Miscellaneous links for 03/18/2009

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted, and I’ve come across several interesting blog posts and articles in that time.  Here are a few favorites … There’s some cool new content that has started appearing on the OpenXMLDeveloper.org site.  First was the OOXML Crawler, an application that crawls all the documents at a…


Open XML SDK, XMLSpy Standard Edition, and custom markup

Where the heck did August go? A few links from the last month … Open XML SDK V2. The first CTP of V2 of the Open XML SDK is now available for download. Eric White has all the details, including descriptions of the new features and before/after code examples showing how the strongly typed DOM…


Video discussion with Brian Jones

I had a chance last week to talk to Brian Jones about the proposed dispositions to the DIS 29500 comments. We discussed the thinking behind a few typical dispositions as well as the business case for custom XML support and other Open XML topics. The video is now live on the OpenXML page on YouTube….


Custom schemas revisited

I’ve seen some signs of confusion about custom schema support lately. For example, I’ve seen a vendor claim that Open XML’s support for custom schemas is “essentially inherent in XML itself” and that “there is nothing that OOXML supports via custom schemas that ODF 1.0 does not already support.” I suppose that if your goal…


Dynamically generating content controls

One of the most popular features of Open XML among developers is the concept of binding content controls (structured document tags) to custom XML nodes. This is a powerful concept that allows for simple integration between existing XML instances of business data and the rich look and feel of typical Open XML word-processing documents, while…


XBRL and Open XML

As a brief follow-up to my post on microformats and Open XML, I’d like to show a slightly different (and, frankly, more common) variation on using custom XML parts. Many organizations and industries have custom schemas that they’ve standardized upon. A good example is XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language), a set of XML-based vocabularies for…


Microformats and Open XML

Like most people, I hadn’t heard of microformats a year ago. But now the concept seems to be gathering momentum. Microformats have their limitations, but they offer a practical way to solve a common interoperability problem: how to add structured data to existing documents (typically HTML) without changing the underlying schema or breaking existing implementations….


Interoperability: what’s in a name?

Interoperability is one of those words that means different things to different people. We all agree that it means something like “the ability of systems to work effectively together,” but beyond that our agreements get murky at best. Consider, for example, the classification of of business products and services into “horizontal” and “vertical” markets, as…


Learning about content controls

Tristan Davis has a great post over on the Word team blog about working with content controls and binding them to custom XML data parts. It’s a clear and straightforward explanation of this powerful concept, so if you’ve wondered what terms like “content controls” (or structured document tags) and “custom XML data store” are all…


Programmatically creating content controls

The concept of content controls is one of the most powerful features in the new Open XML file formats. It allows developers to truly separate the presentation of custom XML fields in a rich word-processing document from the underlying XML nodes themselves. Content controls let you create a complex-looking document that has a simple little…