My first dabblings in open source

When I started this job, I had a hunch that I’d be living a little more in the open source world, and working more with FOSS-type people. This has turned out to be true, and on WG4 I’ve been involved quite a bit with people who are trying to make money from open source (Novell,…

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Using VBA to turn numbering into normal text in Word documents

As you probably know by now, I spend a lot of my time writing up proposed edits to the file format standard IS 29500 in Word. The end result of what I’m doing always ends up being sent to my ISO colleagues on WG4 in another document. I’ll be editing something that looks like this: When I…

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Where is the documentation for Office’s docx/xlsx/pptx formats? Part 2: Office 2010

This follows up on my post earlier this week about where the documentation for Office 2007’s formats live. I am powerless to make you do anything you don’t want to, of course, but I’d strongly encourage you to read that one first as I’ll be building on a lot of what I said there. I…

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Where is the documentation for Office’s docx/xlsx/pptx formats? Part 1: Office 2007

Since we started using XML-based file formats, we’ve seen a huge uptick in the number of customers who want to read and write those files from applications that aren’t Office. That’s great, because that was one of the things we had hoped for when we first started using them. The first question customers ask when…

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Trip report: WG4 Tokyo

WG4 met last week in a rather humid Tokyo – I’m just back now after some travel headaches and I wanted to share a few thoughts. “Most Productive Meeting Ever” Well, perhaps not the world record holder, but the convener remarked on the final day that this had been WG4’s most productive meeting ever. I’ve…

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Trip report: WG4 Helsinki

WG4, the group tasked with maintaining IS 29500, met last week in Helsinki. This was my third WG4 meeting, so I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. If I had to choose the topic that dominated this WG4 meeting, it would be extensions. This is a hard problem: standards compliance shouldn’t stifle…

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You do what?!

It seems wrong not to start a new blog with some sort of introduction, so here it is. My name is Chris Rae – I’ve helpfully entitled my blog similarly, so you can’t possibly forget. I’ve worked for Microsoft for three years now – until recently I worked as a Program Manager on Excel, and…

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