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On Sat, 26 Mar 2011 17:23:01 +0100, Jaime R. Garza wrote:


I think I left out some important detail to at least make the question not
look completely braindead:

LibO AFAIK currently supports at least 4 different MS file interchange 

- MS Office 97/2000/XP Binary
- MS Office 2003 XML

Each format is supported using different technological approaches, and
although my knowledge of all of them is very superficial, I suppose it's
quite an effort to maintain all of them.

Looking at the implementation of the Excel 2003 XML import filter showed
that it is very unlikely somebody ever has been able to import
spreadsheets larger than a couple of hundred rows using that filter.
(looking at the Word 2003 ML import and export filters while porting them
to use a different XSLT processor showed that they too are broken in some
respect in both OOo and LibO).

Which made me wonder if that particular format is in very wide use. I
googled for it, but found no information on how widespread Office 2003 XML
is in use currently, but figured that Microsoft offers compatibility packs
for Office 2003 to support OOXML, which superceded Office 2003 XML.

The technological basis of the OOXML import and export filters looks far
more promising than that of the Office 2003 XMLs filter - - - thus my

To make the question look even less threatening: I'm absolutely not in the
position to make a decision about further supporting Office 2003 XML, I'm
just very curious to find out how dearly it is needed (actually I'm asking
this to get an indication on how to fix the problem with the Excel 2003
import filter: improve the Office 2003 filters to not hang indefinitely 
when importing larger files, or just make it possible to abort a running 

So... cheers, and thanks for the feedback :-)


On Sat, 26 Mar 2011 17:23:01 +0100, Jaime R. Garza wrote:

Hi Peter,

I don't really understand the logic behind your suggestion.

You want LO to drop support for the defacto-standard file format???

I don't really see any good reason for doing such a completely
strategically wrong decision.



On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 16:36, Peter Jentsch <>


I'm currently investigating a bug with the Excel 2003 import filter
( Looking closer at
the filter and how much work needed to be done to improve it, and
considering the fact that Office 2003 ML has been superseeded by OOXML,
fixing that bug feels like flogging a dead horse.

I'd rather suggest to drop Office 2003 support in LibO altogether and
instead focus on improving OOXML and HTML import/export.

For anybody with a large library of Office 2003 XML documents not
wanting to upgrade to MS Office 2007/2010, Microsoft offers a
compatibility pack that allows to open and save OOXML from MS Office

What do you think?


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