documents in ODF, they will not be permitted to convert received documents into Microsoft's proprietary format in Word, according to the bill's current wording.

"Each state agency must be able to receive electronic documents in an open, Extensible Markup Language-based file format for office applications and may not change documents to a file format used by only one vendor," according to the bill.

This would not prohibit the use of Office altogether, as Microsoft released an ODF converter for its document application in early February. Sun also expects to release a translator for ODF that works with Office 2003. In addition, both companies have said they will introduce translators for spreadsheets and presentations.

Massachusetts met with opposition from disability-rights groups when it mandated ODF as the commonwealth's adopted standard by January 2007, because the format had limited aids available at the time. In response, Massachusetts adopted ODF plug-ins that would allow people with disabilities to use the same kinds of aids available for Microsoft Office files.

See more CNET content tagged:
OpenDocument Format, Texas, Massachusetts, agency, Minnesota

16 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
"OpenDocument" adoption in Texas, Minn....
... the way to go! "The Minnesota Preservation of State Documents Act, if passed, would require that all documents "including text, spreadsheets and presentations" of the state be created in ODF. The XML-based document format is a rival to Microsoft's Office technology..."; from a certain perspective, it is not so much as being a "rival to Microsoft's Office technology" but that of the fact that the Open Document Format Standards is the ISO's approved standard thus far meaning that the ODF standard could be universally applicable.
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Commander_Spock is a talkbot, not human
Commander_Spock is a program, and a poorly designed one at
that.

Have a nice day!
Posted by lesfilip (496 comments )
Link Flag
"OpenDocument" adoption in Texas, Minn....
... the way to go! "The Minnesota Preservation of State Documents Act, if passed, would require that all documents "including text, spreadsheets and presentations" of the state be created in ODF. The XML-based document format is a rival to Microsoft's Office technology..."; from a certain perspective, it is not so much as being a "rival to Microsoft's Office technology" but that of the fact that the Open Document Format Standards is the ISO's approved standard thus far meaning that the ODF standard could be universally applicable.
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Commander_Spock is a talkbot, not human
Commander_Spock is a program, and a poorly designed one at
that.

Have a nice day!
Posted by lesfilip (496 comments )
Link Flag
It's about time!
I was very excited when the state of Massachusetts decided to follow the Open Document Format. I am even more excited now to see more states deciding to follow ACTUAL PUBLISHED standards. I just hope more follow suit.

This is very exciting indeed. Maybe these states will take the next step and start saving themselves money by going to Open Source software.

That would most certainly be a VERY happy day!!!
Posted by hbloom (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's about time!
I was very excited when the state of Massachusetts decided to follow the Open Document Format. I am even more excited now to see more states deciding to follow ACTUAL PUBLISHED standards. I just hope more follow suit.

This is very exciting indeed. Maybe these states will take the next step and start saving themselves money by going to Open Source software.

That would most certainly be a VERY happy day!!!
Posted by hbloom (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.