Links for 08-09-2008

Interoperability Study. Jay Kesan and Rajiv Shah of the University of Illinois have published a study on interoperability between various implementations of ODF and Open XML, respectively. I first saw it mentioned on Jesper's blog, and here's a link to the study. A few quotes from the abstract:

"... governments seeking the benefits of open standards need to consider the role of interoperability ... While the best implementations may result in formatting problems, the worst implementations actually lose information, e.g., information found in pictures, footnotes, comments, tracking changes, and tables ... We consider several implications of these results including the lack of perfect compatibility between implementations, the lack of good implementations outside of Windows, and the surprisingly good overall performance of OOXML implementations."

In testing ODF interoperability for Office, the study used the ODF translator add-in. It will be interesting to see how the built-in ODF support in Office SP2 measures up when it comes out.

Open XML/ODF Translator Version 2.0. Version 2 of the ODF translator project has been released. It includes significant performance improvements for spreadsheets, as well as numerous new features for all three document types and various bug fixes and enhancements based on feedback from users of Version 1. See the ODF translator team blog for all the details.

Docx4j version 2.0. Speaking of versions 2.0, a new release of docx4j is now available. This is a Java developer tool that creates an in-memory representation of a WordprocessingML document. See the use cases for examples of typical uses of docx4j.

ODF 1.0 errata released for public comment. The OASIS ODF TC has released an ODF 1.0 errata for public feedback. Jesper-on-the-spot posted it before I even saw the announcement on the OASIS list, and has a few interesting observations and comments. If you want to provide feedback, you'll need to do so by August 22.

OpenXMLDiff vNxt. Pranav Wagh said a while back that he'd start contributing to the OpenXMLDiff project, and he has already made a big difference. See his blog post last month for details (including a nice GUI interface to the core DLL), and there's an even newer build available now on the OpenXMLDiff project page.

Does Eric White ever sleep? This summer, it appears the answer is no. He has posted so much since I last linked to him, on Linq, SharePoint, Open XML, and related topics, that I don't even know where to start. If you're working with any of those technologies, Eric has something for you in a recent post. Check it out.

Oliver Bell and others on Open XML developer tools. I missed this ZDNet article when it first appeared, because it was published the same day as our ODF workshop.

Setting Expectations. Tim Anderson seems to like the way we're approaching ODF support in Office: "Office 2007 ODF support: my guess is it will be good." Thanks for the motivation, Tim — we have framed copies of your post hanging in the offices of the appropriate devs and PMs. :-)

Downtime for Doug. FYI, I'll be taking the next two weeks off to drive around the western US visiting friends and relatives and snapping a few zillion pictures, so I probably won't be back here on the blog until August 25. I hope everyone's enjoying a nice summer (or winter, depending on your latitude), and I intend to do the same for a while. See you in two weeks!