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Re: [xml-dev] NY Times reference to 'secret coding'

Jeremy Griffith writes:

> Well put.

Thank you!

> IMO, the second point is more a consideration for printer 
> drivers than for interchange,

I don't think that's the whole story.  It's not just the authors of the 
printer drivers, it's the millions of people who use those printer 

In practice, many people depend on the fact that the layout model is in 
fact defined relatively independently of the particular printer brand or 
model; applications like Microsoft Word will give quite consistent page 
layout for a given MS Word file as long as the page size and margins are 
consistent.  If I send you a .doc file and you print it, what you see will 
be very close to what I see.  People rely on this all the time, for 
everything from homework assignments mailed from teachers, to important 
business or legal documents.  I'm asking whether the OOXML specification 
provides sufficient information to achieve this interoperability;  I 
suspect it does not try, in the sense that it does not attempt to specify 
layout at the pixel level as a function of page size, margins, pixel size, 
etc.  Layout consistency (and font consistency) is high on the list of 
things that people think are broken when they send something like a .doc 
file to a non-Word application that can read the file, but that prints it 
with a different look.  These people are not authors of printer drivers; 
they are users who depend on their documents printing with a consistent 
layout as long as the page sizes and margins are the same. 


Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

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