In answer to his question...
May 25, 2006
11:01 PM EST
|My answer to the question (I'm paraphrasing) "What do you think about the 'Open Specification' called 'Open XML' is simply this:
Open XML - Isn't
It isn't Open at all, especially on the very important and often overlooked point of the future of the 'Specification'. If you read carefully some of the early stories you'll note that all future versions and revisions of the 'Specification' will be authored by Microsoft Corporation. That means that it will be a "Closed future" (my term for it) which continues to allow 'Innovation' in the 'Specification' to be followed immediately by software, available now from Microsoft Corporation. This is monetized by ensuring no effective competition. So it isn't very 'Open', in fact it's not open at all.
As to it's being a specification, when you start talking on page 1677 of about 4000 about the 'Maple Leaf' border type you have clearly gone from defining a 'Specification' to defining an implementation. I haven't researched this but based on who's defining the 'Specification' and whether it results in money flowing to Redmond or not, my bet is that a partial implementation of the 'Specification' will be deemed non-compliant. So it isn't very much of a specification.
And finally, I've seen some reports that it's going to include XML wrappers around all the old Office binary formats. So it isn't even XML!
So in summary, the 'Open Specification' known by the marketing term 'Open XML' is not open, is not a specification, and is not XML. In short, Open XML - Isn't. Any implication otherwise is intellectually dishonest.
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