binary data tags in Open XML

Story: HI Researcher Continues OpenDocument FUDTotal Replies: 3
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Jun 16, 2006
6:56 PM EDT
I would like to see the proof of the binary data tags. Brian Jones in his blog ( refuted every theory about the binary data tag he could find, as well as most other complaints commonly given about Open XML (in entries spread over several months), if you take everything he says at face value. I am an ODF advocate, but after reading his blog it is hard for me to know how to argue with Microsoft die-hards.

Jun 16, 2006
7:36 PM EDT
That blog talks about a mythical "binary key that you need to unlock the Microsoft Office XML formats". That is NOT the same as the tag in the schema that allows inclusion of binary blobs of MS Word and MS Excel data.

See, for example,

"Microsoft’s disclosure of the WordprocessingML and SpreadsheetML schema is inadequate for interoperability because it omits critical information necessary for full interoperability. While these schema may or may not be complete, there is a fundamental limitation in that some of the items stored in the fields of the schema are Microsoft-proprietary data, and Microsoft has not disclosed the information necessary for others to interpret and use those data."

I suggest you also read David A. Wheeler's analysis of Microsoft's letter to Massachusetts, also at Groklaw:

Note particularly the section titled "Open":

"The difference now is that patents are involved. Microsoft has patented some aspects of its new XML format; if these patents are truly valid, the law makes it illegal to use Microsoft’s XML format except under the terms Microsoft has created."

It's very easy for me to argue with "Microsoft die-hards"; the facts of the matter are sufficient.

Jun 16, 2006
7:53 PM EDT
Nothing 'open' about MS XML unless they disclose and GPL the whole thing.

Jun 16, 2006
8:36 PM EDT
Andy Updegrove pointed out some other problems with MS XML in his blog entry, "First Public Draft of Open XML is Published by Ecma" --

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