OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) TC

The original Call For Participation for this TC may be found at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/200211/msg00001.html

The charter for this TC was modified on 16 December 2002 as minuted at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office/200212/msg00003.html; this change was announced at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/200302/msg00004.html

The charter for this TC was modified on 8 April 2004 as minuted at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office/200404/msg00005.html; changes are detailed at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office/200404/msg00003.html. This change was announced at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/200404/msg00003.html.

The charter for this TC was modified on 8 November 2004 as minuted at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office/200411/msg00064.html; changes are detailed at http://www.oasis-open.org/archives/office/200410/msg00026.html.

The charter for this TC was last modified on 19 January 2005 as balloted at http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/office/ballot_archive.php.

The charter for this TC is as follows.


OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) TC.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this TC is to create an open, XML-based file format specification for office applications.

The resulting file format must meet the following requirements:

  1. it must be suitable for office documents containing text, spreadsheets, charts, and graphical documents,
  2. it must be compatible with the W3C Extensible Markup Language (XML) v1.0 and W3C Namespaces in XML v1.0 specifications,
  3. it must retain high-level information suitable for editing the document,
  4. it must be friendly to transformations using XSLT or similar XML-based languages or tools,
  5. it should keep the document's content and layout information separate such that they can be processed independently of each other, and
  6. it should 'borrow' from similar, existing standards wherever possible and permitted.


Since the OpenOffice.org XML format specification was developed to meet these criteria and has proven its value in real life, this TC will use it as the basis for its work.

A standard for office document processing and interchange will be of great utility to many users and software companies developing applications, and should be made available as soon as possible.

Thus, the work of this TC has been divided in two phases:

1. In the first phase, this TC has used proven and established constructs so that the resulting standard can satisfy the immediate needs of many users, as well as serve as a base for future, less restricted development. The work of this TC in the first phase has concentrated on the following areas:

  1. establishing a mechanism and policy for extensions, preferably relying on XML namespaces,
  2. establishing a set of 'core' elements and attributes to be supported by all implementations,
  3. incorporating feedback from early adopters of the base specification and fixing technical problems that may have been uncovered,
  4. ensuring that the resulting specification and documentation are consistent and of high quality.

The first phase was completed by delivering the OASIS Open Office Specification Committee Draft 1 on 20 March, 2004.

2. In the second phase, this TC will maintain the specification delivered in phase 1 and will extend it to encompass additional areas of applications or users, which may also include adapting the specification to recent developments in office applications.

The work of this TC in the second phase will additionally allow for the following areas:

  1. enabling additional areas of application,
  2. exploring new or experimental ideas for office document representation, and
  3. extending the expressiveness of the format.

The TC intends to submit completed and approved work to other organizations in accordance with the OASIS Liaison Policy, and when doing so intends to continue responsibility for the maintenance of its specifications.

List of Deliverables

Each of the TC's phases will result in a Committee Specification that includes:

  • a set of XML DTDs/schemas setting the vocabulary, constraints and semantics of the file format in question, and
  • a set of written specifications that describe the elements and attributes of the DTDs/schemas in plain English.

The TC has delivered a first Committee Draft on 20 March, 2004.

The TC aims to deliver a second Committee Draft in November 2004 and aims to submit this Committee Draft for balloting by OASIS membership for OASIS standard status.

The TC aims to deliver additional Committee Drafts throughout the second phase every six months in March/September. If one of these Committee Drafts contains substantial changes from the last Committee Draft that has OASIS standard status, the TC shall submit this Committee Draft for balloting by OASIS membership for OASIS standard status.

Standing Rules

Under no circumstances shall the TC accept, during any phase, contributions that are not granted to all under perpetual, royalty free, non-discriminatory terms.

This TC shall not finalize or approve a specification if it believes that the use, distribution, or implementation of such specification would necessarily require the unauthorized infringement of any party's rights known to the technical committee, and such party has not agreed to provide necessary license rights on perpetual, royalty-free, non-discriminatory terms.

Anticipated Audience

The anticipated audience for this work includes, but is not restricted to:

  • makers of office applications;
  • makers of XML or office document processing or editing solutions;
  • document managers, records managers, and archivists using office document formats for long-term digital preservation;
  • representatives of other office document use cases;
  • other specification writers that need office document content or parts of it.


The TC shall conduct its proceedings in English.