If you've been at one of the recent DII workshops, you may recall that some of us from Microsoft have been talking about an upcoming converter interface that will allow you to add support for other formats to Office. I'm pleased to report that we've now published the documentation on MSDN for the External File Converter for SP2. The basic concept is that you convert incoming files to the Open XML format, and on save you convert Open XML to your format. Using this API, you can extend Office to support any format you'd like. The details are not for the faint of heart, but there is sample C++ source code available to help you get started.
A few other recent blog posts I've found interesting or useful ...
Julien Chable covers some of the details of the relationship between OpenXML4J and the Apache POI project.
Zeyad Rajabi continues to write lots of good content on Brian Jones's blog about various ways to use the Open XML SDK. He covered creating a presentation report based on data a while back, and yesterday he provided some great tips on assembling multiple word-processing documents into a single document, including how to use altChunk to simplify the task. And if you're working with the SDK, be sure to check out the source code now available for the demos Zeyad covered at PDC.
Orcmid, ever the interop investigator, has a very detailed post about adventures in Flash version detection.
The SC 34 web site has logistical information for the WG4/WG5 meetings in Okinawa scheduled for January 28-30.
Leslie Carr has some interesting ideas about how to build PPTX files from RSS data.
Opendocument.xml.org has posted the presentations from the ODF workshop at OOcon 2008.
Eric White recently posted detailed descriptions of the Power Tools for Open XML cmdlets.
Rick Jelliffe suggests the concept of "super-styles" that provide an level of abstraction above the things that current styling mechanisms provide in document formats. Part 1 describes why this is needed, and Part 2 suggests what the solution might look like.
And finally, appropos of nothing ...
Life imitates art. I'm in Arlington, Virgina for the XML-in-Practice conference (see you at the reception this evening if you're here), and early this morning I walked over to Theodore Roosevelt Island. It's a small natural park that opened in 1932, dedicated to Roosevelt and his outspoken concerns about "what will happen when our forests are gone." As I approached the memorial in the center of the island just after dawn, four deer came out of the woods and posed for a picture in front of Teddy: