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OpenXPS - OpenXML Paper Specification

At the 97th General Assembly held in Budapest, June 16, 2009, Ecma International approved Open XML Paper Specification (OpenXPS) as an Ecma standard (ECMA-388).

This Standard defines OpenXPS, the Open XML Paper Specification. OpenXPS describes a set of conventions for the use of XML and other widely available technologies to describe the content and appearance of paginated documents. It is written for developers who are building systems that process OpenXPS content.

A primary goal is to ensure the interoperability of independently created software and hardware systems that produce or consume OpenXPS content. This Standard defines the requirements that systems processing OpenXPS Documents must satisfy in order to achieve interoperability.

This Standard describes a paginated-document format called the OpenXPS Document. The format requirements are an extension of the packaging requirements described in the Open Packaging Conventions (OPC) Standard. That Standard describes packaging and physical format conventions for the use of XML, Unicode, ZIP, and other technologies and specifications, to organize the content and resources that make up any document. They are an integral part of the OpenXPS Standard, and are included by reference.

Many XML-based building blocks within OpenXPS make use of the conventions described in the Markup Compatibility and Extensibility Standard that is relied upon by the OPC Standard to facilitate future enhancement and extension of OpenXPS markup. As such, that Markup Compatibility and Extensibility Standard is included by reference.

It’s about time the world had a XML based non-revisable document standard. A White Paper is also available here in PDF format and here in XPS format


Fredrik E. Nilsen said:

Do you know when it will be sendt to ISO?

# June 17, 2009 2:03 PM

Stephen McGibbon said:

I don't know what TC46 plans in this regard Fredrik, I've asked.

TC46's members are:-

and TC46 has formal liaisons with the following ISO/IEC committees:-

# June 17, 2009 2:57 PM

wpatin said:

Under "Compatibility" on page 7:

"[existing] XPS and OpenXPS content can be easily distinguished, and XPS consuming implementations can be updated to support OpenXPS content with only minor modifications."

Do you have any details on how OpenXPS is distinguished from XPS, and what updates "consuming implementations" will need to make?

# June 27, 2009 9:23 PM

Stephen McGibbon said:

Wayne, sorry I missed this. I've asked a colleague and I'll post the answer here.



# July 1, 2009 10:48 PM

Aiddy said:

Hi Wayne,

Stephen asked me to respond to the questions you posted…

There are a number of ways an implementation can distinguish between XPS and OpenXPS. Firstly, the namespace URIs are different. For example FixedDocument namespace is changed to (D.1 XML Namespace URIs & D.3 Relationship Types of Ecma-388 covers the details [1][2]). Secondly, Ecma-388 provides explicit recommendations for the identification of OpenXPS files which differs from the conventions currently used for XPS. OpenXPS uses *.oxps for the filename extension and application/oxps for the content type (details are covered in E.1 Identification of OpenXPS Documents [2]).

There are a large number of changes between OpenXPS and XPS, and obviously Ecma-388 is the reference to use for those. The following are areas that I’ve picked out that may be relevant for you:

• Name space URI changes: see comment above. Implementations will need to understand the new namespaces

• Recommendations for identifying OpenXPS: There are now recommendations for filename extension and content type that differ from conventions used with XPS. The XML Paper Specification did not define a filename extension, Ecma-388 requires implementations not use the filename extension commonly used for XPS documents and instead recommends *.oxps.

• Improved color profile interoperability: parts of specification dealing with color profiles have been improved to remove ambiguities in the specification and improve interoperability. This primarily impacts named and N-color representations.

• HD Photo now JPEG XR: XPS included HD Photo as one of the supported image file formats. OpenXPS uses the JPEG XR specification as the reference for the file format, although this should not impact implementations.

• Removal of WCS & Print Schema Specification references: OpenXPS does not include references to the Windows Color System or Print Schema Specifications.

• X3D Support: OpenXPS adds optional support for 3D content via X3D.

• Lots of clean up

Plus probably others that I’ve missed.

It’s also worth noting that TC46 published the working  issues list, you can download copies from the TC46 available documents page [2].

HTH /aiddy

[1] Last time I checked the final text of Ecma-388 wasn’t available on the Ecma web site but the final committee draft is available.


# July 6, 2009 4:19 PM

Stephen McGibbon said:

Thanks Adrian.

# July 6, 2009 4:52 PM

Martin Bailey said:

The final Ecma-388 is now available at the URL below, along with W3C and Relax NG schemas (addition of Relax schemas is another change in OpenXPS).

# July 7, 2009 2:43 PM