From MS’s Brian Jones:
I think you might want to dig a bit deeper into the formats. ODF does build on existing industry standards, but at times they are partial implementations, and it still leaves out a lot. For instance, Open XML actually uses more of the dublin core metadata schema than ODF does.
Encouraging to see that the developers of the two competing XML office formats both seem to consider metadata important.
I joined the OpenDocument TC to help push forward on a comprehensive metadata system that would build on the existing DC support, most likely using a constrained seralization of RDF-XML for predictable extension. It is my hope that the end result will involve filling out the DC support, and then offering a model for abritrary extension, maybe thinking in terms of RSS-like modules. That way, for example, for my bibliographic use case, we can use the base support, and add structures from extended DC, along with some custom bib stuff.
Not sure exactly how it will all shake out, but it occurs to me that if we’re all careful and pay attention to what each is doing, we may all be able to benefit (in particular with good interoperability).
In related areas, I’ve been chatting with some people recently about another example of my previous discussion about a complete metadata cycle. Earlier I had talked about the relation between PDF and ODF. But I have recently been thinking about XHTML and microformats. Wouldn’t it be really cool to be able to use something like LiveClipboard to copy and paste metadata-enhanced content from a web page directly into Word (and OpenOffice). So imagine a use case of a student reading a research paper online. They paste a quotation into their word processor of choice, and the citation and the metadata used to create it is embedded in the file, and the citation automatically rendered.
With both OXML and ODF adopting very similar file structures, it’s easily within the realm of possibility to do this, and to have interoperability between the formats. We do need MS to add standardized citation support to their formats, though, that can match that which is forthcoming in ODF.