A Committee Draft of the Open Office Specification 1.0 has been approved by the OASIS Open Office XML Format TC, providing an open, XML-based file format for office applications based on OpenOffice.org XML. The release includes a 607-page prose specification and separate schema files.
The Open Office Specification defines an XML schema for office applications and its semantics. The schema is suitable for office documents, including text documents, spreadsheets, charts and graphical documents like drawings or presentations, but is not restricted to these kind of documents. The schema retains high-level information suitable for editing document and is friendly to transformations using XSLT or similar XML-based languages or tools.
The normative XML Schema for Open Office XML embedded within the specification is defined as a RELAX NG schema. Chapter 15 on 'Data Types and Schema Definitions' also references some of the W3C Schema data types and provides Relax-NG definitions. The RELAX NG specifiction has been published as ISO/IEC 19757-2:2003, being "Document Schema Definition Language (DSDL) — Part 2: Regular-Grammar-Based Validation." According to James Clark, the RELAX NG schema language is "based firmly on the labelled-tree abstraction," distinguished from other XML schema languages by what it leaves out; in RELAX NG, the syntax and minimal labelled-tree abstraction implicit in that syntax are at the center of XML processing."
The Open Office XML CD "does not specify which elements and attributes conforming application must, should, or may support. The intention behind this is to ensure that Open Office XML can be used by as many implementations as possible, even if these applications do not support some or many of the elements and attributes defined in this specification. Viewer applications for instance may not support all editing relates elements and attributes (like change tracking), other application may support only the content related elements and attributes, but none of the style related ones. Similarly, Open Office documents may contain elements and attributes not specified within the Open Office schema. Such elements and attributes must not be part of a namespace that is defined within the specification, and are called foreign elements and attributes."
Open Office Specification 1.0. Committee Draft. Version 1. 22-March-2004. Document identifier: 'office-spec-1.0-cd-1.sxw'. 607 pages. Edited by Michael Brauer (Sun Microsystems), Gary Edwards, and Daniel Vogelheim (Sun Microsystems). Contributors: Doug Alberg (Boeing), Simon Davis (National Archive of Australia), Patrick Durusau (Society of Biblical Literature), David Faure, Paul Grosso (Arbortext), Tom Magliery (Blast Radius), Phil Boutros (Stellent), John Chelsom (CSW Informatics), Jason Harrop (SpeedLegal), Mark Heller (New York State Office of the Attorney General), Paul Langille (Corel), Monica Martin (Drake Certivo), Uche Ogbuji, and Lauren Wood.
Open Office XML schema: Appendix A of the Committee Draft ("Strict Relax NG Schema") is the Relax-NG schema equivalent to schema definitions provided in chapters 1 to 15 of the specification; however, this schema restricts the content of meta information elements and formatting properties elements to the attributes and elements defined in the specification.
Open Office Specification 1.0 Overview
Chapter 1 contains an introduction to Open Office XML. The document structure of Open Office XML is explained in chapter 2. Chapter 3 described the meta information that can be contained in Open Office XML documents. Chapters 4 and 5 describe the text and paragraph content of an Open Office XML document. Text Fields are described in chapter 6, text indices in chapter 7. Chapter 8 describes the table content of an Open Office XML document, chapter 9 its graphical content, chapter 10 its chart content, and chapter 11 its form content. Content that is common to all kind of documents is described in chapter 12. Chapter 13 explains the style information content of Open Office XML, chapter 14 describes the formatting properties that are defined in Open Office XML. The data types used by Open Office XML are described in chapter 15. Open Office XML makes use of a package concept. These packages are described in chapter 16.
Non Normative Appendix C on "Core Features Sets" provides an overview showing which element and attributes usually are supported by typical office application. "It lists the chapters and sections contained in the specification and some typical office application classes... Open Office XML does not specify which elements and attributes conforming application must, should, or may support. The intention behind this is to ensure that Open Office XML can be used by as many implementations as possible, even if these applications do not support some or many of the elements and attributes defined in this specification. Viewer applications for instance may not support all editing relates elements and attributes (like change tracking), other application may support only the content related elements and attributes, but none of the style related ones. Even typical office applications may only support a subset of the elements and attributes defined in this specification. They may for instance not support lists within text boxes or may not support some of the language related element and attributes..."
Packages (the package format that optionally can be used in Open Office) are described in Chapter 16, including explanation of the zip file structure, Encryption, and Manifest File. "As XML has no native support for binary objects such as images, OLE objects, or other media types, Open Office uses a package file to store the XML content of a document together with its associated binary data. This package is a standard Zip file, whose structure is discussed below. Information about the files contained in the package is stored in an XML file called the manifest file. The manifest file is always stored at the pathname META-INF/manifest.xml. The main pieces of information stored in the manifest are as follows: (1) A list of all of the files in the package; (2) The media type of each file in the package; (3) If a file stored in the package is encrypted, the information required to decrypt the file is stored in the manifest..."
- OASIS Open Office XML Format TC web site
- Open Office XML Format TC Charter
- Open Office XML Format FAQ document
- TC list archives
- Contact: Michael Brauer (Sun Microsystems, TC Chair)
- "RELAX NG and OpenOffice." By Michael Fitzgerald. From O'Reilly Developer Weblogs (April 6, 2004).
- Earlier news:
- "OpenOffice.org Releases Free, Open Source, Cross Platform Office Productivity Suite"
- "OpenOffice.org Releases Version 1.1 Beta for Open Source Office Productivity Suite"
- "Sun Microsystems Contributes OpenOffice.org XML File Format Specification to TC"
- "OASIS Technical Committee for Open Office XML File Format"
- "RELAX NG XML Schema Language Published as an ISO Standard (DSDL Part 2)"
- "RELAX NG Compact Syntax Published as an OASIS Committee Specification"
- "RELAX NG Published as ISO/IEC DIS 19757-2 (DSDL Part 2)"
- "Topologi Collaborative Markup Editor Supports RELAX NG"
- "Clark Updates Jing - A RELAX NG Validator in Java"
- "OASIS Releases RELAX NG Version 1.0 XML Language Validation Specification"
- "XML Schemas" - Main reference page.
- RELAX NG home page
- "RELAX NG" - Main reference page.
- "Document Schema Definition Languages (DSDL)" - Main reference page.
- "XML File Formats for Office Documents" - Main reference page.
- "OpenOffice.org XML File Format" - Main reference page.