tools for document interoperability


This is the web diary for nfoWorks and realization of the Harmony Principles. Pursuing Harmony tracks nfoWorks research, analysis, specification, and implementation of tools for document interoperability. There is commentary on related activities that address conformance, interoperability, and harmonization of document formats.

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ISO/IEC 29500:2008 OOXML Standard Available

Thanks to the ever-vigilant Alex Brown (and his convenient proximity to European time zones), we now know that IS 29500:2008, the ISO/IEC Standard for Office Open XML File Formats (OOXML to its friends) is now available from ISO.

The 4-part standard and its “electronic inserts” are provided on a CD-ROM.  The purchase price is 342 CHF (about $285 USD or 225.5 EUR).  Not exactly a holiday stocking-stuffer, but there are other ways.

Rumor has it that ECMA will now issue IS 29500:2008 as a revision of ECMA-376, and that will be available for free download (and sometimes there is a CD-ROM compilation made available from ECMA and we could expect OOXML to be included).

Even better than waiting for ECMA, IS 29500 is now on the ITTF list of Publicly Available Standards.  As of today, the individual parts and their electronic inserts are available for download.  Scroll down to the end of the Publicly Available Standards list and you will find the 7 links to the parts and their inserts.  After accepting the license agreement for your personal use of each download, the Zip files will be on their way to your computer:

  • IS 29500-1:2008 Fundamentals and Markup Language Reference
    • c051463_ISOIEC 29500-1_2008(E).zip, 40,824kB PDF in 32,984kB Zip
    • c051463_ISOIEC, folder of 5 Zip files in 14,478kB Zip
  • IS 29500-2:2008 Open Package Conventions
    • c051459_ISOIEC 29500-2_2008(E).zip, 1,823kB PDF in 1,501kB Zip
    • c051459_ISOIEC, folder of 2 Zip files in 6.69kB Zip
  • IS 29500-3:2008 Markup Compatibility and Extensibility
    • c051461_ISOIEC 29500-3_2008(E).zip, 929kB PDF in 833kB Zip
  • IS 29500-4:1008 Transitional Migration Features
    • c051462_ISOIEC 29500-4_2008(E).zip, 10,143kB PDF in 8,221kB Zip
    • c051462_ISOIEC, folder of 2 Zip files in 290kB Zip

The Electronic inserts include schemas in both Relax-NG and XML Schema.  The IS 29500-1 inserts also include drawing geometries, spreadsheet styles, and word-processing art borders.  The schemas with IS 29500-1 are for strict OOXML.  The transitional schemas are with IS 29500-4.

One advantage of having these downloads, today, is having desktop search for locating material in them.  That, along with the Acrobat Search for individually-opened PDFs, makes it possible to rely on this material as off-line but on-board references.

Until I stumbled on Alex Brown’s tweet following a very satisfying OASIS ODF Interoperability and Conformance TC coordination call, I had not realized how much I have been suppressing myself in anticipation of the availability of IS 29500 in tangible, public form.  It was a little bit like waiting for US Presidential Election results (which happened much more quickly, although the long run-up was certainly comparable).

I’m not sure why it was like that, since there is plenty of work to do with ODF as part of my attempt to apply the Harmony Principles.  Yet the missing-in-action status of IS 29500 was some sort of cloud over my attention and enthusiasm.   Now, instead, I am suddenly much farther behind in this work than I was just 12 hours ago, and that was behind enough.  Stay tuned …

[update 2008-11-20: I forgot to set categories.  Done now.]

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