Is Apple Worse than Microsoft with XML?

Tim Bray’s blog ongoing offers some insight into the controversies surrounding compatibility with the OpenDocument standard based on XML. In ongoing · Apple File Formats he writes: “The whole world has been giving Microsoft a hard time over their Office XML file formats; it turns out that there are far worse sinners. Apple, for one.”

The file formats in Apple’s iWork (which includes Keynote and Pages) are based on XML, but it does not conform with OpenDoc. Apple
also doesn’t publish the complete XML schema. The version in Keynote 2 is, according to some, the work of amateurs.

Apple responded to Bray by pointing out that Apple has made a lot of documentation available and has been honest about the software’s limitations. “All software involves tradeoffs, or else it will never ship,” responded Ernest Prabhakar, Product Manager of Open Source & XML at Apple. “We’ve made the conscious decision to focus on ease-of-use and ease-of- development, even if that has the unfortunate side-effect of fragile document formats.”

Until Apple gets its XML act together with iWork, consider using OpenOffice.org if you want compatibility with the OpenDocument standard.

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