We had two Open XML workshops in Kiev this week. Thursday was an all-day technical workshop at a government facility, and the attendees included developers and project leaders. I met a few of the people from the Ukraine’s TC20 technical committee, and we discussed a wide variety of technical topics related to Open XML and document formats in general.
Friday was a half-day workshop for senior management, and attendees included CIOs, development management, government officials, and press. Like Thursday, this event included real-time translators working in a booth at the back of the room to translate my English into the local language. Atteendees wore radio earpieces to hear the translation, and then when the audience asked questions I would put on an earpiece to hear the translation of their questions. I know that’s a familiar situation for many of my colleagues, but it was my first time working with translators and it was very interesting. When I would say a sentence about, say, “canonicalization algorithms for digital signatures,” it was fascinating to overhear a long sentence in an unfamiliar language and know that those were my words.
The Q&A is my favorite part of these events, because in each location I learn a lot by the research I need to do in order to get answers to the questions. Here in Kiev, there was strong interest in the details of how Open XML handles digital signatures and also how OPC encryption works — so I learned a bunch of details of those topics this week. I’ll write up some information about that in a future post.
I’m rushing to pack and head for the airport now, but I thought I’d post a couple of pictures I took yesterday afternoon. The weather wasn’t ideal for pictures, but some of the architecture here is so bold and striking that it looks dramatic no matter what the lighting circumstances. I don’t recall the name of the structure on the left, but it’s across the street from the Minstry of Foreign Affairs building shown on the right (the former headquarters of the Communist Party in Kiev City).
Thanks to Valeriy, Kateryna, Oksana, and the translators for all their help this week. Next stop: Beijing.