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03.22.08

It’s a Technical Thing, and OOXML is a Total Mess

Posted in Database, ECMA, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard, Steve Ballmer at 1:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lest we lose sight of OOXML’s real problems

The level of abuse of and in the process [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] often leads to distraction. We must immediately find ourselves discussing the technical deficiencies of OOXML, as opposed to a meritless process alone.

Rick Jellife’s continued tradition of serving Microsoft (and Australia at the same time… talk about conflicting interests [1, 2]) now involves taking people’s words out of context to infer the very opposite of that they say. Shades of Steve Ballmer.

In the latest round of this mild confrontation, Jim Melton talks about a tedious process lasting 20 years, whereas Jellife cherry-picks selective bits of interest. Jim Melton, ISO SQL’s editor, was unhappy about misinterpretation and Pieter summarised.

You’ve written 6000 pages of specification largely in secret (and, I understand, recently added over 1500 more pages) and given the world five months to read, absorb, understand, review, critique, and establish informed positions on it. Worse, whether it happened because of unreasonable methods, pure random chance, or genuine and unexpected interest, the fact that the size of the JTC 1 Subcommittee that was to vote on the document suddenly exploded gives the appearance that somebody was trying too hard to stack the deck…almost as though it wasn’t really desired to have too much real review.

Stephane keeps up with his excellent essays which offer a purely technical smack-down of OOXML. The latest talks about Microsoft’s Custom XML.

“Custom XML” does not mean much, despite Microsoft ample evangelism of said feature. Technically speaking it has no merit within the enterprise space because you end up sharing corporate data. An interesting fact is that “Custom XML” is actually only implemented in Word 2007. For instance, the ECMA 376 specification provides a data binding for Word 2007 documents, exclusively. Ironically enough, the ability to store an independent XML stream as part of a ZIP package, is just a feature of the ZIP library, not Microsoft’s innovation.

To get an idea of how bad OOXML really is, also consider critical bugs and Rob Weir's latest.

OOXML on the trash can

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