Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tide turns against Microsoft's XML Office format

There seems to be no shortage of technical complaints against Microsoft's Office XML format. Most of the list items are checklist items for standards bodies such as using existing standards where possible. There are some that are also what I would categorize as more of opinions rather than technical facts (such as the complaints against the use of confusing element names). I can understand how Microsoft word might have carried with it certain legacy functions that might even pre-date the XML specification currently under review within ECMA and ISO, but once a standard gets into the public stewardship, all is put on the table and it may be time to correct some of these items. Then again, if you fixed all of those items, why not just use the OASIS Open Document Format (ODF) as it is today in version 1.1? Why not harmonize the two standards?