Mass. To Support ODF Plugin

Aron Schatz
August 21, 2006

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Massachusetts will support an ODF plugin for MS Office until the current open source apps include usability features. No one knows why an office suite needs to have something built into the operating system. I thought screen magnification was built into Windows?


Gutierrez found himself in a bind in February when he assumed the CIO's position in Massachusetts. The state's ODF policy called for executive-branch agencies by Jan. 1, 2007, to use office applications that are conformant with ODF and to configure those applications to save documents in ODF by default. But the only office applications that could do that -- such as the open-source OpenOffice and Sun Microsystems Inc.'s StarOffice -- are not fully supported by the major screen readers and magnifiers that people with disabilities use. That sparked an outcry from various organizations representing that community. The emergence of plug-ins that can be used to save documents in ODF prompted Gutierrez to issue a request for information on the technology. Now ITD will be following through with testing of the ODF plug-ins in preparation for a phased rollout, expected to begin later this year, according to sources at yesterday's meeting.


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