Over 500 members in the Open XML Developer community

There are now well over 500 registered members on the Open XML Developer community site, and from what I've heard there were over 20,000 unique visitors last month alone. I'm not sure if you guys have been out to the site lately, but there are a ton of great discussions going on in the forums, and the sample solutions being posted are really great.

The latest article up there covers how to View revisions to a WordprocessingML document in a browser. It shows how you can take advantage of the rich revision tracking support in a browser. There are also some great examples of how to program against the formats just using simple Java tools so you can use the solutions on any platform (Linux, Mac, Windows, etc.).

I've really enjoyed the ideas we've seen pop up over there, and now that the technical refresh of Beta 2 is out I think we'll see even more solutions coming along.


Comments (1)
  1. JOhn says:

    Sorry for posting twice, but it kinda sunked in your forum …

    Hello, Brian,

    I have been reading your blog nearly since it started.  Let me first stae that i have been using Office at work for nearly 10 years. Great piece of software, I like it. But, one main nasty thing is inside. That beast is creating things that can be readed only by herself.

    Sad to say, my initial thoughts have come true. The game on interoperability which you play on behalf of Microsoft is very strange. Here is why.

    1. The main reason why you started with interoperability was extreme pressure from governments, companies and users, who were  for years locked in your own DOC, XLS, and PPT formats, and nobody in the galaxy except your Office (moreover:last version of it) could properly open the files created. I have been dealing with this as a network administrator for a long time.

    2. Your marketing guys know the power of this. They know, that the main selling point for Office is not the interface, not its user friendliness, not its relatively low system requirements, but the fact that they and only they can offer their customers compatibility with their own created documents.

    3. But because of that extreme pressure, you must have reacted some ways. So you decided

    a) to create your own format, which will be somewhat documented, but so complicated that nobody in the world at least for next 2 years will be able to open files the same way as your last Office 2007 will. Really great window for competition. You will have open format, but your mantra – real world compatibility with documents – will be again possible –  only by your software. Aim achieved.

    b) constantly show the imperfections on ODF. Maybe it is true – but your format also make step-by-step approaches .. i am not very much into this kind of stuff, but from i ahve read on your blog, it is clear. Every draft of OpenXML is cheered with passion, and strange problems with ODF are analyzed. Even they are real – why this approach? You know why … the reputation of ODF must be diminished. Aim achieved.

    c) put the conversion job to another company, which you sponsor. That is also great for you, because the users (when the converter won’t work perfectly – and it won’t, primarily because it CAN’T, your marketing does not want this) will not blame MS, but that poor CleverAge company or what their name is. So you will kinda support that bad nasty ODF format, just to respond to the requests. But you will not be responsible for the software that is doing it. Aim achieved.

    4. You are doing this in spite of that you still can’t sell the software that is doing this all … called vaporware, I know that Office 2007 will deliver finally. But all this hype and type is here with good reason … to make users forget, that now and for many more months they are still stuck will DOC, XLS and PPT Office 2003 version, which are good everyday work tools, but still continuing create the files in closed formats, despite all that talk about new interoperable ones. That’s why you CAN talk about those gazillions of documents created and having responsibility about – if you did not lock your users, you would not have that responsibility. Your users did not want you to take one. And by this talk, you are masking the fact that you gained one more year (at least) of creating it. Aim achieved.

    Finally, I am impressed by what Microsoft has done. You are talking about all what your customer wants, blah, blah. But the single thing you are capable and really wanting to do is to deliver your next version of Office, which will be great and i will use it …. but still not able to feed the interoperatibility beast. It would be fair to say, that it was never your goal anyway. If it were you would

    1) develop the two sided converter OpenXML-ODF on your own, stop bitching about its imperfections and glitches, and seamlessly integrate it into Office without all this hype. If your developers are having short-time of problems, you could have bought a company or employ people  which are doing it. You did it many times in history – Windows Defender being the last example.

    2) as a member of nearly all the file format commitees in the world, be constructive and not obstructive. If you managed to create another "open" format, focus on its interoperability and not the glitches in other formats. Your goal is to work with them as well as possible, just as the other world must have dealt with yours.

    3) make a version of Office viewer (at least !) or editor for other OSes, the same way as you did with Internet Explorer, when you wanted to gain market share – you even did it for Solaris! and Windows 3.11! And stop telling the world such a things that it is not possible because of this and that. The case of IE shows that Microsoft can do everything to gain its market share.

    But, you will never do those things, and many more which you could for real interoperability. That word is just a cliché for Microsoft, only working as a one-path migration to your products. And then there is no way back.


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