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Subject: Re: [office] "deprecation"

A little confuse here, does it mean, the ODF should add any feature that MS XML defined, whatever how specific or unique it is? If MS XML add some new stuff which not in ODF, ODF should do corresponding changes? is it a right way for ODF? If we think ODF is for general-purpose use, should we care any specific vendor definition?


Ma Yue,

Inactive hide details for "David A. Wheeler" ---11/26/2006 11:27:26 AM---Michael Brauer:"David A. Wheeler" ---11/26/2006 11:27:26 AM---Michael Brauer:

          "David A. Wheeler" <dwheeler@dwheeler.com>

          11/26/2006 11:23 AM
          Please respond to





Re: [office] "deprecation"

Michael Brauer:
> > If OpenDocument's text:sections cannot be  mapped to OOX, then the
> > technical correct way to resolve this in my point of view would be to
> > enhance OOX, but this is not within the scope of our TC's charter.

Bruce D'Arcus:
> I don't have a position on the specific issues, but I agree this is an
> awkward issue. For one thing, it's pretty clear that MS has not shown
> much interest at all in discussing technical details with this
> committee, or with making any substantive changes to the spec to ease
> interop with ODF.

Of course. The ECMA rules for MS XML explicitly forbid any real changes,
including those that would improve quality or interoperability.

> Notwithstanding any potential political problem, it would make good
> sense to find some formal way to resolve interoperability issues
> between OOXML and ODF going forward. Would it be appropriate for
> someone to look into that? E.g. representatives from both committees
> bring a list of their top five issues and see if there isn't ways to
> resolve them sooner rather than later?

I think it's unreasonable to expect that MS' XML format will improve in
any significant way.  In practice the format was created and is controlled by
a single vendor. So it contains only features from that one vendor and basically nothing else.
If you're ONLY dealing with that vendor's products, and/or files from that vendor's
products, knowing its internal XML format is very helpful, and many office applications
(like Gnumeric) will want to be able to read/write that format to some degree.
But don't confuse MS XML with a general-purpose format for ANY office app.
A single vendor completely governs what MS XML can - and can't - do.

I think the general direction is clear - ODF is the general-purpose format
that can represent and exchange ANY office document, while
MS XML is basically a vendor-specific format for its office files.
Others can read/write MS XML, just like they can read/write .doc/.xls/.ppt today,
but don't pretend it's not a single-vendor format. If there's something in MS XML format
that CANNOT be represented in ODF, then clearly that needs to be added to
ODF; MS XML-> ODF should be lossless.  Any such issues WOULD be a reasonable
discussion item, and can be dealt with by the OASIS office committee.

But I think we should EXPECT that there would be data loss when
transferring from ODF to the more limited MS XML format.
The same thing happens when you translate ODF to HTML, or HTML to simple text.

It's reasonable to think of the MS XML format as a stepping stone on the
way towards ODF.  You can get data in the obsolete MS XML format,
and then transfer it to ODF.   The other way would only work if you limited yourself
to MS XML capabilities, and there's no reason to limit yourself in that way in general.

Good news: The OASIS committee CAN work to ensure that ODF
can represent everything that MS XML can.  So, not only is this the more
technically reasonable approach - it's one that can actually be done by
this group!

P.S.: Yes, I know MS XML has an official name, but it's a name that is
easily confused with terms like Open Office or open standards. MS XML is MUCH
clearer, even though it's not official.

--- David A. Wheeler

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