DII Workshop: MCE Deep Dive, Redmond

We’ll be hosting another DII workshop soon, and this one will be of special interest to those who want to understand the inner workings of MCE (Markup Compatibility and Extensibility) as defined in Part 3 of ISO/IEC 29500.  We’ve used MCE for new functionality in documents created by Office 2010, and members of SC34 WG4 have expressed interest in understanding the details of our implementation.  So we’re planning a workshop in Redmond on Friday, September 18, the day after the upcoming SC34 plenary in nearby Bellevue, to do a deep-dive review of how Office 2010 uses MCE.

For those who aren’t familiar with MCE, here’s how it is described in the Scope clause of the standard (ISO/IEC 29500-3):

This Part of ISO/IEC 29500 describes a set of conventions that are used by Office Open XML documents to clearly mark elements and attributes introduced by future versions or extensions of Office Open XML documents, while providing a method by which consumers can obtain a baseline version of the Office Open XML document (a version without extensions) for interoperability.

By using MCE for the new functionality in Office 2010, we can deliver innovations like sparklines in Excel 2010 or new slide transitions in PowerPoint 2010, while maintaining compatibility with the Open XML standard.  At this one-day event, members of the Word, Excel, PowerPoint and graphics teams will demonstrate these new capabilities and show how these new capabilities are stored in MCE alternate content blocks and extension lists.

The date for this workshop will be Friday, September 18, and the location will be Microsoft’s Redmond campus.  If you’re interested in attending, please contact my colleague Amruta Gulanikar via this form to get on the list.  Amruta can also provide information about travel and hotel options.

I hope to see you there!

Comments (3)
  1. Mitch 74 says:

    Hi Doug,

    This (and your comment on your previous post) pretty much answers the questions I had about what format is supported.

    Still, some nitpicking (down from format specifications, we now reach implementation details): in early versions of MSO 2007, opening a basic IS29500:2008 document resulted in a blank page (some basic tag wasn’t recognized and parsing stopped at the top of the tree; I can’t remember which one, though – sorry).

    Were there fixes done in SP1 or SP2 that now allow MSO 2007 to open ECMA376rev2/IS29500:2008 files? Also, is the output format used by these service packs readable with MSO2007 RTM? If yes, how was that accomplished? These details would allow other implementers to deal with the matter in a similar fashion, eventhough stuff like that could be found in format revision notes.

    Thank you for any answer you may have, or for locations on where I (and other people interested in formats) could look this up.


    Mitch 74

  2. Doug Mahugh says:

    Good question, Mitch.  We’re committed to providing a good interop experience between various versions of Office going forward, as we have in the  past, but we won’t be ready to announce details in this area until we get to the broader public beta.

  3. Mitch 74 says:

    Hi again,

    Errr… I’m not talking about MSO 2010, you know – I’m talking about MSO 2007 RTM, SP1 and SP2, and how you and your team dealt with differences between ECMA376 rev1 and rev2/IS29500:2008…

    Since you already said that MSO 2010 will support IS29500:2008, I guess that MSO2007 SP2 will be able to deal with documents coming from MSO2010 (although with reduced/fallback features, as was the case with the binary file formats used from MSO97 to 2003); but, I was wondering how MSO2007 RTM currently deals with IS29500:2008 files as generated (?) by MSO 2007 SP2, since I’ve read somewhere that it stopped parsing at a near top-level node…


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