Ted Neward’s InfoQ article “Using Java to Crack Office 2007” provides a nice overview of Open XML development in Java. “It’s exciting and inspiring to consider how open the Office platform is to the Java programmer. Between the interoperability of using Java within an Office application, using Office within a Java application, and being able to read and write Office file formats from Java, the Office platform is more open to the Java programming community than ever before.”
Altova announced that they’ve added Open XML support to the XMLSpy XML editor. “Organizations save vast amounts of information in Microsoft Word documents and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, but until now, that content could not be re-used in an extensible, programmatic way. Thanks to the Open XML document formats, however, that data is now standards-based; and the new capabilities in XMLSpy make it highly interoperable and easy to process, providing huge advantages to business people and application developers.”
Dan Bricklin has an interesting post on “Issues with the Wikipedia “spreadsheet” page.” “Don’t email me to defend or deplore the Wikipedia process. I am not looking to discuss “fixes” to that process. That is not a topic on which I want to spend my time. I just want the article in an area important to me to be good, and I don’t want (and I guess maybe shouldn’t be) the one to actually do it.”
Wouter Van Vugt’s “Legislation for open document standards” provides some examples of what goes on in the ISO/IEC JTC 1 technical committees responsible for analyzing the Open XML spec. “I am amazed at the level of critique being raised by IBM against Office Open XML, ranging from low-blow, to plainly incorrect … There have already been numerous occasion during the meeting where someone raised a remark such as ‘even documents saved from Word do not validate against the schemas’ and I ask to explain a bit further because I haven’t experienced the same, only to have a reply ‘I’ll get back to you’.”
Speaking of IBM’s role in the technical committees, Rob Weir’s “Documents for the Long Term” is a typical example of how IBM tries to influence the standards process. XML, Dublin Core, and Unicode are presented as fundamental components of ODF, while none of those are mentioned in the corresponding diagram for Open XML, and other standards such as XML schema are omitted from the Open XML diagram. Even the personal computer itself is presented as part of Open XML’s “duct tape and bailing wire,” but not included in the ODF diagram.
IBM creates posts like this and then sends emails to members of the technical committees worldwide with comments like “Check out Rob Weir’s blog on a daily basis..outstanding writing and insight on ODF and OOXML.” (That’s an actual quote from an IBM employee’s recent email to a large number of technical committee members.)