Careful Microsoft... At This Rate There'll Be No More Reasons To Hate You By The End Of This Year!

by M. David Peterson

... and then what will /. have to write about? *NOTHING*, I tell you! *NOTHING*!!!

Wait, that would be a good thing, huh?! *SWEET*! Please carry on...

Brian Jones: Open XML Formats : Mapping documents in the binary format (.doc; .xls; .ppt) to the Open XML format

I wanted to call everyone's attention to a few interesting developments in Ecma's proposed disposition document related to the Office binary formats. There were a few comments from national bodies that asked about the documentation of the Office binary formats and the availability of those documents. We had already been talking about these issues in TC45 where there were a number of existing experts in the binary formats (including Apple, Novell, and Microsoft). Based on the feedback from the national bodies, Microsoft decided last week to take some additional steps in this area.

Brian goes on to describe the fact that MSFT will be making it even easier to gain access to the documentation for the legacy Office binary formats, promises not to sue you if -- you know -- you actually read the documentation and then apply this knowledge to implementing support for these formats, and then takes it one step further by not only providing a mapping from the binary formats to Office Open XML, but promises to start a Binary Format-to-ISO/IEC JTC 1 DIS 29500 Translator Project on in collaboration with ISV's.

Hey Micah (Dubinko),

Why don't they just ISO standardize their binary formats? That's "backwards compatibility" for ya. -m

Micah Dubinko | January 24, 2007 10:13 AM

Okay, so maybe this isn't standardization, but as it relates to legacy file formats, isn't this good enough? And either way, nice work, MSFT!