Open XML links for 01-30-2008


Open XML and XSLT with XMLSpy. Alex Falk has a great post on how to create a simple XSLT that transforms WordprocessingML into HTML, using the built-in support for both Open XML and XSLT that SMLSpy provides. It’s the first in a series he’ll be doing, so be sure to subscribe to his RSS feed and follow along to learn what XMLSpy has to offer Open XML developers.


The latest thoughts from the BRM convenor. Alex Brown has posted some thoughts on Tracking OOXML issues, including ideas on procedures for managing the workflow at the BRM. And I couldn’t agree more with Alex’s thought that “No matter where one stands in the DIS 29500 debate, one fact is indisputable: the vast amount of human effort that is being expended.”


On reading specifications. Eric White has a post describing his unique approach to reading technical materials like the Open XML spec (Part 3 shown here). Eric’s a guy who reads developer-oriented books and specifications constantly, and he has a system of markings he has developed to help him retain new material and keep track of where he’s at in a large document. Warning: this approach is not recommended for borrowed books!


Standards licensing/IP issues. Baker & McKenzie has a whitepaper that compares Microsoft’s OSP (Open Specification Promise) with Sun’s OPS (OpenDocument Patent Statement) and IBM’s ISP (Interoperability Specification Pledge). Stephen McGibbon has links to the whitepaper and supporting documents.


CDF as a format for office suites. Ever-entertaining Sam Hiser offers some thoughts on CDF, the W3C, Open XML, ODF, and how these topics are inter-related.


Groklaw’s coverage of Australian IT’s coverage of IBM’s comments on Open XML. Stephen McGibbon takes a look at how Groklaw is working with IBM to get the word out on their view of Open XML issues, and my Australian colleague Greg Stone provides some additional perspective in the comment thread.


More on password hashing. Julien Chable has some additional thoughts on the password hashing issues that Eric White covered a few days ago.


OASIS technical committee to join DIN? Brian Jones has some information about the possibility that the OASIS ODF committee may join the DIN working group that’s looking into Open XML and ODF interoperability.


The importance of compatibility with existing documents. Jim King, PDF Architect for Adobe, has some thoughts about the importance of compatibility with existing documents on his blog (emphasis added):

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.

In fact, PDF has been a de facto standard based upon three things: the billions of existing files, the thousand of software offerings that create and process those files, and the Adobe PDF 1.7 Reference. And we decided that the order of preference to resolve any differences was in that order, files, software and then documentation.

Most people, after thinking about this three legged stool metaphor came to agree that documenting the existing files should take priority.


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