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Subject: Re: [office-comment] Public Comment (single file)

patrick9 asked:
> > Will the OASIS Open Office XML Format be self contained? For example will there be one file containing font, pictures, and text, similar to a pdf file. Or will fonts, pictures, etc. be seperate files?

Michael Brauer answered:
> There are two variants of the OpenDocument format (please notice the
> name change), one is full self contained, the other one partially.
> In the first variant, the document itself is a zip file (or so called
> package). This package contains several XML streams describing the
> content of the document....

I should add that this format is really quite delightful for its
simplicity and power.  Since "zip" is fully specified, and the
XML DTDs are fully specified too, it's really easy to access the
data to do data extraction or creation.

Yet I find that this approach to formatting takes FAR less space
than, for example, Microsoft Office equivalents, which is really
helpful for data storage, transfer, etc.

Here's one data point: the OpenDocument spec (CD 2 dated December 2004)
is 697 pages long, yet only takes 438 KB in the .sxw format.
I exported that file to .doc, then loaded & re-saved it using
Microsoft Word 2002 SP3 (making sure that "Allow fast saves" was
disabled) just in case OpenOffice didn't save .doc files efficiently
(though that turns out not to matter).  The file was then 3666KB in size.
The ,doc file was over 8 times larger.

I took another document that was originally written in Word
that was 338KB.  Loading it using OOo and resaving produced a file
that was 191KB.  The .doc file was 1.77 times larger.

Basically, this use of .zip to create packages of XML files is
a simple yet elegant design. There's much to recommend it.

--- David A. Wheeler

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