"kevin lyda" <kevin+dated+1118162025.e6aeb7 at ie.suberic.net> wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 02, 2005 at 04:32:29PM +0100, Braun Brelin wrote:
> > I'm not sure that's entirely correct. The reason that the MS file
> > aren't transparent is that they encrypt the data. They also dump
> > runtime data structures into the .doc/xls/etc. file. If the file is
> > even though it's damn hard to understand, some smart person (or some
> > person with too much time on his/her hands) should be able to reverse
> > engineer things so that a schema or dtd can be published...
> > Right?
>> um, i don't think so.
>> they're in a format - just not xml. i want to say ole, but i'm sure
> caolan or someone like that can explain more. and they aren't
I can only speak about their .xls format, but from what I know, you are
correct. MS did publish a document many years ago describing their xls
format. It was not a particularly obscure format - if someone gave you
the job of storing a spreadsheet to disk, you may well come up with
something similar. They added a few extra features in later versions,
but did not make drastic changes. When they added ole, they changed to
a directory structure (an xls file looked like a directory rather than a
file) but the "real" spreadsheet was one or more files in the directory,
and it was still more-or-less in the original xls format.
That's a simplified paraphrasing of the excellent OO developer docs on
the directory structure, but the point is that Kevin is correct, the xls
format is effectively documented and decodeable.
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