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Created: November 04, 2002.
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OASIS Technical Committee for Open Office XML File Format.

OASIS has issued a Call for Participation in a new 'Open Office XML Format Technical Committee'. The TC members intend to create an open, XML-based file format specification for office applications. Michael Brauer (Sun Microsystems) will chair the TC. The proposed XML file format is to be "suitable for office documents containing text, spreadsheets, charts, and graphical documents." It will be compatible XML v1.0 and W3C Namespaces. The file format will "retain high-level information suitable for editing the document and keep the document's content and layout information separate such that they can be processed independently of each other." For interoperability, it must be "friendly to transformations using XSLT or similar XML-based languages or tools. The design will borrow from similar, existing standards wherever possible and permitted. Since the XML format specification meets these criteria and has proven its value in real life, this TC will use it as the basis for its work. Sun Microsystems intends to contribute the XML Format to this TC at the first meeting of the TC, under reciprocal Royalty Free terms. TC work will be done in two phases, each resulting in a Committee Specification that includes (1) a set of XML DTDs/schemas setting the vocabulary, constraints and semantics of the file format in question, and (2) a set of written specifications that describe the elements and attributes of the DTDs/schemas in plain English."

From the text of the 2002-11-04 CFP:

Work Phases

The work of this TC will be done in two phases:

1) In the first phase, this TC will use proven and established constructs so that the resulting standard can satisfy the immediate needs of many users, as well as serve as a base for future, less restricted development.

The work of this TC in the first phase will concentrate on the following areas:

A ) establishing a mechanism and policy for extensions, preferably relying on XML namespaces,

B) establishing a set of 'core' elements and attributes to be supported by all implementations,

C) incorporating feedback from early adopters of the base specification and fixing technical problems that may have been uncovered,

D) ensuring that the resulting specification and documentation are consistent and of high quality.

The TC aims to complete the first phase within six months of the TC's formation.

2) In the second phase, this TC will extend the base specification to encompass additional areas of applications or users.

The work of this TC in the second phase will additionally allow for the following areas:

A) enabling additional areas of application,

B) exploring new or experimental ideas for office document representation, and

C) extending the expressiveness of the format.


Each of the TC's phases will result in a Committee Specification that includes:

  • a set of XML DTDs/schemas setting the vocabulary, constraints and semantics of the file format in question, and
  • a set of written specifications that describe the elements and attributes of the DTDs/schemas in plain English.

At the appropriate time the TC shall submit its Committee Specifications for balloting by OASIS membership for OASIS standard status.

Under no circumstances shall the TC accept, during any phase, contributions that are not granted to all under perpetual, royalty free, non-discriminatory terms.

This TC shall not finalize or approve a specification if it believes that the use, distribution, or implementation of such specification would necessarily require the unauthorized infringement of any party's rights known to the technical committee, and such party has not agreed to provide necessary license rights on perpetual, royalty-free, non-discriminatory terms.

TC Proposers: The following persons eligible to participate in OASIS technical committees state that they are committed to the purpose and schedule as announced:

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