Open XML links for 06-30-2007

I've been too busy to post a list of Open XML links for a while, and a lot has been going on the last couple of weeks. So this post will be a wrap-up of all the links I've been meaning to blog about.

INCITS V1 meeting. After Open XML workshops in San Francisco and Delhi, I attended the first day of the INCITS V1 face-to-face meeting in Washington, DC last Thursday. It was very interesting to meet everyone in person, and we had some interesting discussions as we processed dozens of comments about the DIS 29500 ballot. Unfortunately I didn't make the second day of the meeting, due to a case of Delhi belly I picked up in Delhi earlier in the week. Tarun, I hope it wasn't the cake! :-)

Thanks to IBM for hosting the V1 meeting, and to Patrick Durusau for his work as the chair and Rex Jaeschke for his work as the recording secretary. The committee's work continues, but this meeting was a big step forward in terms of giving everyone a chance to share their opinions. It was also a chance to get to know each other a little better -- V1, like many of the technical committees worldwide, has a combination of longtime standards experts and people who are new to standards but have hands-on experience with Open XML. Open XML developers and users will benefit from continued collaboration between those two groups.

If you want to follow the work in V1 be sure to check out the email reflector that provides public visibility to all email sent within the group. Here are the links:

(That last one isn't live yet, but having spotted a trend in the URLs I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that's where the July archive will appear.)

Here are some other recent links from around the Open XML world ...

PHPExcel. Maarten Balliauw and Jakub Vrana have released an update to the PHPExcel library for creating Open XML spreadsheets. The API now offers rich-text support, and Jakub has ported the PEAR spreadsheet classes into PHPExcel for support of Excel's legacy binary formats. See Maarten's blog for more info, or header over to the Codeplex project to download the latest bits.

CTP1 of Open XML Workflow Activities. Wouter Van Vugt has released CTP1 of the workflow activities library. This library provides core functionality for common Open XML development tasks -- the kinds of things you might want to do in an automated workflow scenario. The CTP1 release includes these activities:

  • CoreProperties
  • EmbedCustomXml
  • ExtractCustomXml
  • InspectWMLPackage
  • SignPackage
  • MarkAsFinal
  • ValidateSignatures
  • ValidatePackage

Open XML Accessibility White Paper. Microsoft has contributed a white paper on "Accessibility and Open XML" to the OpenXmlDeveloper web site. It covers how Open XML supports accessibility, and how that functionality can be used to create implementations that conform to the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and XML Accessibility Guidelines. It's 38 pages, with many specific examples of Open XML markup, and each guideline is categorized as follows:

  • Priority 1 - Must satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it impossible to access information in the file format.
  • Priority 2 - Should satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it difficult to access information in the file format.
  • Priority 3 - May address this checkpoint.

PC Pro article on Open XML standardization. Simon Jones has an article coming out in the August issue of PC Pro magazine about the Open XML standardization process. You can get a preview of the article by checking the PC Pro UK site -- the article starts in the middle of that page.

Massachusetts updates ETRM policy. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts posted an updated version of its ETRM policy this week. The ETRM (Enterprise Technical Reference Model) provides an architectural framework used to identify the standards, specifications and technologies recommended for use in the Commonwealth’s computing environment. This update included two document-format changes: updating the OpenDocument Format specification to version 1.1, and adding Ecma 376 (Office Open XML).

Channel 9 interview with Brian, Kevin, Art and Doug. Charles Torre (of Channel 9 fame) dropped in to Brian Jones's office last month to chat about Open XML with me and a few key members of the Office product team: Brian Jones, Kevin Boske, and Art Leonard. We talked about the new SDK, the packaging API, Open XML in general, and a few things completely off-topic. We also ran on and on and on, so the video is broke into two parts: Part 1 and Part 2.

Erika's TechEd photos. Finally, Erika Ehrli has posted some photos from TechEd. Hey, I didn't know you went to see the shuttle take off! Mick and I enjoyed the launch from 40 miles away.