As I already mentioned, in the last face to face meeting in Trondheim, Norway we unanimously voted to approve the final draft of the Office Open XML spec as ready to submit to the Ecma General Assembly. The GA will then review the draft and in December there will be a vote to approve it as an Ecma Standard!
This is a huge milestone, and the entire technical committee has worked extremely hard over the past year. We really had an amazing collection of contributors to this standard, and if you take a look, it will show: http://www.ecma-international.org/news/TC45_current_work/TC45-2006-50_final_draft.htm
For those of you interested, here is the list of all the organizations contributing to the standard:
We posted the draft in three separate formats. There is a PDF version; a tagged PDF version (for accessibility); and a DOCX version.
The final draft is still broken out into 5 separate parts:
* Part 2 has a couple additional electronic resources. There are a few XSD files, as well as the equivalent RelaxNG files (we were lucky enough to have Rick Jelliffe help in the creation of these).
** Part 4 has a collection of XSD files and the equivalent informative RelaxNG files. There are also a collection of predefined cell and table style references for spreadsheetML, as well as a collection of predefined shape and text warp geometries for drawingML.
I've been giving pretty frequent updates on the progress of the spec, so most of the content at this point won't come as a surprise. We spent the last few weeks in the committee nailing down any potential interoperability issues, which included a new schema that allows applications to clearly define additional characteristics that may assist consumers in better handling their files. For example, it's possible to define what level of arithmetic precision was used for Spreadsheet formula calculations, so that a consuming application can accurately display the same results.
We're already seeing hundreds of developers working with the earlier versions of the draft, and this final version will really help everyone who's been waiting for it to solidify. If you go over to the openxmldeveloper.org site, you'll see there are almost 600 registered members and an extremely active discussion forum. There's also talk of starting up a blogging collection so that the members can actively blog about the solutions they are building. It's exciting seeing the diverse set of solutions; from document assembly on a linux box, to mind manager solutions that output wordprocessingML.
I'm already getting excited for what we do with version 2 of the spec (but I could use a little break between now and then). Here are a few fun facts about the work that's gone on over the past year: