The Hungarian government is investing 370 million HUF (about 1,23 million euro) in a three-year project to improve applications which use the open document format (ODF). The funds are shared between the software engineering department at the University of Szeged and Multiracio, an open source IT specialist developing EuroOffice, office applications based on LibreOffice and OpenOffice.
The project aims to assure the quality of the ODF tools, result in new ways to collaborate on documents using this open standard file format and improve tools for mobile computing devices that can create and use ODF, explains Kázmér Koleszár, one of the software developers at Multiracio.
"The University of Szeged will do the quality assurance and usability related research and tool development. Multiracio will develop the office application and work on several extensions."
The university will work on improving ways to analyse the software source code and come up with ways to visualise and report on the quality of code. Another research topic is a tool to test the usability of the user interface.
Multiracio will start working on a version of EuroOffice that can run on tablet computers and improve EuroOffice's collaboration functionalities.
The subsidy also enables ODF specialists like Koleszár to participate in international networks on ODF development, including meetings on ODF organised by the OASIS standardisation organisation and the ODF Plugfests. At these events implementers and stakeholders test their implementations of ODF and work on new features of the specification. Last week Thursday and Friday one such ODF Plugfest was held in Brussels.
Koleszár on Friday presented the upcoming version of EuroOffice. The company develops several specialised commercial extensions, including handling different languages, using formulas and managing map charts. "Most of our customers are in Germany and the US, but we have clients all over the globe."
All Hungarian public administrations must change to open document standards for their electronic documents by the end of this year. "This policy gives us much hope", Koleszár says. The central government is very committed to open standards."