Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Brian Jones: Office XML Formats : MS Office Open XML Formats and OpenDocument XML format

Brian Jones: Office XML Formats : MS Office Open XML Formats and OpenDocument XML format: "The primary question I’ve been getting is whether or not the two formats are the same. The two formats are very different even though they both use ZIP and XML because they use different schemas. The basis for the OpenDocument format work was the OpenOffice.org XML file format (http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/office/faq.php) that originated I believe with the StarOffice product, where the goal of that group was to create an open and interoperable format. Similarly, our goal in Microsoft has also been to create an open and interoperable format. That’s why we made such a big push to use both ZIP and XML, because they are already so widely in use. Actually a lot of other people in the industry also use XML with ZIP to create XML based formats, for example in the CAD industry it’s great because XML compresses so well with ZIP and provides an easy to use container. That wide use makes it easier for people to take our formats and build on top of them. This is where the similarity between the two formats stops though: Our primary goal at Microsoft was to create an open format that fully represented all of the features that our customers have used in their existing documents, documents that have been created using the existing Office products over the past couple decades."
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