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Ecma Office Open XML File Formats Standard - Status Report - 28 September 2006 - Trondheim, Norway


The Ecma International Technical Committee TC45 has been working to establish a standard for Office Open XML File Formats as described in its program of work at The committee’s work began in December 2005, and has continued via weekly 2-hour conference calls and regular face-to-face meetings.

The committee held its sixth face-to-face meeting on September 26-28, 2006, this time in Trondheim, Norway. The meeting was hosted by Statoil and attended by twenty participants.

During the meeting, the committee created the Final Draft of the Office Open XML v1.0 format. The committee, with representation from all Ecma member organizations actively participating in TC45 (Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, The British Library, Essilor, Intel, Microsoft, NextPage, Novell, Statoil, Toshiba, and the United States Library of Congress) unanimously approved the Final Draft standard and agreed to propose it to the General Assembly of Ecma International for publication as an Ecma standard. The Final Draft standard will be made publicly available on the Ecma web site in the coming days. The GA will vote on this proposal during the GA meeting December 7-8, 2006.

The bulk of the meeting was spent finalizing the remaining issues. Three issues that required additional attention were numerical precision, spreadsheet capacity extensibility, and the design of a new mechanism for describing application characteristics. Like many other topics that have received a large proportion of the committee’s time, these topics are important for enabling multiple implementations of the Standard, across multiple platforms.

The committee also reviewed and added a non-normative representation of the Office Open XML schemas in Relax NG (ISO/IEC 19757-2), and an informative annex expressing the extensibility functionality of the standard (Part 5) using NVDL (ISO/IEC 19757-4). The work on Relax NG and NVDL was accomplished thanks to help from Rick Jelliffe and Murata Makoto (Relax NG and NVDL experts). In addition, the committee is preparing a white paper that summarizes the Standard.

A technical forum at exists for developers who are interested in using the Ecma Office Open XML file formats. For general information about Ecma International, please contact Christa Rosatzin-Strobel


Tom Ngo (NextPage)

The following organizations have participated in the work of Ecma TC45 and their contributions are gratefully acknowledged:

Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, The British Library, Essilor, Intel, The Library of Congress, Microsoft, NextPage Inc., Novell, Statoil ASA and Toshiba.

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