Talk:Office Open XML/Archive 1

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Merge discussion

Well I agree...sort of. If the resulting name will be Microsoft Office Open XML. The WordprocessingML is about the format for Microsoft Word only but somehow also covers the other applications from the Office suite. --seweso 11:36, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

I am the one who created the WordprocessingML enty, I have even changed the name two or three times. It seems in constant flow, I am under the impression that the name has not really stabilaised yet. I think the name we should use in WP is the one used by MS Marketing. Or according to your suggestion we should add a paragraph in the article mentionning in what context WordprocessingML is used. Maybe this terms will be abandonned alltogether by MS. --Khalid hassani 14:35, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
Is the WordprocessingML likely to get more content? Right now, it's really just five sentences of content, mostly duplicated in Microsoft Office Open XML, and so should be merged. Lisamh 02:08, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
That article could well be deleted or just left as a stub. The limited info in the article has no real added value in this article. Possibly when the format will be widely used after the release of MS Office 2007 someone might be interested to put down some info on the separate markup languages that exist in OOXML hAl 10:11, 21 September 2006 (UTC)


I think the issue of "Openness" warrants an own section on this page.

This would include the question whether OpenXML is compatible with the GPL, which I think is a relevant issue that deserves to be covered in some more detail.

(I don't have an opinion yet: I'm still trying to figure out whether OpenXML is GPL-compatible as this has been subject of some heated debate, that's why I came here ;)).

I just found the OpenDocument vs. Microsoft Office Open XML licensing page. This has some relevant information that I think would be interesting to add here, for those who are not so interested in ODF but just want to know what they can and cannot do with OpenXML.

I think a link to OpenDocument vs. Microsoft Office Open XML licensing at the bottom of this page would be relevant.

This article has some POV needing editing and move to the OpenDocument debate page, which covers all the discussion on what OASIS and Microsoft do (or fail to do). I'll do the editing as soon as I get some time.--- Louie 16:41, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Old discussion

I'm removing these links from the main article:

The first two apply: OpenXML is already phase 2 of EEE: OpenDocument has already been embraced and extended; phase three (deployment) is planned to lead to extinction... Louie 16:27, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
No, MOOX is not an embracement of OpenDocument, but an implementation of roughly the same idea. That's a difference. --Raboof 14:50, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Right, like JScript is not an embracement of JavaScript, but an implementation of roughly the same idea; and ActiveX is not an embracement of Java, etc... How weird, they came up with the very same idea after bailing out from their sponsored OASIS project, some five years after the birth of SXW (OpenOffice format)! Once again, Sun sets the path to innovation, and Microsoft sabotages to its own advantage.--- Louie 16:33, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
ActiveX isn't a language or execution environment, Jlrn7. It's a component architecture. Unlike your JScript/JavaScript comparasin, they are entirely different things. Warrens 16:46, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
My apologies. I was thinking on something else then... Louie 17:05, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
C#. When Microsoft failed in their bid to corrupt Java.
JScript isn't an embracement of JavaScript. (MS) JScript, (Netscape) JavaScript and (Macromedia/Adobe) ActionScript are all, if you have to use the term, embracement of ECMAscript, to which their respective creators added specific features or in other words, extended. OpenXML is not an embracement of ODF, ODF would have had to be extended if it had to support all of MS Office's features. Rather they chose to implement the XML format from scratch. Btw, Office already has an XML format in Office 2003, in market 4 years back. --soumসৌমোyasch 17:48, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

What new format? The format represents an evolution of the Office document formats. I mean, it represents the way Microsoft created their Office suite, and it is the next step from the Office 2003 xml schema. It is the same crap just wrapped in xml, nothing more. Further more, there is a percieved cheap migration path between the current format and the new format. And data exchange between other formats will be hard/imposible because the whole format must be implemented. And ianal but legally it might all prove to be hard/imposible also. *That* will ensure vendor lock-in. This way they embrace and extend and extinguish the whole move to 'open' formats. I will re-add the links if i do not get a more elaborate answer.

Ooh I will include a link to a page with better use of words:,1759,1894039,00.asp --seweso 22:15, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Seweso please stop pushing your agenda and try keeping this entry NPOV :)
There is no such thing as a NPOV! I understand that the article should make the internal links look...well...logical. I will gather some technical and juridical proof that this format does give Microsoft Vendor-lockin. I thought it was obvious that Microsoft will never give up its crown-jewels. I would like to open people's eyes. XML seems to imply openness but that is not always the case. You can put as much proprietary information in XML as you wish (like ole/active-x binary data). And legally, well IANAL but what i read about it doesn't spell good things. That is vendor lock-in. And even if this is the first format from Microsoft which doesn't employ vender lock-in then it is still relevant reading material, agree? And I think you must agree that vendor lock-in should be the most important subject of this article....right? --seweso 08:49, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, there is no such thing as NPOV. No, it does not imply it is alright to infuse one's agenda in this informational resource. I do understand that all things Microsoft and anti-Microsoft rival religious topics in the polarity of people's POVs, yet more reason to strive and keep opinions leashed and information balanced.
Have a look here OpenDocument licensing for a comparaison between ODF and Microsoft Office Open XML licencesing --Khalid hassani 15:24, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
Khalid, you need to update your analysis - as of today it is based on outdated opinions from RMS and other very opinionated folks, still referring to the first Microsoft's attempt on Open XML format licensing terms. The new terms are much more liberal, in fact, more so than Sun's disclaimer on their ODF IP. Help yourself to Brian Jones blog for more information.
There is probably a lot of FUD going on, on each side, do you have an official MS link, or better an FAQ where the license is clearly and unambiguously explained ? in Which case we need to add it to the OpenDocument licensing entry --Khalid hassani 12:21, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Brian Jones *is* Microsoft voice when it comes to Open XML format. How more official do you want it? For all I see OpenDocument licensing is full of mostly baseless (and often outdated) claims about Open XML merits, including licensings. You can at least try balancing these with opinions from the other side.

Complete overhaul.

I thoroughly changed the article.

Removed a lot opiniated text.

Added a seprate paragraph about Standardization

Added a seprate paragraph about Licensing

Added a format description including some stuff about relation/hyperlinks and embedded media

Added a software adaptation paragraph

Cleaned up the links section. Removed a lot of negative commenting links mainly because they were based on outdated info about the standardization and/or licensing.

Hope you all agree this is a lot more straightforward and less npov. My english is only moderate so please feel free to correct it --HAl 11:01, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree this is now more straightforward.
I still find it strange, however, that this article uses specific qualifications such as "Microsoft maintains" and "Microsoft has stated," whereas the Wikipedia entry on OpenDocument uses general language such as "some argue" and doesn't ever say whose opinion is being expressed in phrases such as "intended to provide an open alternative" or "without any implementation barriers."
Why is the Open XML entry full of qualifications and attributions, while the OpenDocument entry presents similar types of information as fact without saying whose opinion is being expressed? I'm with Microsoft, so if I were to change anything in the OpenDocument entry I'm sure some would feel that's inappropriate, but the lack of consistency in editorial style is pretty striking and seems to reflect a strong pro-Sun/anti-Microsoft sentiment. Hardly encyclopedic, in my opinion.
- Doug Mahugh, Microsoft131.107.0.103 17:24, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
It must be said that the article about OpenDocument is less objective than I would like to see it as well. Phrases like "some argue" should be acompanied by citations and preferbly should be listed as for example "the Opendocument fellowship argues". If I have the time I will clean it up somewhat as well but I have less info on the ODF format as I lack a good source of ODF format analysis.
I think there wouldn't be a problem if you editted the Opendocument article if your changes would reflect opinions of independant sources and you could site those sources as well. Else I would refer you to the discussion page of the Opendocument article where you could voice certain concerns with the objectivty of the article or with the correctness of the content. People like me that have no affiliation to either MS or OpenOffice will pick that up and might agree (or not) and could discuss and edit the article accordingly (or not). I would however suggest that you register a nick and list on your user page that you have some affiliation to MS. hAl 20:54, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was NO CONSENSUS for the move. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:50, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Former Requested move

The topic should be moved to Office Open XML, since this is the name used by Ecma (see: Ecma Office Open XML File Formats Standard) and will be the official name.

-- 10:17, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

-- edit by 09:05, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

The official name of the Ecma standard wil be Ecma Office Open XML. So Office Open XML is not the name of the standard but only of the format. I do think that Office Open XML is more neutral but at the moment I would not support the move as the format is very much linked to Microsoft Office and the current name probalby makes reasonable sense. Also there are quite a few other articles that have Microsoft Office Open XML in the name. Changing this name should really mean that all those articles should also be moved. At the moment I think that redirecting Ecma Office Open XML and Office Open XML would be sufficient.

-- Minion o' Bill 10:33, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

The proposed change would seem to be deliberatly creating confusion and/or anbiguity in regards to the established product in the same genre called Open Office. Besides, as writes above, Open XML' is not the official name of the standard, and even the offical name, Ecma Office Open XML would be confusing for many since the format is so inexcricably linked with MS and its activities.


Add "* Support" or "* Oppose" followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~


Add any additional comments

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

How can there be "no consensus" on whether to call this entry by its actual name or not? There's no ambiguity, the name of the standard is Ecma Office Open XML, and that's the name used in 100% of communication from standards bodies regarding the format, whether Ecma, ISO, IEC, or anyone else. Why is it perceived as necessary for this entry in Wikipedia to be based on the made-up name "Microsoft Office Open XML"? Why not just call it what it is, what it says on every copy of the spec, "Ecma Office Open XML"?

If a single person's insistence on using a made-up name is sufficient to prevent an entry from using an actual published standardized name because of "lack of consensus," perhaps we should change the entry entitled "GIF" to "CompuServe GIF"? I don't understand how this process can be so fragile and beholdon to FUD and obfuscation -- why not just say the truth? This isn't a matter of opinion we're talking about, it's a PROPER NAME.

- Doug 17:40, 22 January 2007 (UTC) Doug Mahugh <-- Disclosure, he's from Microsoft. Opium 05:03, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Microsoft askes XML expert Rick Jelliffe for adding view on OOXML wikipedia articles

You might want to read that article and might help him to fix the current problems of this wikipedia article here. Thank you for helping. -- 19:39, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

On the link mentioned above in "Fixing the Erros", a writer posted to the O'Reilly Network (O'Reilly as in Tim, not Fox News) that he was offered pay from Microsoft in return for editing this article: "I [received an] email a couple of days ago from Microsoft saying they wanted to contract someone independent but friendly (me) for a couple of days to provide more balance on Wikipedia concerning ODF/OOXML." --Zippy 22:25, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
It is a hopeless task for Rick. I tried to clean up the article a multiple of times and tried on the OpenDocument article as well but people keep trashing up the article filled with anti-microsoft sentiments. With regards to MS articles I guess there is little NPOV around. I can understand why they asked Rick to edit the article though. Doug Magugh, a ooxml evangelist from MS, who has commented on the article in above discussions would probably love to edit the article himself but it is likely that any edit made by a Microsoft employee would be reverted or countered with disinformation. hAl 15:25, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
The anti-Microsoft people will wander off soon enough, just as soon as Slashdot or Groklaw orders and instructs them to be mad at some other issue. -/- Warren 16:52, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Wow, you've got quite a neutral viewpoint of /. and Groklaw viewers. It's weird that most of your anti-anti-microsoft commits happened just about the same time. It seems either you're one of the payees, or you disagree with differing opinions to your own. If you were neutral, you'd have made this a good article before them. -- [Beta] 13:49, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
The problem is OOXML is a political move by Microsoft; and a NPOV article that deals only with the contents of OOXML and not the politics doesn't paint the full picture. Is anyone with inside knowledge willing to step up to the plate and attempt a NPOV on the politics. I've followed the debate closely ( history is important and it is pretty clear that a lot of the documents written in the last 20 years are going to be lost) and yet I can only make guesses. This article will have a NPOV when the introduction starts " At the beginning of the century attempt to create open document standards started...". I am sure such an article will exist as the issue is so important to humanity. Charles Esson 21:18, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually I would say that ODF is the politically motivated product and that OOXML is an answer to that from the private sector. However to maintain an article about a format there does not have to be a discussion on the politics of the format. That is for blogs and is already a lively debate. hAl 21:40, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
As I said, we will get a NPOV article when the article can start "At the beginning of the century...". The politics is the interesting bit, both standards are pretty dry reading. Charles Esson 07:02, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
The technical aspects are not sensational, but they are super important. Billions of dollars will be spent on building services and systems using ODF and OOXML over the next years. Good information helps make sure the dollars are spent productively, not wasted.Rick Jelliffe 14:20, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Lets see, ODF and OOXML standard in 20 words or less: A compressed directory that contains XML files, pictures of various types and binary blobs. The difference between ODF and OOXML in 20 words or less: Their incomparability makes a joke of the XML promise, ODF binary blobs are not used for vendor lock in.Charles Esson 18:43, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
A couple of things, the "binary blobs" in ODF files are open-spec binary files (like PNG, JPEG), whereas in OOXML, it'll be formats like WMF and ISF. Not open nor free. I also think you don't understand what XML is. Their incompatibility is from them not sharing specifications, nothing else. -- [Beta] 20:31, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Using WMF and ISF is vendor lock; thank you for expanding on that point. I am very well aware of what XML is and you are 100% correct, compatibility requires that one specification gets used otherwise XML becomes just another bable and we will not see the multi million dollar market Rick anticipates. I think I am now seriously off topic, but I wonder, the politics matter. The question is how do you cover the politics using a NPOV Charles Esson 06:34, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I hope you do know that ODF also allows for the embedding of any kind of binary media file. Including propriety binary formats. So you can actually embed a WMF file in an OpenDocument file as well. Else OpenDocument would be worthless. hAl 07:23, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Allow and require to be useful are two different things.Charles Esson 10:17, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Effectivly there is no difference between that as the OOXML spec does not require you to implement it's parts. So any implementing application can treat a embedded format like wmf in OOXML exactly the same way as it would when the the wmf file was embedded in a ODF file and that would be fine. hAl 10:38, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Required to be useful and required by the specification are also two different concepts; unfortunately that is the nub of the matter.Charles Esson 11:23, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
ODF does mention that it "may have an arbitrary format" (for future-proofing presumably), but it recommends "vector graphics are stored in the [SVG] format and bitmap graphics in the [PNG] format.". Application developers should take that as a clue to convert into these recommended formats.
Whereas, in OOXML it defines the use of Bitmap, EMF, and then "other" formats. It doesn't recommend any standard to use. -- [Beta] 16:59, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes. I have been quite surprised that after I was completely open and upfront about the offer and the terms and writing that blog article, some people have turned it all around to be some kind of scandal that has been uncovered. And I haven't even made any edits yet! I certainly would welcome advise on how to proceed; I'd like to be able to improve the entries. Rick Jelliffe 21:07, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Ending your article with "(I have even heard an ODF guy claim that MS wants to enable death squads with their UUIDs, ROFL)" come on lets get real here.Charles Esson 21:18, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

@Rick (I hope you are the real one). Editting the article is easy. However you'd better wait a few days or a week or so so that the activity in edtting the article slows down. If you aren't familiar with editing articles on wikipedia you might read a bit in the help pages and get familiar with the articles your are interested in (put them in watch) and the edits being done on them. If possible I will try an help in maintaining your edits against vandalism (which is likely after your article) but you might have to accept that some edits will fade away in time due to reedits of the article. hAl 21:40, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I think the political issue needs to be moved out of both the OOXML and ODF articles and split into its own page. It is an appropriate subject for Wikipedia, but it is important to treat the matter as a political issue between the two standards and not just in one or the other. Also, having large sections in the base articles only serves to give the controversy added, and perhaps undue, weight. I wouldn't want someone to come to Wikipedia and see the OOXML article being 80% controversy and 20% fact and be warded off the format just from that. I would rather that there be a link, with maybe a paragraph summery, to an article specifically about the controversy. Korval 16:40, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Strongly support this idea as mentioned by Korval. The primary articles should be factual, with links to the controversy. BradC 17:19, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Rick - I'd say edit the articles all you want, and I'm sure they'd benefit from your contribution. But, as soon as you accept payment from Microsoft, it is conflict of interest, and you should not be editing the articles, even if you are genuinely trying to edit objectively. QuickBrownFox 23:29, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I don't see anything in the guidelines to say that it is an actual conflict of interest. If MS paid me to edit an articles about MS it is a conflict of interest. If MS paid me to edit articles about frilled sharks, there is not even the appearance of a conflict of interest there. The proposed Draft ISO OOXML comes from an Ecma standard, from a committee including MS, British Museum and Novell. It certainly came out of MS, but now it is in the standards chain it has an independent existence. There is no actual conflict of interest, just possibly an "appearance" of one, as I understand the rules: I would not be promoting MS or an MS product, but improving the technical details of articles on ISO standards precedures and various standards or proposed standards. So the rules discourage me from editing, and demand full disclosure (is the N Y Times and CNN enough?), and NPOV etc, and I certainly expect scrutiny. But the rules do no ban me, in any place I can see. There is similarly a possible appearance of a conflict of interest for me to be improving articles on technologies that I helped create or standardize in my role as an unpaid member of ISO/IEC JTC1 SC34 WG1, which looks after documents and schema languages (SGML, DSDL, ODF, Schematron, etc.) because it relates to processes that, in a small way, I am a participant in. Of course, on the other hand, the knowledge gives me better expertise to edit with. Happy to be corrected.Rick Jelliffe 08:18, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
If the edits follow wikipedia's NPOV I see no problems as long as you don't consider your edits golden. You face a problem if you get into an edit war; being paid puts you in a very difficult position. To be blunt Rob Weirs blog entry was a lot more rational than yours; your blog entry does not put you in a strong starting position if the yardstick is "NPOV".Charles Esson 23:37, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Editorial tone

This article has a very un-Wikipedia-like tone, with editorial all over the place, presumably as the result of editing and counter-editing between opposing sides. Come on -- we can do better than this! If we can manage NPOV on articles like Scientology, Communism and Opus Dei, we can do it here. -- Karada 13:14, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I tend to agree here. The tone is rather too casual, with too much emphasis on "you". I have put on an NPOV tag till we can sort that out. I should note, incidently, that I have no problem with MS or anyone editing the article, just we need to sort out the tone. I should also note that I wrote large slabs of Windows 2000 and MDAC, so if anyone thinks I'm anti-MS... have another think. - Ta bu shi da yu 16:53, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I took a pass through the article, cleaned up a bunch of stuff, and removed the NPOV tag. Your concern about inappropriate tone is still valid, though, so I tagged the offending section appropriately. -/- Warren 17:35, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Warren, an excellent start and a better choice of tag. - Ta bu shi da yu 23:38, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Trying a move again

Requested move

Microsoft Office Open XMLOffice Open XML — The article refers to this xml format for office documents in general and not to a specific version by Microsoft or even only to the current standardized version by Ecma or mayby in future by ISO. It seems also in line with the most common way people refer to the format, both in full or in abbriviation (as OOXML). Allthough Microsoft is the main contributor and user of the format in future it is likely that many applications will create content using this format in which case a more neutral name seems more appropriate. It is unlikely that for instance competitors that create compatibility will refer to the format as Microsoft Office open XML but rather to Office Open XML or Ecma Office Open XML hAl 19:15, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I thought the ideas here finalized this issue? Towsonu2003 05:37, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Um... you mean the one where two (maybe three, I can't tell considering how it's improperly formatted and unsigned) people chimed in, one wanting it one way and one wanting the other? Sorry, that hardly represents consensus. —bbatsell ¿? 05:41, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Aren't there two dfferent topics being discussed? The Ecma and proposed ISO Office Open XML standards are technologies limited to their description in the standard. Like ODF, they allow arbitrary binary data to be embedded. For example, a graphic in a platform-dependent format. Like ODF, a description of what one application allows to be embedded is interesting, but it a different topic to what the standard requires. The article title should make clear whether it is OOXML the technology described in the standard, or OOXML as implemented in product A, that is being discussed; material in the entry about product A should be clearly distinguished from material about the requirements of the standard. This is a point I made about a claim on the ODF page too: an item says "JavaScript is required for full implementation" but that is incorrect about ODF as a standard: conformance with the ODF standard does not require that. If "full implementation" means "accepting all ODF that Open Office can generate" then that is an issue of product comparison: the idea of standards for document formats is you want application-independent definitions of conformance, expressed as much as possible in machine-executable terms with a schema, no matter what the provenance of the format. It might be useful to include sections or different articles on the characteristics of the data that particular Ecma OOXML- and OASIS ODF-using applications and converters generate and accept. But what a standard requires for conformance and what any two giant applications need in order so that one could substitute for another (which seems to be what some people mean by "full implementation") are utterly different things and needn't be confused. Rick Jelliffe 07:16, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Since the only successful implementation of OOXML in existence today is within Microsoft Office, OOXML was specifically created by Microsoft to emulate how versions of Microsoft Office handle their documents (backwards compatibility in Microsoft's words) and whole sections of the format document are devoted to it (sections such as autoSpaceLikeWord95 (Emulate Word 95 Full-Width Character Spacing) for example) then I'm not convinced that that kind of application/standard separation is currently possible with OOXML. The solution to this will be if, and when, Microsoft removes all references, mention and behaviour of specific versions of Microsoft Office and Office applications from the OOXML specification. At that point, we can start to have a serious discussion about separating what is in the standard from what is in various applications. As it stands, the OOXML specification document simply makes that extremely difficult, if not impossible. Segedunum 20:04, February 9 2007 (UTC)


Add  # '''Support'''  or  # '''Oppose'''  on a new line in the appropriate section followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion using ~~~~. Please remember that this survey is not a vote, and please provide an explanation for your recommendation.

Survey - in support of the move

  1. Support I guess the move request shows my motivation already hAl 19:17, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
  2. Support But their needs to be a page for "Microsoft office open XML" that points to the moved page. The aim is to help the user not to push any agenda. My own POV, as a standard it sucks. Charles Esson 19:47, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
    That is standard feature in all normal moves. hAl 20:06, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
  3. Support, though going with simply "Office Open XML" might work, too, since it's still not an ambiguous name... the standard is likely to be adopted by the ISO at some point this year, too. -/- Warren 01:20, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
  4. Support 10:06, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
  5. Support "Office Open XML" for now, but its likely to get another name change if ISO accepts it -- [Beta] 13:45, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
  6. Support I think Office Open XML is the best overall page title. "ECMA", although technically accurate, doesn't seem necessary, particularly because it is going to be working toward ISA certification, too. As a side note, are we surveying the correct move?? It seems that the "Microsoft Office Open XML" page has already been replaced with "ECMA Office Open XML". So should the correct move request really be ECMA OOXML --> OOXML? BradC 15:26, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
  7. Support. Ecma calls it "Open Office XML", the Ecma name is "Ecma 376". What happens with ISO, as above? —bbatsell ¿? 03:51, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Survey - not 'Microsoft' in name as yet

  1. Support a more generic title. Note that ECMAScript is used for the standard version of what is called JavaScript, and JavaScript is used for the Netscape/Mozilla implementation (which leads the ECMA standard, but is nevertheless subtly different). It should be called what it is called. I think the present title, Ecma Office Open XML, is a good one. If the MS implementation turns out subtly different, make that a subsection here and maybe an article later - David Gerard 21:11, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Survey - in opposition to the move

  1. oppose - trying to drop any mention of microsoft? Towsonu2003 05:32, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
  2. Oppose Anyone who believes that Ecma Office Open XML is synonymous with Microsoft Office Open XML hasn't done their homework. Ecma 376 is a specification for file formats that are "compatible with the [Microsoft] Office Open XML Formats." The two formats are not the same, as this topic's page leaves the impression. Ecma 376 apparently specifies a subset of the Microsoft formats. The Microsoft version is only partly XML. Both the Ecma and Microsoft formats include a host of tags enclosing Microsoft application-specific application calls and binary blobs for which no functionality or behavior is specified in the Ecma standard. See e.g., this link for citations to examples in Ecma 376. Ecma 376 requires the preservation of such metadata, using a set of requirements similar to that for handling of foreign elements in the OpenDocument standard section 1.5. But that guarantees that only Microsoft can generate and interpret the binary blobs absent successful reverse engineering and only Microsoft can have the advantage of the application-specific calls. In other words, portions of the Microsoft file format are at best irrelevant to other developers other than the requirement that they preserve the metadata when their applications encounter them. Even if one blinked past those differences -- and the binary blobs are very much part of Microsoft's version of the formats -- one would be foolish to believe that Ecma 376 formats and Microsoft's will be the same once Microsoft issues its first update for Office 2007. Microsoft Office Open XML is a 1.0 release; there are unquestionably bugs, and Microsoft will change its formats. In short, the fact hasn't struck home yet on these pages that Ecma 376 is not the specification for Microsoft's formats, only for formats that are compatible with Microsoft's formats. And I will guarantee you that if ISO does adopt an Office Open XML standard, which seems highly unlikely, it will not be the same as Ecma 376 or Microsoft Office Open XML. Ecma 376 is beyond question the dog being wagged by Microsoft's tail. It is not a file format specification for everyone. The Microsoft name should stay in the article's title. Oh, and by the way, virtually all of Microsoft's materials referred to Microsoft Office Open XML right up until the day Ecma adopted its standard. What is going on in this talk topic is pure revisionism. Marbux 10:27, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
  3. Oppose The move, implying a name shift towards generality for the Microsoft Product specification should definitely not be undertaken.
  4. (cont.) On an optimistic note I will suggest another name for Ecma Office Open XML: Namely MOX, or Microsoft Office XML, which is the original name for this product. See page 13 in the document [


  1. (cont.)(isn't an indented paragraph possible here?) The current naming of the Microsoft Specification is misleading and too close to the "Open Office" trademark. Danish law says that product-names should be easily distinguishable. This rule may be common for many countries. OOXML can pass, Ecma Office XML can pass, Ecma Office Open XML is really bad because too many people get confused about "Office Open" and "Open Office", isn't it the same? they ask. And Office Open XML is so close to "" that I think it can and should be sued. User: donald_j_axel --d-axel 13:52, 27 January 2007 (UTC)


Add any additional comments:

Anoyingly someone has moved to page to yet another name after I added the move request. Typical. hAl 21:26, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually, it should not be annoying. It is a wiki, after all and moving a page to a proper title should be something that can be done by using the buttons. -- Mathias Schindler 21:29, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I think it is rather anoying as it easily creates a page moving war where a poll and discussion as I used seems a smoother solution. Also in an earlier attempt for renaming Ecma Office Open XML was dismissed as being the best choice. Also check: Wikipedia:Requested_moves#Steps_for_requesting_a_.28possibly.29_controversial_page_move hAl 21:48, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Also, even Ecma does not call the format Ecma Office Open XML. Check the Ecma page on OOXML . hAl 21:58, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I am sorry, I did not notice that earlier move attempt. Ecma calls this "Office Open XML", the same way that BMW does not put "BMW" in front of their car models (we do). I also did not expect moving this page to be controversial. -- Mathias Schindler 22:04, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

And when does the all out move to drop "office" start? Charles Esson 08:44, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Microsoft participation on this talk page

With the recent headlines about Microsoft offering a blogger payment to edit this article, those of us who do press have had some back-and-forth with the people at Microsoft who work on OOXML. I suggested to Doug Mahugh that he supply info here on the talk page as requested, as he fully understands that editing the article directly would be a conflict of interest.

I expect this article to make featured status in a month given the attention it's getting, btw ;-) - David Gerard 21:09, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't see why there would be a conflict of interest. People are always editing articles in which they have an interest. As long as the edits are factual and verifiable, there should be no problem. --Lee Hunter 21:29, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't know if you noticed the press howling for Microsoft's head yesterday and today ... - David Gerard 23:03, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps so (though I haven't seen this covered anywhere except the unapologetically anti-Microsoft press; feel free to demonstrate otherwise), but that isn't criticism of the Office Open XML format... it is Criticism of Microsoft, and as such, it does not belong in this article. -/- Warren 01:16, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
though I haven't seen this covered anywhere except the unapologetically anti-Microsoft press. Try the San Francisco Chronicle [1], which is where I heard about. Or is that part of "the unapologetically anti-Microsoft press"? --Calton | Talk 02:15, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I see it's been covered on MSNBC, too, so that settles that. ;) It's still not suitable criticism of OOXML-the-document-format. -/- Warren 02:38, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

The SFGate article quotes Microsoft as saying they tried to get us to change the article ourselves but it was ignored. That's a pretty strong accusation that I could find no record of, can anyone else? Thanks! —bbatsell ¿? 02:42, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Other than that comment from the MS employee from August (here on the talk page), yeah, I see no evidence that they tried to do much about it themselves. Unless they emailed Wikimedia directly and asked them to open a can of whoop-WP:OFFICE, which I'm sure Jimbo et al. would've gotten a good snicker from... :-) -/- Warren 03:12, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I've got an idea. Wikipedia could invite Microsoft to post its relevant proposed revisions to this talk page and on the OpenDocument talk page, with its citations. And do the same for IBM. Then we can all check their citations and see whether we agree the content is appropriate. And Microsoft could save the money it would otherwise have to pay its astroturfers. Who knows, the conversation might even lead to a higher level of discourse about the relative merits of the two file format specifications. And perhaps we could get to the point where the articles have sufficient quality to lock them down from further revisions without moderation. Personally, I would enjoy having a discussion with the Microsoft folk about the accuracy of some of their public statements they have been making that seem to keep making their way into the OpenDocument pages. Maybe Microsoft would also be good enough to identify who its other Wikipedia astroturfers are if any. I've wondered for some time whether the really biased, inaccurate, and misleading information on these pages was the product of paid astroturfers or just people who don't know the subject matter and believe whatever Microsoft says. Marbux 10:55, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
You can already discuss with Microsoft on the blog of Brian Jones about the OOXML format. Microsoft seems willing to discuss the issues brought up (by mainly IBM) on that blog. It has an fairly lively debate about the merits and flaws in OOXML. I am still looking for a good counterpart blog where possible issues surrounding ODF are discussed and where we could for instance communicate with OASIS TC members about improvements. So feel free to point me there. hAl 13:01, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Nope. Brian Jones ignores the hard questions. He only swings at soft pitches. I posted several times on his blog with referenced and linked questions. He always ducks. I finally gave up because he's a spinmeister, definitely not into frank dialog. Considering the amount of time you spend there, hAI, I'm surprised you didn't notice my posts and the lack of response by Brian. You might try asking Brian in a blog comment for the specifics of what Microsoft's problems are with the OpenDocument and MOOX pages on Wikipedia. Let me know if you get an answer that spells out the specifics. :-) I've got plenty of people to talk to who do answer questions.Marbux 01:38, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia should never be in a position where it has to actively seek out input from interested parties. We're supposed to report on what is said elsewhere. Brian Jones's blog is a good source of information on Microsoft's motivations and thoughts, the Ecma spec is the authoritative source for technical specs, Groklaw and IBM are good sources for critical analysis. Wikipedia also generally discourages conflict of interest issues... I do think some people at Microsoft knew this, because they did seek out an outside party who qualifies as an "expert" on the topic.
Wikipedia is in the position where the accuracy of several pages have been challenged, the charge has been widely disseminated worldwide, and no specifics of the charge have been forthcoming. May I respectfully suggest that Wikipedia is in the position of needing to actively seek input about the specifics of Microsoft's charges so we can evaluate whether page changes are warranted? Microsoft says these pages are riddled with errors and has trumpeted that message around the globe. I'd like to see Wikipedia ask Microsoft for the details and go public to refute the smear if the details are not forthcoming.Marbux 01:38, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Anyways... If Microsoft wants to do some good here, they should offer to donate money to Wikimedia Foundation -- if they did that, I (and others, I'm certain) would be absolutely willing to invest a lot of time in improving this article. It'd also effectively bring this whole debacle to a close. -/- Warren 19:30, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Quid pro quo, eh? That would just be a conflict of interest writ large, with Wikipedia itself having the conflict.
I think Microsoft would be happy to donate money if that would actually be the case. However I don't think Wikipedia will accept that. I know they were very wary when Google offered servers and bandwith for wikipedia and for good reason to. If wikipedia started to depend on their income from companies it would risk losing it's neutrality. If Microsoft had offered money directly to wikipedia I think the commotion would have been even stronger. Tons of companies would like some connection between themselfs and such a powerfull source of information hAl 20:04, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not privy to discussions with Google, but I do know the WMF is on very good terms with them and seeking to work together how we can. Note that Yahoo! already (a) takes a live XML feed from us (b) supplies us with our servers and bandwidth in Seoul, serving much of Asia. I think the WMF considers big sponsors (Virgin, Dell, whoever) are unlikely to unduly influence WMF sites as long as there's a workable variety of them. But this is getting a bit off-topic, and probably better suited to foundation-l :-) - David Gerard 11:23, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't see a problem with Microsoft giving their opinion on the talkpage, but if they take it to the actual article is is undeniably Conflict of interest, and highly unethical. But hey, that has never stopped Microsoft in the past Sfacets 21:51, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
You have an opinion about Microsoft. MAybe you shouldn't flame them here, er, I mean edit this article? Not really. The point I'm trying to make is that anyone should be allowed to edit any article here. If you have a Point of View, keep it out. End of story. For example. I'm probably very anti-Sony. But If I knew something about them that was true, even if it painted them as the best people on Earth, I would add it. Same thing here. If Microsoft, who knows more about their format then you, wants to say, "it can do this that and this, but has this as a problem," then by all means. But if its not the facts, then it doesn't belong here. - Thekittenofterra 03:40, 26 January 2007 (UTC)


By analogy with ECMAScript, should this perhaps be titled ECMA Office Open XML instead of Ecma Office Open XML? --Gwern (contribs) 23:02 23 January 2007 (GMT)

Back when JavaScript was standardised, they called themselves ECMA so that's its name; now (and in Nov 2006 when the standard was released) they call themselves Ecma - David Gerard 23:04, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I've researched this. ECMA was an acronym for the European Computer Manufacturer's Association. They later did a formal change of name to Ecma International, perhaps to obscure their origin an industrial trade association that evolved into a standards organization. Marbux 08:44, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I assumed it was because they're no longer just European and no longer just Computer Manufacturers. It's certainly not a secret or even very concealed - David Gerard 12:45, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Their secretary general told us at an ISO SC34 briefing that the name is definitely "Ecma" not "ECMA". It no longer is a Europe-targetted organization, and the name is not now a contraction of a longer real name.Rick Jelliffe 06:35, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

AP article

I think that people should be able to see the article posted on msnbc regarding microsoft trying to pay someone to change this article.

THis is something that has been done to try and change what other have researched to show their own agenda and I think an entry regarding this story should be aloud on this page. I would like to see if anyone else feels this article should be added. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Stang99gtv8 (talkcontribs).

Yes, we know about that article, but it's not relevant to a discussion about the file format itself. Wikipedia almost never documents cases where outside forces try to influence an article, in the article itself. You won't, for example, find any mention of Stephen Colbert in the article on Elephants. If you want to write Criticism of Microsoft, do it in the correct article -- but this article isn't it. -/- Warren 07:19, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
It's not black-and-white IMO, it's a grey area requiring editorial judgement. OOXML, the file format, is controversial, and this particularly controversy hit the press. I would personally err on the side of saying "probably not" in this case, but any future conflicts would need to be evaluated one by one - David Gerard 11:26, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, actually, MSNBC is just reprinting the AP article (as well as 100 other news entities). -- Mathias Schindler 07:23, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

It probably doesn't belong in this article, but I dunno if it may in future. That said, this mostly needs to be a better article about the file format itself - technical details, history, notable criticisms, all the usual - David Gerard 12:47, 24 January 2007 (UTC)