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iWork '08 supports OpenXML

As Ecma TC45 were working on what would become Ecma-376 there were changes to the specification. Microsoft hadn't released Office 2007, and so, as TC45 made their changes, the product team were implementing them. This meant that there was some change to the file formats from build to build of pre-release versions of Office 2007.

Why do I tell you this? Well Apple recently released iWork '08, which Brian noted provides high fidelity OpenXML readers. All goodness. Except when Bruce McKenzie tried to use it he wasn't able to open some sample OpenXML files provided on OpenXMLDeveloper.org.

I tried the same sample file in Word 2007.

sample-files-in-word

Hmmm, sure enough the files were posted some time ago

sample-files-posted  

I've sent a note to Doug to see if we can't get the sample files brought up to date - thanks Bruce.

Here's one of the .docx files from Doug's OpenXML Developer Workshop content opened in Pages '08 and Word 2007 below

docx-in-pages

docx-in-word  

and here's a spreadsheet made in Gnumeric, and viewed in Numbers with Excel nowhere in sight.

xlsx-in-gnumeric

xlsx-in-numbers

Comments

Ed Brill said:

I am curious why having a product capable of reading DOCX is sufficient for y'all to declare it as "supporting OpenXML".  Shouldn't someone eventually be able to create OpenXML documents and have them interoperate?  Reading in seems like it is the easy part.

# August 15, 2007 5:42 AM

yoonkit said:

> As Ecma TC45 were working on what would

> become Ecma-376 there were changes to the specification.

Apple was involved in Ecma TC45. To what extent was their involvement? Did they provide any features to be added into MSOOXML spec?

Because it eventually begs the question: if Apple was OK with MSOOXML as a format for interoperability, why didnt they make MSOOXML their native file format?

Compare this with KOffice making changes to ODF and adopting ODF as its native file format.

yk.

# August 15, 2007 10:58 AM

Brian Jones: Open XML Formats said:

Here are a couple cool screenshots from Stephen McGibbon where he shows an OpenXML spreadsheet file created

# August 15, 2007 9:32 PM

Brian Jones said:

Ed,

I would think import is more challenging than export but I guess it really depends on how your application is modeled. If you have smaller set of features than what the specification allows, you need to do the extra work on import of deciding how to map those structures into your model. On output you just find the markup that maps to your features on you output it. I think the reason you see import built first isn't as much around difficulty as it is around scenarios.

Most applications to import first as they want to make sure their customers can open anything that comes their way. Then they just ask their customers to save in the native format. Gnumeric does this with ODF for example.

yk,

Apple made huge contributions. They included improvemetns to the future versioning functionality; drawingML and VML; and big time focus on confomance.

When did KOffice switch over to odf as a native format? Last I saw their odf support was very lacking, and they used .kwd as the native format.

-Brian

# August 15, 2007 9:42 PM

Noticias externas said:

Here are a couple cool screenshots from Stephen McGibbon where he shows an OpenXML spreadsheet file created

# August 15, 2007 11:44 PM

yoonkit said:

> future versioning functionality; drawingML and VML;

Ironic as DrawingML is a "future version" of VML. Why didnt they just ask for DrawingML?

> Last I saw their odf support was very lacking, and they used .kwd as the native format.

How long ago did you check? I just opened up KWord (v3.5.6), and click on "Save", and the default file format was "OASIS OpenDocument Text". Seems like its the native file format. I  

Can iWorks save MSOOXML? I dont have a mac; so I cant check.

yk.

# August 16, 2007 4:01 AM

Stephen McGibbon said:

YK let the koffice guys know their web site

www.koffice.org/.../1.6

suggests ODT support via filter and no ODS ODP etc

# August 16, 2007 10:51 AM

yoonkit said:

> KWord (v3.5.6)

Sorry my bad. Its actually KWord 1.6.2, KDE v3.5.6. I tried loading up some text files, and it works OK. Save to also is good.

> suggests ODT support via filter and no ODS ODP etc

Thats strange, because when I click "Save" in KPresenter, it also states the file type as "OASIS OpenDocument Presentation". I can read and write ODP files with KPresenter.

Similarly for KSpread, its "OASIS OpenDocument SpreadSheet" as its default file format. What is your point exactly? The issue at hand here is about MSOOXML, not ODF. So please stay on topic.

===

My question is that Apple was in TC45 in development of MSOOXML, and gave its support. Why doesnt that "stamp of approval" translate to native file format support in its productivity application?

What is the percentage of support of MSOOXML in Apples product? e.g. I dont think the KOffice nor OpenOffice.org team have declared 100% compliance to ODF, but its close, probably the high 70-95% for both read and write.

Microsoft Office should have a compliance of about 99% to MSOOXML. Do you know the compliance levels of the other applications which you are testing? Are there tests for MSOOXML compliance? What do you think is iWork's level of compliance for read and write?

yk.

# August 16, 2007 11:15 AM

Stephen McGibbon said:

>What is your point exactly?

Tell the koffice guys that their web page is inaccurate if you care about it

>The issue at hand here is about MSOOXML, not ODF.  please stay on topic.

Chill out YK Cool - you brought it up!!

>Why doesnt that "stamp of approval" translate to native file format support in its productivity application?

Ask your friends in IBM Wink Does Notes 8 use ISO26300:2006 as its native format? Ed Brill says it does - I'll be interested to see.

> What is the percentage of support of MSOOXML in Apples product?

Ask Apple about their support for Ecma-376

>I dont think the KOffice nor OpenOffice.org team have declared 100% compliance to ODF, but its close, probably the high 70-95% for both read and write.

Hmm, well here's were things start to get messy. Because ISO26300:2006 is by common consensus underspecified it doesn't help you interoperate no matter how much you implement it. Try a spreadsheet with formulas YK - there's no way to implement the spec because the spec doesn't comment on it. The OASIS TC 100% *knew* this broke interoperability.

So your questions should focus on interoperability and from what I'm seeing I can open lots of ecma-376 format files in iWork '08.

And I can Open spreadsheets created in Gnumeric in Numbers and they interoperate based on the specification not Excel's implemetation.

# August 16, 2007 11:36 AM

yoonkit said:

So? Does iWork have a "Save to" MSOOXML feature?

Why does Apple not support work which they do at TC45?

wriggle away!

yk.

# August 23, 2007 8:48 AM

Brian Jones: Open XML Formats said:

I was out for the past week at a family event in Winnipeg. I didn't have any access to e-mail or internet

# August 23, 2007 11:26 PM

Noticias externas said:

I was out for the past week at a family event in Winnipeg. I didn't have any access to e-mail or

# August 23, 2007 11:53 PM

Stephen McGibbon said:

YK's upset that his question about readers not writing didn't get answered so he's posted here.

Instead, National Bodies and reviewers of the MSOOXML spec should ask these further questions:

  • Why doesn't that "stamp of approval" from Apple translate to native file format support in its productivity application?
  • Didn't Apple think MSOOXML was good enough for them?
  • As owners of MSOOXML, why wasn't Microsoft curious why their paid to be business partners like Apple (and Novell) didn't choose MSOOXML over their own native file formats?
  • Why didn't Microsoft resolve any issues relating to Apple's reluctance to adopt this supposedly universal file format within Ecma TC45, or even prior to the iWork launch?

Additionally:

  • Could it be that Apple has been holding back on its contribution to TC45 and has kept secret iWork's new features so as to have a "one-up" on its fellow technical committee members?
  • Or was it because Apple did not bother to contribute?
  • Or was it because TC45's scope was so narrowly defined to just one vendor's (Microsoft's) line of products?

These are extremely important questions. I posted these questions on Stephen's blog on the 16th of August, and till today (25th of August), not a squeal. He tends to ignore you when he's trapped. It's happened quite a few times already.

That's one cunningly set trap YK Indifferent

# August 25, 2007 10:05 AM

yoonkit said:

> That's one cunningly set trap

Stephen, Its not a cunning trap at all. The questions are quite straighforward. It is the nature of your answers and facts which appears cunning.

These questions will be asked by clued in NBs around the world.

So arent you curious to find out if Microsoft actually addressed Apple's need to prevent "yet another text, spreadsheet and presentation" format?

yk.

# August 25, 2007 4:37 PM

Stephen McGibbon said:

>Stephen, Its not a cunning trap at all.

No kidding Wink 

Yoonkit it clearly did address Apple's need as they use it. I really don't know what you are trying to achieve - OpenXML is an open standard that is being increasingly used across the whole spectrum of the IT industry. Apple *have* started to use OpenXML as *have* IBM and Sun too.

It suits your argument to try to make out that Apple is unhappy with OpenXML - I don't know what the default format of iWork used to be - I'll check when I am at home.

But OpenXML is here and is able to represent existing binary files with high fidelity - something you seem to place no value on - but which others do I assure you.

YK you're the one lobbying against something here ... you seem to want to force everyone to use a standard that its own creators admit is only half baked.

I think OpenXML ODF and a whole variety of other formats will happily coexist. Apple may even choose to add to the list - as will others. Choice is good Yoonkit.

Think free as in free to choose.

# August 25, 2007 7:01 PM

yoonkit said:

> Apple *have* started to use OpenXML as *have* IBM and Sun too.

Yes, they have written basic import filters to their own office suites. But have they come up with a plan to move to MSOOXML? Well, I guess IBM and Sun have no reason to do so but surely Apple and Novell?

> But OpenXML is here and is able to represent existing binary files with high fidelity

Dude. MSOOXML is suppose to represent Microsoft's formats to a "high fidelity". However that is not the case. It says there is a tag, but it doesnt show what the tag does.

> something you seem to place no value on - but which others do I assure you

I place great value in high fidelity of historical electronic documents. I place greater value on a vendor neutral file format to ensure that my documents remain accessible to me from now till forever.

I put less value on a new immature file format which may or may not help access to my documents.

> Choice is good Yoonkit.

Yes, consumers love choice. Vendors hate it for obvious reasons. I, as a consumer want to have the choice to choose whatever Applications to author my documents. As it stands today, ODF offers more choice. MSOOXML has very limited support in other vendors to offer choice.

So I, as a customer am asking Microsoft to support ODF as a native file format with no Third Party Add-In installation and usage hoops to jump through, please. Why can't Microsoft give me (a paying customer) the choice to do so? Why are you (Microsoft) restricting my choice?

Regards,

yk.

# August 29, 2007 7:42 AM

Notes2Self.net said:

A while ago I posted some screenshots showing OpenXML in Apple's iWork '08. My colleague Jean-Christophe

# February 6, 2008 12:44 AM