A few interesting links

Sorry for just posting links the past week or so. I haven't had much time to pull anything new together. Hopefully I'll have some more free time when I get back into the office next week.

Can anyone be objective about Open XML?

Great blog entry from Kyle McNabb of Forester where he drills into the real motivations behind some of the anti-OpenXML pressures you're seeing out there. He asks folks to see through the motivations of specific companies and form their own opinions. Here's what he says about the main players:

  • IBM has a vested interest NOT seeing OOXML adopted as an ISO standard.
  • Microsoft Office 2007 needs OOXML.
  • Without ODF as the leading standard, Sun and OpenOffice.org have little to stand on.

Convert your paper documents into Open XML files

I was really excited earlier this week when I saw the news from Nuance Omni where they now have the ability to scan paper and recognize shapes, text, etc. and then generate an Open XML document out of it. This is really awesome. One of the great benefits of the Open XML formats is the capability it brings to long term archivability of documents. It's important that we can access these documents we are creating 100s or 1,000s of years in the future, regardless of what happens to Microsoft. That's why the stewardship of the Open XML formats by ISO could prove to be very valuable.

Now with this technology from Nuance Omni, archivists can scan existing print documents and store them as Open XML for future access. The British Library and the Library of Congress both served on TC45 and brought the perspective of long term archival into the standardization process.

More on Apple's Open XML functionality

Here is some interesting follow-up to the news of Apple's iWork supporting the OpenXML format. It looks like the anti-OpenXML folks are upset and have now started a petition to ask Apple to also support ODF (Apple currently supports OpenXML on the Mac as well as on the iPhone). Bob Sutor posted a link to the petition, and there was an interesting comment from Klaus-Dieter Naujok:

Guess Apple's market research has shown that there are more MS Office documents (old and new formats) around than there are ODF based documents. I am not at all surprised that they are supporting what is mostly used today and therefore needs to be imported into their iWork application. As an iWork user that receives clients documents which are all in MS formats, not ODF, I have no problem with their decision. As I see it, ODF may be the only International Standard for XML based Office formats, and may be technical superior to OOXML, but that is not what bean counters take into consideration. Bottom-line for any software company is what the product will need to support based on market penetration, not how good a competing standard maybe, especially if its usage is minor at this time. I am sure should ODF become the dominating used format, causing sales in iWork to drop, that Apple will support it.

I think this is probably what you would expect to see from any company. They will add functionality based on what their customers want.



OpenXMLCommunity.org Quote of the Day:

Patheon, Inc - Canada

"As a leading publicly listed provider of drug development and manufacturing services to the international pharmaceutical industry Patheon relies on electronic documents for records management, government submissions and our internal policies. For drug development, all electronic submissions have to be in XML format as it is the defined approach for the FDA & Health Canada. Having OpenXML as an internationally recognized document standard would be very beneficial to us now and in the future. We look forward to OpenXML becoming another recognized international standard with ISO."

- Tom Ferguson