Converter Enables Conversion Between ODF & Chinese Document Format (UOF)
Peking University recently released a program to convert office documents between OpenDocument Format and the Specification for the Chinese office file format based on XML (UOF for short). Both standards are XML office document standards, UOF being a "National Standard of the People's Republic of China". The converter, which took nearly a year to complete, enables users to convert text, spreadsheet and presentation documents between ODF and UOF.
The project's team members learned from IBM's OpenDocument Format experts, and at times, worked closely with them in resolving challenges. The team also participated in the UOF technical committee, providing insight into the differences between the two formats. Their participation in the project led to the adoption of several proposals by the UOF committee to integrate some of ODF's advantages into the UOF standard. Consequently, conversion between the two formats improved as well.
The converter is licensed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License. Ensuring a Free/Open Source solution was one of the goals of the project. According to the summary on the project's website, "Furthermore, we believe that with the publishing of the project, more and more people will be encouraged to publish and share their work results, which must be an impetus to the development of open source business, open standard and related industry in China."
The team apparently encountered non-technical challenges, alongside the technical challenges. LXer has not been able to ascertain the nature of the non-technical challenges as of the time of this publication. Nevertheless, being able to convert documents properly between ODF and UOF should be a boon to millions of computer users, especially those using the Chinese national standard. The converter is known to work with OpenOffice.org and EIOffice 2007.
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