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XML Format Mandated for Government Documents in California

According to bill AB 1668:

Beginning on or after January 1, 2008, all documents, including, but not limited to, text, spreadsheets, and presentations, produced by any state agency shall be created, exchanged, and preserved in an open extensible markup language-based, XML-based file format, as specified by the department.

California is the second state where this is happening. Which is great. When documents are in XML format, you get several benefits.

  • Documents are in a well defined format and can be easily read/written using other programs
  • Easy to refer to fragments inside the documents (for example the attendee list from the minutes of a meeting)
  • You get the ability to work with fine grained individual elements in a document
  • Better Search since the structure of documents will be well known

There are lot of other benefits.