End of last year, we started the development of the OpenXML/ODF Translator Release 4 with an in-depth analysis of OpenXML features introduced, changed or removed during the ISO standardisation process (the old versions of the Translator were based on the OpenXML specification released as Ecma-376 in 2006). This means understanding the delta between the old ECMA and the new ISO standard (IS29500). Additionally, we also had to consider intricacies such as “consumer” vs. “producer” roles, “strict” vs. “transitional” conformance classes and a standard in flux: being in the maintenance phase means that flaws in IS29500 are currently being fixed and new features are being discussed and amended.



We believe that this release of the translator defines and implements a sound compromise between pragmatism and strict adherence to the standard. The new Translator release behaves a bit like Office 2010: It is able to consume a variety of OpenXML dialects but when producing OpenXML documents it mainly follows IS29500 “transitional”. Thus, the Translator is able to digest OpenXML documents from various sources, including Microsoft Office 2010.



It should be mentioned here again, that in a pure Office 2010 environment the OpenXML/ODF Translator may not be needed since the Office 2010 applications provide for an excellent and natively integrated ODF translation support.



However,

  • when you are still using Office XP or 2003, or
  • when you want to run OpenXML/ODF translations on a server without any Office application (for example in a batch mode), or
  • when you need a translator on a non-Windows platform, e.g. Linux with Mono
  • when you need support for the formula namespaces used by OpenOffice.org


then the OpenXML/ODF Translator may still be the right choice for you.



Thanks for your continued support for this project.