16 March 2007

OOXML hoax 7: The binary blob

Regularly when OOXML is discussed it is referred to as a XML that can contain binary blob. In the past the Office 2003 XML formats did indeed contains embedded binary date within the file. This of course due to the fact that this format consisted of a single XML file. With OOXML a big change is now that the binary embedded formats are put in the package as separate files.

So is binary data within XML a thing of the past.
No, not really, you can still find it here:
Yes, right in the middle of the Opendocument.
It is called the office:binary-data element.
It refers to a base64 binary encoded element within the XML.

So why does no one ever mention that ODF can contain binary data within the XML ?


Anonymous said...

Isn't there that OLE binary BIFF12 stuff in there, and the same for macros?

The Wraith said...

It think you are referring to Micrsoft Office created files. Micrsoft office uses binary elements to store certain legacy items and precompiled macro code. However it is allowed to add embedded binary part to an OOXML package. (As is is the same with Opendocument). Those binary element however do not form a part of OOXML. OOXML does not contains macro's nor does it require the creation of binary elements even when fully implemented.
MS Office is probably using binary elements to stay compatible with office software that does not recognize OOXML yet like MS Outlook. Hoever the binary elements in normal MS Office 2007 are not needed for using the file as an OOXML file.

The macro's is something different as they are not in OOXML so how an implementation adds macro's can vary amongst applications. However that implementation can be the same for both OOXML and ODF.