Fwd: [opensource] Openoffice.org 2.0 Released

Alex Lingo a.lingo at gmail.com
Fri Oct 21 15:03:24 EDT 2005


On 10/21/05, Jim Dinan < dinan at cse.ohio-state.edu> wrote:

> ... Another is that
> public institutions worldwide are not keen on having the Peoples' data
> stored in a proprietary format where you require a specific company's
> product to access this data. In particular there are specific issues
> with microsoft storing .doc files in a binary-only format that is not
> cross platform (although I've heard lately they are making an effort to
> use XML, I'm not sure of the status) ...



Microsoft Office 12 will use XML-based formats, called Office XML
Formats<http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/developers/fileoverview.mspx>.
According to Microsoft's own site:

"Office XML Formats are based on industry standard XML and ZIP technologies,
support full integration by any technology provider, and are available via a
royalty-free license. The Format specification will be published and made
available under the same royalty-free license that exists for the Microsoft
Office 2003 Reference Schemas—openly offered and available for broad
industry use."

Sounds promising, doesn't it?

Ah. Here's the catch. Noticed I said "XML-based?"

MSXML documents have a "Binary Key" within them.
Here's<http://www.zdnet.com/5208-10533-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=14220&messageID=285641&start=13>a
good comment about this Binary Key on ZDNet. From the comment:

"So what does the "binary key" do? It holds all the style and presentation
characteristics for the document, as well as the application instructions.
So one of the enormous, insurmountable problems with MSXML is that it is
bound to Microsoft software."

So MSXML is as much free XML as HTML would be with all CSS information
encoded as binary data.

Also, There's confusion as to whether or not the XML Reference license
allows the use of the schemas in open source software.
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