ODA - New ISO standard in the working

John Leong (leong@andrew.cmu.edu)
Fri, 11 Jul 86 15:34:17 edt

An interesting standard that has been worked on by various organisations and
may affect some of our future activies (particularly in Mail) is called Office
Document Architecture. Whereas most of the current document interchange (mail,
Teletex) standards deals with character text, ODA tries to address multi-media
document. Active particpants to that standard setting acivites include at least
Xerox, GM, Boeing, IBM, British Telecom and Northern Telecom.

The standard describes 2 modes of document to be transmitted : Processible Form
and Formated Form. The latter is indended mainly for dumping into printers.

The status of that standard development is relatively advanced. It is currently
a ISO DP (Draft Proposal) : DP8613. An attempt has been made last spring to
vote it into DIS status (Draft International Standard : from there to International
Standard is very much rubber stamping). It failed and more modifications are
required. Another attempt is expected for next spring. This standard has reasonably
strong and wide based support. It is very similar to the ECMA-101 and CCITT
T73 (new Teletex standard for mix mode document) standards.

Under ODA are sub-standards being worked on by WG5, covering the content architectures.
The content architecture is broken down into 3 sub-components : characters,
graphics and bit-map.

The character architecture is pretty well defined and is already part of the
DP8613 set of standards. The Graphic architecture is almost there. It will be
based mainly on an existing draft ISO standard : DIS8632. The Bit map architecture
is being worked on heavily at the moment. A DP (draft proposal) will likely
to emerge very soon.

The above development may have some implication to us if we decide to expand
into multi-media mail.

John Leong

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