OpenOffice: the XML format for the masses
15:52, 18 Dec 2002 UTC | Eric van der Vlist

Jean Paoli for Microsoft and Daniel Vogelheim for OpenOffice both chose the same title "XML for the masses" for their presentations, a commonality which hides two very different approaches from the editors of two competing office productivity suites.

The strategy of OpenOffice is to focus on the XML format natively used to store the documents. In his presentation, Daniel Vogelheim gave an overview of the OpenOffice XML format and justified the design decisions taken to meet the following requirements:

  • use existing standards - don't reinvent the wheel
  • "transformability" - the format must be usable outside of the office application
  • first class XML - all structured content must be accessible through XML structures

The result is a complex format (over 450 elements and more than 1600 attributes), with a good amount of redundancy but easily readable and easily transformable: to some extent, this is an XML format for the users more than for the developers!

This format has been given as an input to the OpenOffice OASIS Technical Committee to create a to create an "open, XML-based file format specification for office applications."

For Microsoft, the strategy appears to be to bring XML tools on each desktop and leave each user free to choose his own schemas rather than promoting an XML office format which will be specific to Microsoft, and for which a licensing model is still unclear.

If the target of Microsoft Office 11 is to deliver XML tools to the masses, the target of OpenOffice is to become the XML office format for the masses!

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Re: OpenOffice: the XML format for the masses (Guy Macon - 10:38, 20 May 2003)
I know a company that has over 30,000 carefully worded and formatted documents in WordPerfect 5.1/D ...
Re: OpenOffice: the XML format for the masses (Jamshed F. Mehta - 13:05, 6 Mar 2003)
Masses!!! Its a political term. Shades of Lenin. May be the XML community feels that finally the XML ...
Re: OpenOffice: the XML format for the masses (Terris Linenbach - 20:34, 8 Jan 2003)
I object to the casual use of the word "masses" to refer to a relatively wealthy and privileged segm ...
Re: OpenOffice: the XML format for the masses (Jess Holle - 20:12, 18 Dec 2002)
Both Microsoft and OpenOffice are missing half the boat.

Microsoft shows every sign of making the ...
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