Open XML links for 12-13-2007

The last week has seen some interesting discussions and useful how-to posts on Open XML blogs ...

Three new articles on Sheela over at Sonata has recently posted several new articles, including an overview of how digital signatures work in WordprocessingML, information about how to implement headers and footers in SpreadsheetML, and the first in a two-part series on Open XML's implementation of mail merge in WordprocessingML.

Eric White can't stop posting Linq to XML samples. He's at it again, this time with a class for WordprocessingML documents. Man, I can't help wondering what his pace will be like after he actually starts the Open XML job next month. (Note to Eric: before you get too carried away, I've heard from one of your current teammates that they still need you to finish up a couple things. :-))

Standards groups meet in Kyoto. TC45 met in Kyoto last week, and reviewed a large number of proposed dispositions for Open XML comments, which led to over 1000 comments getting new proposed dispositions for review by the ISO national bodies. This week another standards group (SC34) met in Kyoto, and Rick Jelliffe's blog offers a few observations from a participant.

I was disappointed to learn in the comment thread on Rick's post that he won't be attending the BRM for Open XML. As he explains,

"Standards Australia and I discussed it informally, and I suggested that I might be a bit too controversial a choice to go. IBM wrote a letter of complaint about me to Standards Australia, after I spoke on the history of SC34 and various issues about standards (at the invitation of SA) earlier in the year, and I don't want to expose the SA officers to more of that kind of trivial nastiness."

Service Pack 1 is now available for Office 2007. Brian Jones has a post on SP1 that describes one change that allows for improved integration with document-format translators.

Brian's previous post on the latest batch of comment responses from Ecma (which I linked to earlier this week) has prompted some interesting comments that are worth checking out.

There is also an interesting thread on Rob Weir's "Bait and Switch" post about the proposals for maintenance of Open XML. I found this exchange in the comments section telling:


I need the file format of NSF-files. I want to decrypt properitary encap2.ond attachments (they are tiny NSF-databases and the equivalent of TNEF for MS-Office which has been reverse engineered very well) on an embedded linux system and I cannot place notes.dll or the whole Notes client onto that appliance because of licensing issues.

Rob's response:

encap2.ond attachments? They haven't been used since Notes 4.5, like 10 years ago. How many of those do you still have?

In any case I'm not aware of any NSF file format specification. Your best bet may be to look for a way of doing a one-time programmatic migration of the data on a machine that does have Notes installed, into a format that you can better consume.

Documentation of the details of legacy documents apparently isn't as important as it once was. Or is the NSF issue different because the solution requires installing a closed-source proprietary IBM product?