Open XML links for 06-08-2007

Preeti Krishna has announced new drops of the Excel and PowerPoint converters for ODF 1.0 formats over on the ODF translator team blog. In addition to the hard-working people at CleverAge, Aztecsoft, and DiaLOGIKa, the project now includes members of Sonata's Open XML team. Check out the roadmap document that oulines plans for the evolution of these Open XML-ODF translator tools.

Hub has some information about the Sun/Novell project to add Open XML support to OpenOffice, specifically in the area of PresentationML and DrawingML support for Impress.

The Word team blog has a new post by Jonathan Bailor about upgrading to Word 2007, with lots of good links to free tools and other resources to ease conversion to the Open XML formats.

If you're looking for deep-dive developer training in the Open XML formats, I learned at TechEd this week that the Ted Pattison Group will be doing a 3-day workshop in beautiful Tampa on July 23-25. This is a great chance to learn about how to take advantage of the Open XML formats from one of the world's best Sharepoint trainers. (Patrick made me say "one of," Ted. :-)) For more information contact

Stephen McGibbon's latest post has some interesting links regarding IBM's role in open standards in the mainframe world. On a related note, after reading those items I ordered a book by Harry Frankfurt I hadn't heard of before.

The Open XML t-shirts went fast at the TechEd booth this week, but we have a few left. I'll be passing them out at my session on working with custom schemas this afternoon at 2:45 in room N230. See you there!

Comments (3)
  1. Stephane Rodriguez says:

    I call BS on your anti-IBM posts. Being an independent vendor, all I see from you is a small ring of MS employees (and bribed MVPs) linking to each other. I took the time to read what you linked to, and all I see is pointing at each other to give weight to their argument. This is how apparently Microsoft views how to react against anyone opposing OOXML as an international standard.

    But persons that have really dealt with OOXML may know a thing or two about its realities, don’t you think? Or do you also think that to even say something about OOXML requires a MS certificate?

    Well, unless you are being bribed of course.

    I was commenting the other day that perhaps the crux of the problem is "programmatic access" versus "document instantiation".

    You did not respond. Hmmm. Funny, because you know that I know what I am talking about. So silence = admission of truth ?

    But now if we take the ISO CHAIR COMMITTEE comment about "programmatic access" versus "document instantiation", as explained here :

    Bottom line : "I haven’t had time to do extensive analysis of OOXML, but I gather from the things that Patrick has told me that it appears to lack conventional XML structure. That would make sense if the data in the interchange file was expecting to be interpreted by a piece of software (i.e., Word) that has the capability to instantiate an implicit structure just from seeing styles attached to pieces of data. I’d love for someone from Microsoft to elucidate the matter.".

    do you still find that a comment like this is BS?

  2. Doug Mahugh says:

    Yes, Open XML (well, WordprocessingML) has a simple non-structured series-of-paragraphs architecture.  It’s one of the many ways Open XML’s architecture is based on the format of the documents that most users of document formats have actually created.  (I.e., the legacy binary DOC format.)

    My personal opinion is that supporting those users, and making their forward migration into XML-based formats simple and predictable, is more important than conformance to theoretical views of document structure that aren’t based on the architectural reality of most documents that currently exist.  I realize other people see it differently, and that’s fine with me.  Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

    As for “calling BS” on me pointing out that IBM employees are actively trying to influence the ISO process in countries other than their own, it’s worth pointing out to my readers that your comment comes from a person who has offered to secretively provide information intended influence the ISO process in countries other than your own.

  3. Stephane Rodriguez says:

    "XML-based formats simple and predictable"

    That’s a theoretical view. Office 2007 documents are just not that. They are angle brackets added to the same structure than binary formats, that’s how you achieve 100% compatibility (sort of, because there are a ton of bugs : the compatibility layer is new code therefore there is a ton of bugs. But there are also features that were deliberately taken off such as a number of chart rendering properties)

    read: something tightly coupled to the implementation, plus 15 years of legacy. 15 years of stuff that should have remained hidden to the public.

    " I realize other people see it differently, and that’s fine with me. "

    You realize I am a vendor right? I am not pushing a theory here.

    You are in total denial. You are going as far as denying the ISO CHAIR COMMITTEE their sense to reality. It’s miserable, my friend.

    "it’s worth pointing out to my readers that your comment comes from a person who has offered to secretively provide information intended influence the ISO process in countries other than your own."

    As for the secrecy, I as an independent vendor not only has not been heard, but have also been very exlpicit about my views, not only on MS blogs, but also about my objections (there is a public comment on the INCITS website). Again, you are in TOTAL denial my friend.

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