August 14, 2002 - an open, standardized document format

Ursula Bartels writes: "I turn to you by the hope to draw your attention to the project which we are carrying out on behalf of the German federal state Schleswig-Holstein and the European Commissions GD Regio. aims at establishing an open standard format, non-specific of vendors, for electronic documents on XML base. Government, economy and citizens will profit from the following advantages this project among others wants to gain:

-Overcoming of the incompatibility of varying office products and, as a result, achieving the free and unimpeded exchange of electronic documents without spoiling the format, in several situations of communication:
-administration citizen
-administration administration
-administration business
-business business
-business citizen
-citizen citizen.

-Automatic archiving of electronic documents by normalizing particular meta information describing the contents.

-Maintenance of the government s obligation to be neutral towards its citizens regarding free choice of an office product in the course of introducing government e-services.

In the first phase of the project, along with initiating a community process, we are working on a catalog of requirements in coordination with public institutions, interested economical enterprises and citizens.

While working on our project, we were lucky to discover because the OOo file format seems to fulfill most of the requirements we have found until now.

What is missing from our point of view, is a more sophisticated, hierarchical meta data model which would enable document management systems, workflow management systems, archiving systems etc. of any vendor to automatically identify and process documents and application specific content like address fields, order numbers, etc..

So we propose to implement the ability to store semantically structured, arbitrary content specified by XML schemas inside the OOo file format.
See for an illustration of the proposal for a meta data model.

Yours faithfully, Ursula Bartels"

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