OOXML… again…

I have previously spoken of OOXML here, and now I here by inform you of another link that tells you what everybody already knows: Office Open XML sucks big time. Basically Stéphane Rodriguez, who is already known for this article on binary information of Ms Office, tried to edit the XML resulting from saving into OOXML format, and found out some almost hilarious things. For instance, if you have an Excel (*.xlsx) file with a function associated to a cell, and want to remove that association (i.e. change one cell) without using Ms’ Excel program, well you’re pretty much screwed: among the other gazilion things to do, you have to parse the whole file again, just to change a cell… This is just the first example of several.

The /. link is here.

In my much humble opinion, the (main) conclusion to take from this is that it is almost impossible (if not impossible at all) to implement that so called standard using only the proposed specification, and as the only implementation that actually exists is Microsoft’s own closed source Ms Office 2007, any kind of compatibility with different platforms is an utopia. So in practice everything remains almost the same: Ms Office is still a buggy, bloated, proprietary software using an even more buggy, “closed” (as in “impossible to change in practice”) file format. The one possible change that still needs to unfold is what will ISO do about it…

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