Microsoft deprecating big portions of OOXML?

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There were some stories in the blogosphere over the holidays saying that Microsoft was telling some national standards bodies that it was willing to deprecate portions of OOXML in order to satisfy some of the thousands of technical criticisms of OOXML in the JTC1 standards process.

Does anyone have any public links to their doing this? Can anyone in one of these national standards bodies talk here about what was said in this regard?

The definition of deprecate from Merriam-Webster isn’t the one that is used in the standards context, though I kind of like “to pray against (as an evil)”. (grin)

What is actually used is closer to the one that is at Answers.com, in the “Science > Computer Technology” section. Informally, deprecate means to mark a feature as currently in the standard but scheduled for removal in a future version. Developers should therefore start phasing out use of the feature and no new coding should be done that uses the feature.

It’s not uncommon to see some deprecations in versions 2.0 and higher of standards. It could mean one or more of

  • “whoops, we goofed”
  • “there was a problem with what we said to do”
  • “we’ve come up with a better way of doing that”
  • “you really don’t want to be doing that”

3 Comments

  1. (missing final sentence to artcicle? :-)

    …. but to suggest such deprecations in an ISO standard version 1.0 seems perverse in the extreme.

  2. Felix: That’s how I intended it to end.

  3. From what I have read Microsoft have from the start sayd these things are deprecated, but they have now agreed that deprectated stuff should be in a appendix and not in the main text. The blogoshere seem to have missed this crucial fact.

    On a theoretical level the change makes it more easy to see what is required to implement for an application to fullfil the demands of dis29500.

    On a practical level this means nothing since dis29500 allow Office 2007 to use the deprecated stuff for a transitional period.

    The stated purpose of ooxml is to support legacy files, but the “not specify deprecated stuff trick” ensure that only Microsoft Office will load these documents. Also Microsofts promises about not suing only apply those parts that are specified in dis29500.

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