I think you will enjoy this graphic. Click for a larger view. This is a chart of all of the standards that ODF 1.2 refers to, what we standards geeks call “normative references”. A normative reference takes definitions and requirements from one standard and uses it, by reference, in another. It is a form of reuse, reusing the domain analysis, specification and review work that went into creating the other standard. Each reference is color coded and grouped by the organization that owns the referenced standard, W3C, IETF, ISO, etc., and placed on a time line according to when that standard was published
I’m sure each reader will note interesting patterns on their own, but a few things stood out in my mind when looking at this chart:
- ODF is very much built on top of web and internet standards from the W3C and IETF. That is where the bulk of our references are from. This is true not only of the older stuff from the web’s initial standardization effort in 1998-2000, but also for more recent work like GRDDL, RDFa and XForms 1.1. As documents start living more of a dual-life, on the desktop and on the web (and even mobile), this web standards heritage of ODF will continue to open new doors for ODF implementors and users.
- Except for a few bedrock standards like Unicode, ISO just doesn’t register. They simply are not doing a lot of relevant work in this area.
- A good response when you are faced with critics who claim that ODF is just based on what OpenOffice.org does. You can point out that OpenOffice was first released as open source in 2000 and via StarOffice had a proprietary history going back to 1984. So if ODF is merely a dump of what OpenOffice does, then why is ODF built on so many standards that did not exist in 2000? Does time travel explain it? Or maybe clairvoyance? Or maybe, just maybe it is just good engineering to reference relevant standards in your domain rather than reinvent a proprietary version of everything?