by Sander Marechal

Yesterday the OpenDoc Society, the NOiV (Netherlands in Open Connection) and the NLNet Foundation announced, a new webservice where you can upload ODF documents and compare their rendering and output in different office suite applications. We here at Lone Wolves are happy to announce that we are the lead architects of this new webservice.

Over the coming days I will announce a couple of things regarding on this website, like how it works, where to get the code and how to contribute. The plan is to start a closed beta by the end of February and go public by the end of March, but if we want to make this deadline then we need contributers. In the upcoming days I will explain exactly what we need, but if you want to help then you can already join the mailinglist.

Here is the full press release from the OpenDoc Society and NoiV:

Free webservice lets user compare office applications
'Office users can finally see what others are seeing'

~                Maarssen/Amsterdam, The Netherlands, January 30th 2009

The Dutch government program "Netherlands in Open Connection" and
OpenDoc Society have announced they are collaborating on an online
document factory to compare office suite applications. The free
webservice should be available by the end of February
2009. Users will be able to online compare the output quality of a large
number of office suites as well as web-based productivity applications.
The collaboration was announced during a well visited ODF conference in
Maarssen, The Netherlands. The project is financially supported by a
grant from the Netherlands based not-for-profit investor NLNet Foundation.

"Thanks to the adoption of open standards like the Open Document Format,
the number of productivity applications is increasing rapidly. In a
mature market a user should be able to compare the various suppliers
transparently." says Bert Bakker, president of the OpenDoc Society.
" will ensure that you do not need to blindly trust a
supplier when he claims to support a certain document format. Seeing is

"We want to make the differences between the various applications
visible and measurable, which will stimulate suppliers to make quality
improvements" said Ineke Schop, program manager at Netherlands in Open
Connection."Because a user can simply upload a document and see the
output of the various applications they get a powerful tool to make
quality differences measurable. The service also helps designers to
compare the rendering of document templates and letterheads in different
office suites. "This helps governments choose the right application and
supports the ambitions of the Dutch cabinet to standardise on ODF and
PDF for document exchange."

Under the "Netherlands in Open Connection" action plan, the Dutch
administration accepts and uses the Open Document Format as of April
last year. Other government bodies in the Netherlands do so since
January 2009. The program is a joint initiative of the Dutch government,
led by the minister for Foreign Trade Heemskerk and the State Secretary
for the Interior and Kingdom Relations Bijleveld-Schouten.

The tool will be multilingual from the start. The web service will
launch as a closed beta for members of the OpenDoc Society at the end of
February, followed by a public launch planned one month later.
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