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RE: Open Document Format -- Successor to XHTML? (interview wit

xhtml interview
Well, it's a rather long and pretentious article for saying "up down
which is not exactly a new idea.

"It's important to understand that the methods and protocols used in
creating an SOA solution for connecting disparate information systems are
always Open Internet based. So they always involve Open XML technologies."

That's a crock.  XML doesn't care. I don't think SOA does either.

"Once you transform that information into XML, it becomes a common layer
within a business that any other system can grab and then transform it back
to their business processing systems. You only need write your connections
once. After that the information flow from that legacy system can be
re-purposed endlessly. Once in the universal transformation layer, the
information is 100% fluid and interoperable."

Really?  Or simply "transformable if you have a map laying around and you
all agree about its mappings"?  Interoperable is a different issue: it's
about 'operations'.  If this worked the way
he talks about it, you wouldn't need the semantic web.  Well, you might not.
It depends on 
whether you want machines or humans writing transforms, creating maps,
getting on the phone and 
settling names, all the real rot of writing services.

If you really have a Universal Transformation Layer, why do you care about
the XML format coming and going?  Shouldn't the receiver/consumer be the
only thing that cares.

"...a digital file format should be intelligent, containing all the
information about itself that other applications, or future applications,
would need to know for that information to be usefully rendered and
re-purposed. The only way a file format can truly be application independent
is to have that metadata remain with the file, completely cutting the
application cord."

So ship the schema with the openDoc doc?  And one that has every possible
future config? 
So much for well-formed-only systems.

"Some things have to go beyond the browser and into the larger realm of the
desktop productivity environment."

OOPsie.  Do I smell fat clients?

"As if that wasn't enough, Daniel also was the first to face down
Microsoft's XML expert Jean Paoli, giving him a world class lesson in XML."

That would have been fun to watch.  No one seems to be able to sell anything
in the
XML business without the hero-making phase: "our guys are just so much
smarter than 
anyone that have come before..." without noting "our guys are saying the
same things 
with different terms than the guys that said this originally" which really
drops the 
credibility.  But it is also something of a karmic come-uppance for the guys
who first 
chose to stick it to the SGML heros.  As the twig is bent.... our industry
eats its elders.

"XML deals primarily with two things: style and content. Content is fairly
easy, but style is fairly complicated."

No, XML deals with syntax.  The application processor does the rest.  This
is another 
"Magic happens here" statement.

"Florian has a great deal of experience in understanding and manipulating
complicated algorithms for the layout engine. He is going to be handling the
challenge of working around the MS XML binary key."

Yep, fat clients.  You still need OpenDoc clients or you are

"Simply put, the binary key breaks the promise of XML. If you can't do a
transformation, that's not XML!"

It breaks the back of a competitor.  XML doesn't care.  Neither does

What they are hiding in the key is the information you want to get to take
business from them.  They are telling you No Deal.

"Microsoft knows what they are doing here, and it's the same thing that they
have done in the past: push their customers onto that exhausting upgrade

Ah.. a true statement finally.
It comes down to the will of the customer to control costs because you give
them a 
better cost based on competition.  Of course, the price of that competition
is commoditization 
so you also get to become a bazaar vendor, which is OK as long as the cheap
suit meets your 
fashion tastes.

No free semantic lunch.

"Very, very few people are running Microsoft Office Professional 2003!"

I think that's a crock, but neither he nor I can prove otherwise.

"I don't know of any significant systems providers who have said, "We're
going with Microsoft's version of Xforms.""

I do.  This guy doesn't read RFPs for a living.  He may have also missed
some purported 
moves by Canada to go wall-to-wall with a common operating system and

"XML is the API for the Internet, it is the messaging and communication API
for the Internet, and it's the data API for the Internet. It's everything."

I hear trumpets and strings and hosannas... and the sound of hubris.  This
guy must not 
hang out on this list and read the 'refactoring' permathread.

"..they're all ready for this next generation of the Internet."

So am I.  When will it ship?

"Microsoft's new strategy in this second war is patents. They're filing
patents on how you use XML. They can't own XML, so they are filing patents
on ideas of how you implement XML."

Everyone is.  That is what software patents are:  patenting the middleware
business rules. 
If you aren't doing that, you're shareholders have a bone to pick with you.


From: Jon Noring [mailto:jon@n...]

There's an interesting interview with Gary Edwards, one of the
leaders of the team developing the Open Document Format (used in
StarOffice8, OpenOffice2, etc.) See:


One comment Gary made was particularly bold:

   "...OpenDocument is now before the ISO (International Standards
   Organization) board for ratification. From there, there is no doubt
   in my mind that OpenDocument is heading to the W3C for ratification
   as the successor to HTML and XHTML."

Any comments/thoughts on this particular statement by Gary? And any
comments on the remainder of the interview?


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