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

Noah Mendelsohn wrote:
> There are often at least two levels of concern when considering
> compatibility of an office-style file format:  1) given the published
> specifications and an arbitray document instnace, can you extract the
> general semantics ...

Developers at Apple and Novell are in a better position to provide their 
insight.  Apple recently released an OOXML conversion tool. Novell has one for 
Novell OpenOffice. Here are the links for downloads:



Those converters are new, as is the Sun plugin that enables Microsoft Office to 
write OpenDocument files (odp-1.0-bin-windows-en-US.exe):

In another thread, Rick Marshal about:
>> http://www.grokdoc.net/index.php/EOOXML_objections

The EOOXML objections list points out that "Ecma 376 contradicts numerous 
international standards"
It enumerates ISO/IEC standards and W3C recommendations that are contradicted. 
It's reasonable that a W3C recommendation such as XML, should cite a relevant 
ISO standard (SGML). Arguing that a proposed ISO standard contradicts other ISO 
standards is also reasonable. But why is there an expectation that proposed ISO 
standards are bound by W3C recommendations, such as SMIL?

The EOOXML objections list also says "Ecma 376 cannot be reasonably implemented 
by other vendors". There are implementations from Apple and Novell (see above), 
although both are quite recent.

What would be useful is for the National Institute of Standards and Technology 
to do interoperability testing and certification for office document 
conformance. NIST has conformance test suites for various XML-related specs so 
it has a background in this type of conformance testing. If it had test cases 
for office documents we'd know whether the implementations are consistent 
(Microsoft/Apple/Novell for OOXML, the Sun and Microsoft plugins for 

======== Ken North ===========


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