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Subject: TC Charter Clarification

Dear TC members,

I have discussed the charter clarification we identified in our last con 
call with Karl Best. He suggests to add the "maintenance" topic to the 
definition of the 2nd phase and agrees to the modified list of 
deliverables. The schedule in fact is not part of the charter.

Attached is a (HTML version) of a proposal for the clarified charter, 
where I've marked the changed text with yellow background color.

Karl also called into my attention that the formal requirements for TC 
charters have been changed, so that TC's that clarify their charter have 
to add the following items:

* scope, including what is in and out of scope and how you know when 
you're done;
* anticipated audience;
* language

I've added these items the following ways:

Scope: It seems to me that this was covered by the charter already in 
the "Statement of purpose". For this reason, I've added a "Scope" 
heading only.

Anticipated audience: I've added a list here.

Language: This was already in the original call for particpation
so I've copied it only.

Please review the clarified charter proposal. Any feedback is of course 
very welcome.

I've send the charter proposal to Karl Best as well to check whether he 
agrees to the modifications.

Best regards



OASIS Open Office XML Format TC.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this TC is to create an open, XML-based file format specification for office applications.

The resulting file format must meet the following requirements:

  1. it must be suitable for office documents containing text, spreadsheets, charts, and graphical documents,

  2. it must be compatible with the W3C Extensible Markup Language (XML) v1.0 and W3C Namespaces in XML v1.0 specifications,

  3. it must retain high-level information suitable for editing the document,

  4. it must be friendly to transformations using XSLT or similar XML-based languages or tools,

  5. it should keep the document's content and layout information separate such that they can be processed independently of each other, and

  6. it should 'borrow' from similar, existing standards wherever possible and permitted.


Since the OpenOffice.org XML format specification was developed to meet these criteria and has proven its value in real life, this TC will use it as the basis for its work.

Sun Microsystems intends to contribute the OpenOffice.org XML Format to this TC at the first meeting of the TC, under reciprocal Royalty Free terms.

A standard for office document processing and interchange will be of great utility to many users and software companies developing applications, and should be made available as soon as possible.

Thus, the work of this TC will be done in two phases:

  1. In the first phase, this TC will use proven and established constructs so that the resulting standard can satisfy the immediate needs of many users, as well as serve as a base for future, less restricted development. The work of this TC in the first phase will concentrate on the following areas:

    1. establishing a mechanism and policy for extensions, preferably relying on XML namespaces,

    2. establishing a set of 'core' elements and attributes to be supported by all implementations,

    3. incorporating feedback from early adopters of the base specification and fixing technical problems that may have been uncovered,

    4. ensuring that the resulting specification and documentation are consistent and of high quality.

    The TC aims to complete the first phase within six months of the TC's formation.

  2. In the second phase, this TC will maintain the specification delivered in phase one and will extend it to encompass additional areas of applications or users. The work of this TC in the second phase will additionally allow for the following areas:

    1. enabling additional areas of application,

    2. exploring new or experimental ideas for office document representation, and

    3. extending the expressiveness of the format.

List of Deliverables

Each of the TC's phases will result in a Committee Specification that includes:

  • a set of XML DTDs/schemas setting the vocabulary, constraints and semantics of the file format in question, and

  • a set of written specifications that describe the elements and attributes of the DTDs/schemas in plain English.

The TC will deliver one or more Committee Drafts throughout the second phase.

At the appropriate time the TC shall submit its Committee Specifications for balloting by OASIS membership for OASIS standard status.

Standing Rules

Under no circumstances shall the TC accept, during any phase, contributions that are not granted to all under perpetual, royalty free, non-discriminatory terms.

This TC shall not finalize or approve a specification if it believes that the use, distribution, or implementation of such specification would necessarily require the unauthorized infringement of any party's rights known to the technical committee, and such party has not agreed to provide necessary license rights on perpetual, royalty-free, non-discriminatory terms.

Anticipated Audience

The anticipated audience for this work includes, but is not restricted to:

  • makers of office applications;

  • makers of XML or office document processing or editing solutions;

  • document managers or archivers using office document formats;

  • representatives of other office document use cases;

  • other specification writers that need office document content or parts of it.


The TC shall conduct its proceedings in English.

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