Use Styles: at last, someone says something sensible about Open XML and ODF
by Rick Jelliffe
Peter is far from an anti-Microsoft partisan: indeed, he is probably a poster boy for the kind of developers Microsoft needs to attract with Open XML and Word 2007. He is one of the key players in the free ICE Integrated Content Environment project.
Peter says "the big point that always seems to get missed when people talk about word processing formats" is "use styles." Styles represent a sweet spot between crappy hodgepodge unusable office documents and retargetable information as allowed (with more effort) by XML with all its information-protection mechanisms like validation.
Peter's comments on list interoperability with ODF and Open XML are, I think, a real litmus test for how seriously we should take either (or both) as formats.
I was just talking about some of this yesterday on the OASIS ODF list WRT to accessibility.