StarOffice XML project continues progress on XML file format
02:56, 10 Jan 2001 UTC | Michael Smith

The OpenOffice/StarOffice XML Project team is continuing to make progress on their goals of developing and refining "an open and ubiquitous XML-based file format for office documents" and of providing an open reference implementation of the format to replace the binary format previously used by StarOffice.

Some of the recent significant changes seem to include addition of support for reading and writing elements related to forms as well as elements related to scripting and scripting events.

Also, as Robin Cover has reported on the StarOffice XML File Format page of the XML Cover Pages site, the OpenOffice XML Project team recently released a new working draft of the XML File Format Specification/Technical Reference Manual.

Unfortunately, the specification does not seem to be available in HTML -- only as a nearly 400-page PDF, with no PDF bookmarks or embedded links to facilitate navigation through the document. The team also doesn't provide a record of changes or additions to the document, or of plans for future revisions.

Note that the OpenOffice XML file format has additional significance in that it is used to encode spreadsheets, drawings, and presentations in addition to word-processing documents.

In a recent eWeek story on OpenOffice/StarOffice, Bill Roth, Sun's group product manager for OpenOffice, asserts that there are nearly 1800 open-source developers collaborating on the overall OpenOffice project. Roth also cites a figure showing a slim majority (54 percent) of the current end users running Linux, with that figure "growing at the expense of Windows".

While the OpenOffice team welcomes feedback about the overall project, specific mailing lists related to the XML subproject include a list for developer discussions as well as automated lists for tracking bugs and source code changes.

The XML project source code is freely browsable through a Web interface to the team's CVS repository, and a Web interface is also available for submitting issue/bug reports as well as viewing and querying against the current issue database specific to the XML project.

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