The COSM Project at Public Software

The Community of ODF Specification Maintainers — COSM — is a project seeded by The Document Foundation (TDF) in 2017 to assist the OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) Technical Committee (TC) in the timely publication of updated versions of the Open Document Format (ODF) standard at OASIS and in the process of their ratification by OASIS and ISO. While the TC continued (and continues) to generate changes to the specification, the integration of these changes into the specification was only being performed on an infrequent volunteer basis following the departure of the earlier, corporate-funded editor.


Members of the TC approached the TDF Board of Directors and asked for help. TDF decided to ask Public Software CIC to host the COSM project independently so that diverse stakeholders could share in the funding of a professional editor. Public Software has been managing the project and raising funds to cover the work ever since. TDF contributed €10000 to this crowdfunding project and offered to match up to €20000 of other contributions. Public Software approached other stakeholders and over time received a range of contributions, listed below.


Public Software worked with the TC to retain an acknowledged expert on XML-related standards, Francis Cave. Together with TC chair Patrick Durusau and the TC, Francis Cave integrated changes to create a draft of the ODF 1.3 specification. It entered member review at OASIS on September 25, 2019 for one month and after correcting non-material issues passed review to become a Committee Specification on December 25, 2019. The specification was published as an OASIS Standard on June 16, 2021. The specification may now freely be tested and implemented. The next step is for ODF 1.3 to be transposed to an ISO standard via the PAS process.

As well as supporting review of ODF 1.3, the TC has started accumulating improvements that will be be published as ODF 1.4, probably during 2021. The COSM project is now seeking funding to support both the review/ratification of ODF 1.3 and the preparation of ODF 1.4. TDF has confirmed that matching funding will once again be available.


Contributors to COSM funds (in donation date order):

  • The Document Foundation
  • Microsoft Corporation*
  • Collabora Productivity*
  • The United Kingdom Cabinet Office (via TDF)*
  • CIB*
  • The StandICT project (funded by the European Commission)*
  • Open-Xchange

Donations marked with a star * were matched or part-matched by TDF. To contribute to the ongoing maintenance of the ODF specification, please contact Public Software CIC.