Open XML links for 06-13-2007

Professor Flavio Soares da Silva from the University of Sao Paulo has an interesting article on "Arguments in Favor of a Controlled Plurality of Office Formatting Standards." "If we end up with too many standards, the usability and interoperability of data and programs over the Internet will be hindered by the necessity of too many auxiliary tools and intermediate steps to migrate between standards, with potential loss of meaningful information each time a migration occurs. An authoritarian decision for any particular standard, on the other hand, seems not to be the ideal choice, since it would disregard specific interests and preferences of smaller communities of users that could perhaps be better served by different standards and corresponding formatted data and software."

An article in today's Bangkok Post covers Rick Jelliffe's recent talk about document formats. ""It's very good for Microsoft to be involved in standards again. For many years, the large companies have not been very engaged in the standards world. Being pro Open XML doesn't make you anti ODF. They have been developed for different purposes."

Wouter Van Vugt had a great post a few months ago on how to programmatically add digital signatures to Open XML documents. Now he has taken that concept to a new level by covering how to use a signature line so that a person can sign the document manually (on a tablet PC, say) and then make that signature part of the digitally signed content. Man, I stole your previous demo and showed it off all around the world; this one's even more worth stealing. Thanks, Wouter!

Maarten Balliauw has information about PHPExcel 1.3.0, an update to the open-source PHP API for creating Open XML spreadsheets. This version includes formula calculations and a formula parser that will automatically adjust a formula's range when rows or columns are added or removed.

Stephen McGibbon's "Now you see it, now you don't" covers an interesting article on IBM's web site covering how easy it is to work with Open XML documents from a DB2 environment. The article had been replaced with a message saying that it was "being updated with current information," and now in the last 24 hours IBM apparently deleted the article altogether. They also managed to get it pulled from Google's cache, although Stephen has thoughtfully provided a cached copy here. As the author, Chris Gruber of IBM (last we heard), says, "consuming and repurposing MS Office 2007 documents is easy with IBM DB2 pureXML features."

I just noticed Brian Jones has a bunch of Open XML links posted this afternoon, too. Gee, after IBM's management yanked Chris Gruber's article for daring to say Open XML is easy to work with, do you think Microsoft management will force Brian to pull his post that refers to "Word's mediocre XML?" Stay tuned ... I think I know the answer. :-)

by the way, Chris, we're hiring!


Regular readers will know that I have almost never modified a post. I don't believe in that, actually: it's like a performance, and when you click Submit you're done, for better or worse.

But I laughed so hard my face turned red after reading Rick Jelliffe's post just now, so I must add one more: Fantasy Press Releases.

And, not to start a bidding war between Jean and Bob, but ... as of this moment, is available.