With all the push to support OpenDocument (.odt) format lately, it seems great that the new Abiword supports saving to this format and opening it. I do give them kudos for this. The problem arises when you want to implement it on a larger scale for users not in the know.
Problem One: Abiword still defaults to saving in .abw format and there is no way to change this as far as I can tell. Most users I deal with on a daily basis aren’t going to be smart enough to change the type to OpenDocument.
Problem Two: When you open an .odt file with Abiword and then do “file -> save as” it defaults to the old .sxw OpenOffice type. At the very least, one would expect it to save in the same format. Why anyone would want to revert to .sxw from .odf I have no idea.
Problem Three: OpenDocument templates aren’t supported. I imagine this is a matter of time as well.
That said, I would like to state that I’m glad Abiword did start supporting .odf at least minimally and I do expect things to change. Abiword is great for those old PCs that just need simple word processing with little overhead and it fits wonderfully into Windows, Linux, and Mac. It’s just not quite primetime ready for the masses yet.