Trashing OOXML (Again)

I have just been catching up after a few days holiday and came across this article “OOXML is defective by design” by Stéphane Rodriguez as referenced by Rob Weir’s blog.

Astounding! It really is quite scary just how bad Ecma-376 is.

  • You can’t even do simple edits to the xml without causing massive damage to the file’s readability.
  • You have to understand how and why Excel rounds, or doesn’t round, particular numbers – not explained the 6000+ specification.
  • Everything is stored in US English in the xml file. As a developer, you would need to deal with all locale related issues independently. Do you know the Brazilian name for every formula in Excel? Care to have to deal with translating them into any (or all) others? How about separators? (OOXML uses a period; Full Stop)
  • Multiple mark-up schemes. Yes, Word, Excel and Powerpoint use different mark-up languages to format text! (And each application has multiple schemes too!)
  • Document security that can be circumvented by simply removing the password hashes that are embedded in the xml file.

Take some time to read his analysis – it is quite beyond me how the standards bodies are even considering that Ecma-376 should become a standard.

Could YOU implement it?


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