Links for 1-31-08

A few interesting links I wanted to point out:

  • Content Reuse with Open XML and XSLT – Alexander Falk (Altova's CEO) has a great post giving examples of how to work with Open XML files using XML Spy:

    "This is the first article in a series of blog postings that I plan to write about practical Open XML tips & tricks, so I encourage you to subscribe to my XML Aficionado blog (via RSS or via e-mail), if you haven't already done so. This will ensure that you get future articles from this series automatically as soon as I post them."

  • Myth: ISO Approval of Open XML Will Hurt Interoperability – Jasper Hedegaard Bojsen has a great post where he tries to cut through some of the FUD we've seen around whether or not ISO approval of Open XML will help or hurt interoperability. Years ago we were asked by the European Commission to submit our formats for standardization because they wanted them to be in the public domain. Clearly the approval of Open XML within ISO will help interoperability.
  • There is humor is the OOXML morass – I think Bob Sutor is protesting a bit too much here. Bob, do you deny that your company is flying people around the world trying to block Open XML from being approved by ISO? Where is Rob Weir this week? He wouldn't happen to be out in Asia meeting with National Bodies and trying to push for a "no" vote would he?
  • ISO 32000 — Document management — Portable document format — PDF 1.7 – While from a practical standpoint, Jim's statements make total sense, I wonder how people would react if this has been something I said about Open XML:

    As we began to make decisions, answer questions and move forward, it became clear to me that the standards process that Adobe had been following and the standards process that AIIM/ANSI/ISO follow are quite different. For the standards organizations the carefully written standards document is supreme. It defines the standard. While Adobe's PDF 1.7 Reference document is intended to do that same thing it isn't quite so clear. For example, if the billions of files in existence today all contain a construct that has A=1 and the Adobe document says they should have A=2 the document must be changed. That is, the existing files triumph the documentation. It would be of no value to have a specification that does not cover the existing files. So, one focus I put forth at each opportunity, was that the primary objective of the new ISO PDF 1.7 standard was to document the existing files.

Comments (17)

  1. S says:

    "Myth: ISO Approval of Open XML Will Hurt Interoperability – Jasper Hedegaard Bojsen "

    Just reading the guy’s blogroll, you know he’s a Microsoft employee.

    Judge and party?

  2. S says:

    Why don’t you also link to Oliver Bell, another Microsoft employee, who’s just posted a blog post that begins like this : "As a complement to that conversation Baker & McKenzie have posted a paper entitled “Standardisation and Licensing of Microsoft’s Office Open XML File Formats“; This paper was commissioned by Microsoft and…"

    I stopped reading after I read "commissioned by Microsoft".

    What a fraud. Don’t you guys have any sense of ethics?

  3. dmahugh says:

    Well, speaking of ethics, Jasper and Oliver always use their real names and identify their employer, on their own blogs and everywhere else they post, "S".  Are you familiar with the concept of irony?

  4. says:

    S, we already discussed this before.

    (1) Use your real name

    (2) I’ll link to other Microsoft blogs anytime I feel like it. Today I felt like it.

    (3) How is it fraud to ask a law firm to do an analysis on our license? You think a lawfirm is going to just do that for free without having someone compensate them for their time? We can’t tell them what to say, their credibility is on the line. But we can pay for their time to actually do it. It’s called the real world “S”.

  5. S says:

    @dmahugh, BrianJones

    It’s obvious that you guys need to know who you are talking to before you are able to make an answer.

    What I can say is that I’m not judge, nor party. That should be enough to put a stop to your childish behavior.

    As for actually making an answer, why wouldn’t you guys start now?

    Let me say it differently : there is no community support of what you are trying to stuff.

    Support ODF. Stop the FUD. Stop wasting everyone’s time with bogus self-promotions.

  6. dmahugh says:

    Nice to see IBM following Brian’s lead in asking for real names:

  7. To be honest, I do not agree. It should be possible for everyone to have an opinion about anything – including the possibility of being anonymous. By insisting on people using their own names you are effectively cutting out a lot of people that have employers with opinions they might not agree with or might otherwise have their opinions used against them. Their opinion is no less worth to me simply because they are anonymous.

    Some people (like me) use their own names and some don’t – it’s not that big a deal.

    And frankly, don’t you think the words of "S" speak for themselves?

    (and yes, anonymous posters bad-mouth me on my blog as well)


  8. I’d be happy if everybody just used their real names on all these blogs.  I’m all for it if you folks decide to adopt that policy, and I’m glad both Brian and Bob Sutor are going that direction.

  9. Ian Easson says:

    My vote (if I had one, that is) would be for no anonymous posting here.  There’s been so much vitriol that I think people should be willing to stand up for what they post.

  10. This S character is quite the riddler.

    "I’m not judge, nor party"

    So that leaves jury, witness, counsel, solicitor, officer of the court and advocate then.

    Jury – ISO NB member?

    Witness – Joe Public (don’t think so)

    Counsel / Solicitor – Andy Updegrove 😉

    Officer of the Court – ISO Staff Member

    Advocate  – ODF Zealot

    @S – any more clues for us?

    Gareth (Horton)

  11. Ian Easson says:

    My speculation on "S"…

    "S" is male, about 4 feet 8 inches tall.  He weighs about 300 lbs.  He has red hair and a scraggley red beard, and a pock-marked face.  He speaks in a strange middle-earth accent.  He lives under a bridge.

  12. marc says:

    "My vote (if I had one, that is) would be for no anonymous posting here.  There’s been so much vitriol that I think people should be willing to stand up for what they post."

    "real name"…

    this is a formality, you will ask for credentials for posting? how do you know a name is a "real" name?

    i don’t share any of Brian’s points of view regarding  the following:

    . OOXML technical merits for be fast-tracked

    . standards and standardization goals

    . fast-tracking spirit

    . XML goals and spirit

    . quality in standards format development

    etc, etc, etc

    but i never insulted him

    this is the point here, respect

    and by the way, Brian, tell your employer to *respect* standards. Money is not everything in life,

    you know? Don’t be scared to lose some governments customers, learn to compete fairly and ethically,

    And welcome to the open world … but hurry up supporting ODF natively [1] !!



  13. Dear mysterious "S".

    We have a saying here in Denmark that if you cannot attack the argument, then attack its motives. Of course motives are always speculative and thus you have a platform from which you can pretty much attack anything … or rather nothing.  Well, actually we don’t have such a saying, but we should 😉

    I agree with Jespers comment that anyone should have a saying, even the anonymous, although I believe that being anonymous in this context is rather silly. Anyway, the problem with your post is not that it is anonymous, but rather that it eludes to present any real comment to any real matter.

    Please try again…

  14. S says:

    "We have a saying here in Denmark that if you cannot attack the argument, then attack its motives."

    Well, if your party line is to accept that Microsoft can’t get a damn genuine support for this fluff, and that to compensante that they have to resort to linking to their room mates self-promotions, then yes keep having faith in that.

    In the two or three years Microsoft has been throwing trash about ODF, they could have started a project to natively support ODF and Microsoft Office and doing so silence most critics. May be not 100%, but most.

    What have they done about that?

    I will tell you what have they done about that. They have created Microsoft blogs and now they are paying employees to post about how bad ODF is.

    Real developers would be cranking up code instead.

    If you are not convinced yet, take the analogy with the so-called "IBM conspiracy against OOXML". Anyone with a neuron or two knows that Microsoft loves to have an identifiable enemy so they can limit the discussion to such polarity.

  15. @ mysterious "S"

    Again more speculations about motives, than about actual substance. And when you manage to touch slightly on substance you also manage to get it wrong.

    I’m not posting about how bad ODF is. I’m posting about how there are differences and why those differences matter in the real world. Quotes from my blog post:

    – “The semantics of ODF and Open XML are different. This does not mean that one is necessary better than the other (any such qualitative comparison is by the way outside the scope and relevance of this  post)…”

    – "I do not want this to sound like I am picking on ODF and I am also confident that someone else will be able to identify some capability that is in ODF but not in Open XML…"

    Could you at least please read my blog before you throw accusations and speculate about motives?

    Thank you.

  16. S says:

    The fact that you are a Microsoft employee automatically disqualifies you. That’s like asking a Lockheed Martin employee if he’s in favor of the destruction of Irak.

    "The semantics of ODF and Open XML are different." : that’s pointless. The point of XML is to be able to round-trip formats, and to interoperate across applications and platforms. That’s why people use XML. It’s very hard though, that’s why people tend to use small vocabularies, as opposed to massive binary dumps (i.e. OOXML). It’s very hard to get it right and honestly, that’s why fast-tracking this stuff automatically disqualifies such proposal.

    "I do not want this to sound like I am picking on ODF and I am also confident that someone else will be able to identify some capability that is in ODF but not in Open XML". Both define Word/Excel/Powerpoint Office documents. Neither ODF or OOXML is a file format designed to launch rockets in the sky.

  17. SpellCheckersAreGood says:

    Apparantly S’s ODF-compatible word processor does not have a spell checker…Irak???? What is that? Unless you are amazing us with your knowledge of Iraqi history and its Turkish origins…somehow I doubt that.

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