As a member of my country's national standards body committee on electronic data processing, I lately spend considerable time deliberating what our position should be in the upcoming Office Open XML ISO Ballot Resolution Meeting in Geneva. My biggest objection concerns large parts of the standard that are proposed to live in an Annex containing normative descriptions of deprecated features that will only be used by existing binary documents. The rationale behind this decision is backwards compatibility. My opinion is that this solution is counterproductive for a number of reasons.
If you are using any word processor or editor in a group situation, such as a technical writing team, or an office, then it will probably be in your interest to set up templates for authors to use to ensure consistency, reduce effort, and help automate conversation of documents between formats, such as building web pages from office documents. If you are also trying to store and manipulate content in XML but want to use a word processing environment for authoring, then well-crafted templates are even more important.
This session will provide a technical description of the new Microsoft Office Open XML formats that will become the default XML based formats of the coming version of Microsoft Office (Office 12). The Microsoft Office XML formats provides a great Open and standard-based XML format for Office Documents that enables new XML document scenarios that were not possible before.
The OpenDocument Format ("ODF") shows promise for bringing the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) to the common desktop PC of the future as the native file format for office documents in the next-generation office suites including OpenOffice, StarOffice, KOffice, Workplace, Writely and others. An ODF Plugin for MS Office -- currently under development by the OpenDocument Foundation -- can deliver this promise to the 450 million legacy Windows desktop PCs already in place. Sam Hiser, an officer of the OpenDocument Foundation, will discuss the origins and design objectives of the Foundation's ODF Plugin. He will also discuss the strategic goals of the Foundation's ODF Plugin while showing how the Plugin effort is already influencing the development of the ODF standard itself at OASIS. An audience of general business people and software developers will leave Hiser's presentation with a clear understanding of the ODF Plugin, its context of relevance and development, and how it can alter the landscape for XML.
All OpenOffice.org applications use XML-based file formats. All applications (except Math) use the same format as defined in the specification. The Math component uses the package structure and format, but uses MathML inside the package.
Although MS Word can generate XML, it should not be considered any kind of a robust XML authoring tool. Instead, its XML features are best for use with other Microsoft Office applications. However, because XML authoring is gaining in popularity, new XML authoring software tools and utilities are coming to market. In this article, Scott Abel looks at using MS Word for XML and takes a closer look at one alternative XML solution from a Microsoft partner that uses Word's familiar interface.
In this session, three panellists and audience members will discuss creating XML documents using two familiar word processors: Microsoft Word and OpenOffice. Paul Bernard will introduce some real-world examples of how publishers are using Microsoft Word in XML workflows, and how Office 2007 and OpenXML will affect those processes. Jon Parsons will discuss XML, Office 2007, and content management for document integration in the middle tier. Lisa Richards will discuss XML authoring in OpenOffice.