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

Has anybody done a successful, complete implementation of OOXML without 
relying on Microsoft libraries?

I'm not at all expert on these formats, but I think one of the issues 
involves specifying some things in terms of the behavior of Microsoft 
applications, instead of stating behavior in the spec.

For instance, in the Wikipedia article on OOXML we see this example:

> Reliance on application-defined behaviors to support important 
> functionality that should be documented or supported via existing 
> standards. For example, book 4 section defines the 
> "equationxml" attribute of "shape" elements, "used to rehydrate an 
> equation using the Office Open XML Math syntax"; however, the "actual 
> format of the contents of this attribute are application-defined"

The Danish feedback mentions an element named uiCombat97to2003, with the 
semantics "disable UI function that is not compatible with Word 
97-2003", whatever that means, along with other elements that talk about 
behaviors of specific word processors instead of describing document 
content (there's a bunch of these, e.g. "useWord97LineBreakRules").

Also, some things are alluded to but not specified, e.g. you can use 
font types like "gras", which is the French word for "bold", but there's 
no specification of which names are actually allowed in various 
languages to describe properties of a font such as bold, italic, etc.

According to the Danish feedback, type definitions describe the first 
few elements of a type, but do not really specify exactly what a type 
can contain. Shading patterns are described using a only a series of 
blurred pictures.

Some parts of the specification refer to things like OLE links, which 
are not further specified.

References to many file formats (EMF, WMF, ZIP, etc.) do not specify 
which versions of these formats are supported.

These examples are taken from the first few pages of the 65 pages of 
Danish feedback. There seem to be lots more.


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