Posted Dec 2, 2005 13:39 UTC (Fri) by kevinbsmith
In reply to: "The language of the internet"
Parent article: When Is a Standard Truly Open? - When It's Universal, Reflections on Massachusetts and Microsoft's XML
My understanding is that there is a non-proprietary XML-based document format named "Open Document Format", used by several office apps (word processors, spreadsheets, etc). Microsoft has their own similar (but proprietary) format named "Microsoft Office Open XML". Apparently MS is proposing turning their format into an ECMA standard, but they would still have proprietary extensions (presumably schema extensions, with new tags or new meanings for existing tags) that could only be reliably written and read by their own products.
Any product that reads or writes office documents is affected by this. And of course if MS wins this battle, it will be harder for anyone to push for governments to use other open formats like OGG or non-proprietary calendaring. This is an important decision, and it will have broad effects throughout the US and elsewhere, whether MS wins or loses.
But, to my knowlege, in the context of the Massachusetts/Open Document Format debate, MS is not saying they will mangle XML itself (the underlying rules of tags, attributes, etc) in any way that would have a technical effect on any XML format or app outside the office suite domain. So XHTML, the XML format used by all modern web pages, seems unlikely to be affected by the outcome of this battle. Likewise, web service XML formats, including blog feeds and SOAP transactions should be safe from harm here.
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