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From Louis Suárez-Potts <>
Subject Mobility WAS: Re: Open-Xchange to launch open-source, browser-based office suite
Date Wed, 27 Mar 2013 17:06:54 GMT

On 13-03-27, at 12:36 , Malte Timmermann <> wrote:


> If you want to give me more details about the OOXML/ODF viewing stuff, please come back
on me via private email (but not the one I am using here) or linkedin :)
Publicly available works for mobile devices include those you can download from the iOS app
store, such as UX Write*, Symphony, FileLApp Pro—these are all native—and provide for
viewing. Others exist, too; viewing ODF text (and some more than that) is not hard. Editing
and then expressing as ODF is harder—and it remains to be seen how desirable, in full.

Personally, I argue for Good Enough. Few will do complex documents on a tablet, at least at
this point, and so why have capabilities for that? Better to have a good enough approach that
allows for noncomplex (but equally nontrivial) usage.

HTML does a splendid job of this—that's the approach that UX Write is taking.

Apps that utilize HTML5, such as rollApp seem to have a brilliant future but that's a future
whose sun has not risen yet. We all know the cybersphere is coming (just before the Singularity
which is followed by Skynet and then the Armageddon bodied by Arnold the Terminator), but
ubiquitous fast connectivity is not here yet. And even in places where it does exist, such
as So. Korea, how used *is* HTML5 for apps, as in the Web services model? Data, anyone? (not
sure if games count.)

Others working on this—mobile editing of ODF—include, I have no doubt, those at Ko.GmbH,
and probably also many others.

Outside of ODF, there are quite a few viewers but very few editors and even fewer that would
seem to work well for actual people. Iv'e tried most, if not all. They work fine; sans keyboard,
and on a plane, very nicely. With a keyboard, they are effectively netbooks. But here's the
issue, again: You don't need OOo on them or in them, you just need an editor that can express
ODF, in some useable version, so that devices fully equipped with ODF editors can read/write
the document. 

I'll write more directly, but there is a huge market for tablets equipped with ODF editors.
Think education in rich and poor countries (there's seemingly less of a difference, now),
and think of the trash that would not be produced using thin clients—whoops, I mean, tablets.

>> Oh, then there is accessibility. You remember that, yes? :-)
> I remember - I had so much fun with that ;)
> But honestly: Accessibility is such an important and interesting (and difficult) topic
that I already volunteered to take care for that inside OX too…

I speculate if it would not be rather cool to have a kind of manifesto that ODF supporting
apps and projects could agree to proclaiming the importance of accessibility in design and
function. It's implicit in what we do and also explicit; but it's also not as public or broadcast
as it could be, and the design principles seem sometimes opaque to too many.

> Malte.

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