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Gary Edwards

Martian Headsets - When the Problems with Standards Becomes the Standard Itself | Joel ... - 0 views

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    Joel takes on the difficult issues of standards and vendor specific implementations. This is a classic!
Gary Edwards

Breaking the Web: The Document War between HTML+ and OOXML - 0 views

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    Microsoft to the world: Outlook's not broken and we aren't 'fixing' it! Mary Jo has an interesting article over at ZDNet. She points out that Microsoft is refusing to restore support for HTML editing in Outlook. Instead, Microsoft intends on using the MSWord editor. I think that means a Microsoft desktop future based on Office OpenXML (OOXML). We shall see. But if this is the case, then i also think we are looking at how Microsoft will break the Web. I've left an extensive comment to Mary Jo's article in the Talkback section, linked to above. ".... This is for all the marbles. The future of the Open Web is at stake. If Microsoft is successful at carving out and encoding an MS Web based on a document format specific to their platforms, applications and services, the Web will break. "
    "Looks like a plan to me."
    continued here
Gary Edwards

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Introducing Rich Snippets - 0 views

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    Google "Rich Snippets" is a new presentation of HTML snippets that applies Google's algorithms to highlight structured data embedded in web pages. Rich Snippets give end-users convenient summary information about their search results at a glance. Google is currently supporting a very limited subset of data about reviews and people. When searching for a product or service, users can easily see reviews and ratings, and when searching for a person, they'll get help distinguishing between people with the same name. It's a simple change to the display of search results, yet our experiments have shown that users find the new data valuable. For this to work though, both Web-masters and Web-workers have to annotate thier pages with structured data in a standard format. Google snippets supports microformats and RDFa. Existing Web data can be wrapped with some additional tags to accomplish this. Notice that Google avoids mention of RDF and the W3C's vision of a "Semantic Web" where Web objects are fully described in machine readable semantics. Over at the WHATWG group, where work on HTML5 continues, Google's Ian Hickson has been fighting RDFa and the Semantic Web in what looks to be an effort to protect the infamous Google algorithms. RDFa provides a means for Web-workers, knowledge-workers, line-of-business managers and document generating end-users to enrich their HTML+ with machine semantics. The idea being that the document experts creating Web content can best describe to search engine and content management machines the objects-of-information used. The google algorithms provide a proprietary semantics of this same content. The best solution to the tsunami of conten the Web has wrought would be to combine end-user semantic expertise with Google algorithms. Let's hope Google stays the RDFa course and comes around to recognize the full potential of organizing the world's information with the input of content providers. One thing the world desperatel
Gary Edwards

The Education of Gary Edwards - Rick Jelliffe on O'Reilly Broadcast - 0 views

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    I wonder how i missed this? Incredibly, i have my own biographer and i didn't know it! The date line is September, 2008, I had turned off all my ODF-OOXML-OASIS searches and blog feeds back in October of 2007 when we moved the da Vinci plug-in to HTML+ using the W3C CDF model. Is it appropriate to send flowers to your secret biographer? Maybe i'll find some time and update his work. The gap between October 2007 and April of 2009 is filled with adventure and wonder. And WebKit!

    "....One of the more interesting characters in the recent standards battles has been Gary Edwards: he was a member of the original ODF TC in 2002 which oversaw the creation of ODF 1.0 in 2005, but gradually became more concerned about large vendor dominance of the ODF TC frustrating what he saw as critical improvements in the area of interoperability. This compromised the ability of ODF to act as a universal format."

    "....Edwards increasingly came to believe that the battleground had shifted, with the SharePoint threat increasingly needing to be the focus of open standards and FOSS attention, not just the standalone desktop applications: I think Edwards tends to see Office Open XML as a stalking horse for Microsoft to get its foot back in the door for back-end systems....."

    "....Edwards and some colleagues split with some acrimony from the ODF effort in 2007, and subsequently see W3C's Compound Document Formats (CDF) as holding the best promise for interoperability. Edwards' public comments are an interesting reflection of an person evolving their opinion in the light of experience, events and changing opportunities...."

    ".... I have put together some interesting quotes from him which, I hope, fairly bring out some of the themes I see. As always, read the source to get more info: ..... "

Gary Edwards

ptsefton » OpenOffice.org is bad for the planet - 0 views

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    ptsefton continues his rant that OpenOffice does not support the Open Web. He's been on this rant for so long, i'm wondering if he really thinks there's a chance the lords of ODF and the OpenOffice source code are listening? In this post he describes how useless it is to submit his findings and frustrations with OOo in a bug report. Pretty funny stuff even if you do end up joining the Michael Meeks trek along this trail of tears. Maybe there's another way?

    What would happen if pt moved from targeting the not so open OpenOffice, to target governments and enterprises trying to set future information system requirements?

    NY State is next up on this endless list. Most likely they will follow the lessons of exhaustive pilot studies conducted by Massachusetts, California, Belgium, Denmark and England, and end up mandating the use of both open standard "XML" formats, ODF and OOXML.

    The pilots concluded that there was a need for both XML formats; depending on the needs of different departments and workgroups. The pilot studies scream out a general rule of thumb; if your department has day-to-day business processes bound to MSOffice workgroups, then it makes sense to use MSOffice OOXML going forward. If there is no legacy MSOffice bound workgroup or workflow, it makes sense to move to OpenOffice ODF.

    One thing the pilots make clear is that it is prohibitively costly and disruptive to try to replace MSOffice bound workgroups.

    What NY State might consider is that the Web is going to be an important part of their informations systems future. What a surprise. Every pilot recognized and indeed, emphasized this fact. Yet, they fell short of the obvious conclusion; mandating that desktop applications provide native support for Open Web formats, protocols and interfaces!

    What's wrong with insisting that desktop applciations and office suites support the rapidly advancing HTML+ technologies as well as the applicat
Paul Merrell

Safe Plurality: Can it be done using OOXML's Markup Compatibility and Extensions mechan... - 0 views

  • During the OOXML standardization proceedings, the ISO particpants felt that there was one particular sub-technology, Markup Compatibility and Extensibility (MCE), that was potentially of such usefulness by other standards, that it was brought out into its own part. It is now IS29500:2009 Part 3: you can download it in its ECMA form here, it only has about 15 pages of substantive text. The particular issue that MCE address is this: what is an application supposed to do when it finds some markup it wasn't programmed to accept? This could be extension elements in some foreign namespace, but it could also be some elements from a known namespace: the case when a document was made against a newer version of the standard than the application.
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    Rick Jelliffe posts a frank view of the OOXML compatibility framework, a document I've studied myself in the past. There is much that is laudable about the framework, but there are also aspects that are troublesome. Jelliffe identifies one red flag item, the freedom for a vendor to "proprietize" OOXML using the MustUnderstand attribute and offers some suggestions for lessening that danger through redrafting of the spec. One issue he does not touch, however, is the Microsoft Open Specification Promise covenant not to sue, a deeply flawed document in terms of anyone implementing OOXML other than Microsoft. Still, there is so much prior art for the OOXML compatibility framework that I doubt any patent reading on it would survive judicial review. E.g., a highly similar framework has been implemented in WordPerfect since version 6.0. and the OOXML framework is remarkably similar to the compatibility framework specified by OASIS OpenDocument 1.0 but subsequently gutted at ISO. The Jelliffe article offers a good overview of factors that must be considered in designing a standard's compatibility framework. For those that go on to read the compatibility framework's specification, keep in mind that in several places the document falsely claims that it is an interoperability framework. It is not. It is a framework designed for one-way transfer of data, not interoperability which involves round-trip 2-way of exchange of data without data loss.
Gary Edwards

MHTML / MIME HTML - Another Good Microsoft Creation - 0 views

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    MHTML (MIME HTML) which allows all of webpages referenced resources to be downloaded and saved in a single file. This way you can avoid having the manageability problem of many loose files which many browsers produce when you save a web page. This is very useful for archiving webpages to file servers and local disk as well as emailing webpages to people....... An alternative to MHTML would be ZIP containers similar to ODF, OOXML, and XPS. Moving to standardized, containerized files will provide the same benefit of MIME HTML, allowing entire webpages and associated resources to be treated as a single file for better usability.
Paul Merrell

Introducing the Open XML Format External File Converter for 2007 Microsoft Office Syste... - 0 views

  • In other words, revising the Open XML Format converter interfaces by adding new functionality does not require any recompilation of existing clients. This guarantees backward compatibility as these converter interfaces are upgraded.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      But what does it do for forward compatibility? OOXML is a moving interoperabillity target.
  • In addition to allowing converters to override external file formats, the applications allow converters to override OpenDocument Format-related formats (such as .odt). For example, if you specify a converter to be the default converter for .odt, Word 2007 SP2 invokes the specified converter whenever a user tries to open an .odt file from the Windows Shell instead of going through the native load path for Word 2007 SP2.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      How wonderful. Developers can bypass the forthcoming Microsoft native file support for ODF. Perhaps to convert Excel formulas to OpenForumla?
  • Open XML Format converters for Word 2007 SP2, Excel 2007 SP2, or PowerPoint 2007 SP2 are implemented as out-of-process COM servers. Out-of-process converters have the benefit of running in their own process space, which means issues or crashes within converters do not affect the application process space. In addition, out-of-process 32-bit converters can function on 64-bit operating systems in Microsoft Windows on Windows 64-bit (WoW64) mode without the need for converters to be compiled in 64-bit.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      Pretty lame excuses for not documenting the native file support APIs. I.e., the native file supoort APIs already throw "can't open file" error messages for problematic documents without crashing the app. The bit about not needing to recompile converters for 64-bit Windoze is a complete red herring. This is only a benefit if one requires conversion in an external process. It wouldn't be an issue if the native file support APIs were documented and their intermediate formats were the interop targets.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      I.e., one need not recompile the Office app if a supported native format is added. The OpenDocument Foundation and Sun plug-ins for MS Office proved that.
  • ...3 more annotations...
  • To begin developing a converter, you should familiarize yourself with the Open XML standard. For more information, see: Standard ECMA-376: Office Open XML File Formats.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      Note that they specify Ecma 376 rather than ISO/IEC:29500-2008 Office Open XML. So you get to rewrite your converters when Microsoft adds support for the official standard in the next major release of Office.
  • External files are imported into Word 2007 SP2, Excel 2007 SP2, or PowerPoint 2007 SP2 by converting the external file to Open XML Formats. External files are exported from Word 2007 SP2, Excel 2007 SP2, or PowerPoint by converting Open XML Formats to external files. The success of either the import or export conversion depends upon the accurate generation and interpretation of Open XML Formats by the converter.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      Note that this is a process external to the native file support APIs and their intermediate formats. The real APIs apparently will remain obfuscated. Thiis forces others to develop support for Ecma 376 rather than working directly with the native file support APIs. In other words, more incentives for others to target the moving target OOXML rather than the more stable intermediate formats.
  • Summary: Get the details about the interfaces that you need to use to create an Open XML Format External File Converter for the 2007 Microsoft Office system Service Pack 2 (SP2). (16 Printed Pages)
Paul Merrell

Doug Mahugh : Miscellaneous links for 12-09-2008 - 0 views

  • 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.
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    So now we learn some details about the new MS Office API(s) for unsupported file formats Microsoft promised a few months ago. Surprise, surprise! They're not for native file support. They're external process tools for converting to and from OOXML. That makes it sound as though Microsoft has no intention of coughing up the documentation for the native file support APIs despite its claim that it would document all APIs for Office (also required by U.S. v. Microsoft). The extra conversion step also practically guarantees more conversion artifacts. Do the new APIs provide interop for embedded scripts, etc.? My guess is no. There has to be a reason Microsoft chose to externalize the process rather than documenting the existing APIs. Limiting features available is still the most plausible scenario.
Paul Merrell

Giggle of the Day -- Microsoft boosts OOXML compatibility - ZDNet.co.uk - 0 views

  • John McCreesh, an evangelist for OpenOffice.org, the main open-source competitor to the Microsoft Office productivity suite, told ZDNet UK on Wednesday that he was surprised to hear Microsoft was continuing to work on OOXML's compatibility. "The feeling had been that OOXML was dead in the water, so it's interesting to see that Microsoft is still trying to revive it in the marketplace," said McCreesh. "The response in the marketplace [to OOXML] hasn't been that encouraging, but they've clearly decided it's worth another push."
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    Chutzpah or terminal naivity from John McCreesh. As though Microsoft had actually considered dropping OOXML from its game plan for domiinating the Web. Did McCreesh actually fall for that "ODF has clearly won" bit of press deflection from Microsoft? http://www.thestandard.com/news/2008/06/19/red-hat-summit-panel-who-won-ooxml-battle As Jean Paoli said in another report today on the same Microsoft event: "Since for maybe a year now, we are seeing far less passion about the format issue and more rationality." http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/120308-microsoft-openxml.html?page=2
Gary Edwards

Google Apps no threat to Microsoft? Maybe it is... | TalkBack on ZDNet - 0 views

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    Replace or Re-Purpose? The Belgian Desktop Pilot Study Here is the summary of the Belgian desktop pilot study. The conclusion echoed the findings of Massachusetts and California; they found that they could not use OpenOffice as a replacement for MSOffice. Although there were many reasons sighted, i think they all fit under the larger framework that MSOffice is the center of what turned out to be a sprawling desktop productivity ecosystem.
Gary Edwards

The Belgian Desktop Office Productivity Study: Huysmans - 0 views

  • Conversion and compatibility
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    the Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Economy which considered the use of OpenOffice.org, but eventually decided not to adopt OpenOffice.org as their primary office suite. This decision was to a large degree influenced by the fact that a large number of users within the FPS Economy perform data-intensive tasks such as statistical data analysis and reporting on a daily basis. Notwithstanding the fact that several reasons were actually in favor of the migration, we have identified several barriers that may discourage the use of OpenOffice.org in similar environments.
Paul Merrell

There is no end, but addition: Alex Brown's weblog - SC 34 Meetings, Jeju Island, Korea... - 0 views

  • Yet more ODF and OOXML… were the main topics of today, both separately and in tandem. Of most interest, perhaps, was the discussion surrounding the start of work on a project setting out to describe the mapping between ISO/IEC 26300 (ODF) and ISO/IEC 29500 (OOXML). This had received wide and decisive voting support from countries in its ballot, though some countries had objected to its commencement due to the non-availability of the ISO/IEC 29500 text. That hiatus is now happily behind us and the project is set to proceed with a powerful three-person editing teams (from Germany, Korea and China).
Gary Edwards

Word 2007 XAML Generator - Home - 0 views

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    The OOXML <> XAML "fixed/flow" converter firs tappeared in the December 2007 MSOffice beta SDK. Now it's an easy to install MSOffice plug-in. So, where's that port of XUL to WebKit?
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    Project Description A Word 2007 Add-in that converts the Office Open XML (WordprocessingML) to XAML: For WPF, the document is converted into a FlowDocument element. For Silverlight 2 the document is converted into a StackPanel element containing TextBlock elements.
Gary Edwards

Microsoft's Response to Google Chrome... - Google Docs - 0 views

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    Matt Assay has posted an interesting article arguing the point of view that Google Chrome will have a difficult time catching up Microsoft SharePoint. While everyone is moving to the Web, many will be surprised ot find that Microsoft is already there. Very surprised.
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    Good article from Matt Assay
Paul Merrell

Tectonic » Southern nations frown on ISO - 0 views

  • State IT organisation representatives from Brazil, South Africa, Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba and Paraguay have signed a declaration expressing their dissatisfaction with the International Standards Organisation (ISO). The countries signed the declaration at the CONSEGI conference in Brazil over the weekend in response to news that the ISO/IEC had rejected the appeals from South Africa, Brazil and Venezuela and India to the ISO process to adopt Microsoft’s OOXML format as an international standard.
Gary Edwards

Microsoft Unleashes Stream of Docs in the Name of Interoperability - 0 views

  • Yesterday, Microsoft announced the release of Version 1.0 technical documentation for Microsoft Office 2007, SharePoint 2007 and Exchange 2007 as an effort to drive greater interoperability and foster a stronger open relationship with their developer and partner communities. They also posted over 5000 pages of technical documentation on Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint binary file formats on the MSDN site royalty-free basis under Microsoft’s Open Specification Promise (OSP).
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Gary Edwards

Is Microsoft slow to the punch on SOA, or just waiting for the right moment? | Joe McKe... - 0 views

  • I agree with DonnieBoy. Microsoft will try to leverage their MSOffice monopoly to dominate the newly emerging marketplace of Web-Stack and Cloud Computing solutions. I also believe that for Microsoft, the final pieces of this puzzle fell into place on March 29th, 2008 with ISO approval of the MSOffice-OOXML document format.
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    Extesnive reply to Joe McKendrik's article about Microsoft and SOA.
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