Final Office Open XML Draft 1.0 Posted at Ecma Site

The final version of the Office Open XML 1.0 draft was posted an hour or so ago at the Ecma site (the draft itself is dated simply "October 2006).  The draft is the work of  Technical Committee 45, a committee chartered "To Produce a formal Standard for office productivity documents which is fully compatible with the Office Open XML Formats."

As previously announced, the draft will be voted on at a December 7-8 Ecma meeting, at which votes to approve or disapprove (but not make changes) may be cast.  After the anticipated approval, the draft will be submitted to ISO for consideration, as contemplated by the second task of TC 45's original charter:  "To contribute the Ecma Office Open XML Formats standards to ISO/IEC JTC 1 for approval and adoption by ISO and IEC."  That process will include a six month comment period during which national committees may vote for, against, or abstain, as well provide comments and requested changes that must be considered.

The five parts of the Open XML draft may be accessed from the Ecma Web site, and are labeled "Fundamentals," "Open Packaging Conventions," "Primer," "Markup Language Reference," and "Markup Compatibility and Extensibility."  The documents are available in PDF as well as in two alternate formats:  Tagged PDF (for better accessibility) and WorkprocessingML format.  Curiously, they are not currently available in ODF.

The announcement that accompanies the Ecma draft that will be voted on in December reads as follows:

Ecma Office Open XML File Formats Standard - Final draft - 9th of October 2006

The Ecma International Technical Committee TC45 has been working to establish a standard for Office Open XML File Formats as described in its program of work at The committee's work began in December 2005, and has continued via weekly 2-hour conference calls and regular face-to-face meetings. [more]

At the most recent face-to-face meeting this September in Trondheim, the committee created the Final Draft of the Office Open XML v1.0 format. The committee, with representation from all Ecma member organizations actively participating in TC45 (Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, The British Library, Essilor, Intel, Microsoft, NextPage, Novell, Statoil, Toshiba, and the United States Library of Congress) unanimously approved the Final Draft standard (as described in the status report: and agreed to propose it to the General Assembly of Ecma International for publication as an Ecma standard. The final draft has now been submitted it to the Ecma Secretary General (October 6th, 2006) and the GA will vote on this proposal during the GA meeting December 7-8, 2006.

In keeping with TC45’s desire to maintain as much public disclosure around the process as possible, the TC45 members have agreed to provide the final drafts of the reference schema and specification for public consumption. There is also a technical forum at for developers who are interested in using the Ecma Office Open XML file formats.

The following organizations have participated in the work of Ecma TC45 and their contributions are gratefully acknowledged:

Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, The British Library, Essilor, Intel, The Library of Congress, Microsoft, NextPage, Novell, Statoil, and Toshiba

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