[odf-discuss] Recommended reading: Rick Jelliffe on converging editable electronic document packaging conventions

robert_weir at us.ibm.com robert_weir at us.ibm.com
Tue Jan 13 10:10:09 EST 2009

Not sure what the benefit of this would be.  From an implementation 
perspective, writing code to support different ZIP+XML packaging formats 
is trivial.  It amounts to maybe 0.1% of the effort of supporting ODF or 
OOXML for an editor.  But if the XML inside the Zip is not harmonized, 
then the other 99.9% of the differences is what will cause you grief.

It is like saying, I'll write a book in English and you'll write a book in 
Japanese, but we'll agree that the table of contents goes in front, right 
after the title page, and that amounts to the sum total of our 
"interoperability":  Might have some use if your application only looks at 
the table of contents and nothing more.  But for typical uses of office 
documents, e.g,, editing, viewing, etc., it is not a very compelling 
use-case and hardly seems worth the effort.

IMHO, harmonization needs to serve the goal of document interoperability 
and not merely be the target of an intellectual tidiness fetish. 


odf-discuss-bounces at opendocumentfellowship.com wrote on 01/13/2009 
09:51:50 AM:
> odf-discuss-bounces at opendocumentfellowship.com
> Please respond to ODF Discussion List
> <
> E.g.,
> "I think there is good scope for useful convergence of the various
> standards. The key would be to piggybacking it on some mutually
> attractive feature, such as better support for multi-document packages
> and websites. I have mentioned this aspect before, when talking about
> whether a file can be ODF and OOXML and a website at the same time.
> Can it be ODF and XPS and MARS at the same time?
> "My expectation for convergence would be that there would be a level
> of convergence where everyone agrees on ZIP (deflate),
> self-identification of document type, multuple document support,
> /mimetype, W3C DSIG, Dublin Core metadata and IS29500 OPC's URL scheme
> for identifying parts, but then an advanced layer with more
> platform-dependent features on things like references, relationships,
> RDF and rights where one vendor's meat may be another's
> poison--encryption & DRM may certainly be contentious. (The OEBPS
> ssytem already has such a split model, with the OPF layer sitting on
> top of OCF to provide references, if my brief reading is correct.) The
> goal should including making sure the same archive can support a
> plurality of these different platforms without one locking out the
> other. (Which brings up consistency-guarantee issues, of course.)"
> Best regards,
> Paul
> -- 
> Universal Interoperability Council
> <http:www.universal-interop-council.org>
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