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Subject: FW: [oic] JTC1/SC34/WG4 Liaison Report: OOXML Markup Compatibility and Extensibility (MCE)


 - Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: oic@lists.oasis-open.org [mailto:oic@lists.oasis-open.org] On Behalf Of Dennis E. Hamilton
Sent: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 04:33 PM
To: 'OIC TC List '
Subject: [oic] JTC1/SC34/WG4 Liaison Report: OOXML Markup Compatibility and Extensibility (MCE)

On June 17-20, 2013, I attended sessions of SC34 WG4 (OOXML).  My particular attention was on MCE and on OPC.  This report covers what I believe is interesting about MCE.

MCE is specified in IS 29500-3:2011.  It is intended, like the Open Packaging Conventions (OPC: IS 29500-2:2011) to be independently usable. 

An MCE revision is being worked on.  At this meeting one item that received considerable attention is a situation in OOXML where there is a dependency between IS 29500-1:2011 and MCE.  It turns out that Spreadsheet XML has a counterpart of the ODF "foreign element" situation.  The couple with MCE is that processing of a foreign element might require MCE processing to be suspended.  

I believe the consensus at WG4 (at least among those attending this meeting) is that the decoupling of MCE from OOXML will be made complete.

This will mean that MCE is perfectly usable for allowance in ODF, for example, as one means for introducing implementation-defined extensions in a way where a conforming consumer can determine whether it can process the elements and, if not, what the alternative is.  

Because foreign elements are already tolerated, there is nothing to prevent MCE-defined elements occurring as foreign elements.  

The most that might be needed is some sort of clue in the MCE element (via ODF-specified attributes) whether an MCE element delivers text content and whether that content can be used or not depending on whether the element itself is understood.  MCE also has a way of specifying a fall-back, and that can work in ODF too.

 - Dennis

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