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Brian Jones - New Office file formats announced

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Jean Paoli was bouncing around the offices here in building 18 today. Who's he? One of the co-creators of XML. Why was he happy?

Because Office just announced their new file formats all built in XML.

"We just turned on 400 million new people to XML," he told us.

Other reports?

Mary Jo Foley and a bunch of other reports. More will be appearing on Microsoft's Office XML page.

This is big news for developers.

Here Brian Jones, program manager on the Microsoft Word team, talks all about what it means.

This is a HUGE change for the Office team. For the first time the default file format will be open and accessible by anyone.

Brian gives us a demo of how you will be able to look inside the new file format at 19:30.

So, what was announced?

Word, Excel, and Powerpoint will get a new file format all based on XML.

The extensions will change from .DOC, .XLS, .PPT to .DOCX, .XLSX, .PPTX.

The new file format is actually enclosed in a ZIP file. Change the extension name to .ZIP and you'll be able to double-click and get access to all the pieces of the new format (Brian in his demo shows what it looks like).

The new file format will be usable on existing versions of Office.
 
And, as extra icing on the cake, Brian Jones is now blogging as well.

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  • ZeoZeo Channel 9 :)
    SWEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    'nuff said
  • Really Cool! I just got home and it was right when this got posted. I can't wait to see the Reference Schemas. You said it would be on the Microsoft XML page...when will it be up? Can you post a link to Brian's blog so we can all subscribe?

  • The Channel 9 TeamThe Channel 9 Team 5 guys from Redmond
    I just posted a link to Brian's blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/default.aspx

    The other pages will be up soon.
  • harumscarumharumscarum out of memory
    Haven't watched the video yet but the first thing I thought of when I read this post was backwards compatibility, I visited the blog and:

    Backward compatible: There will be updates to Office 2000, XP, and 2003 that will allow those versions to read and write this new format. You don’t have to use the new version of Office to take advantage of these formats. (I think this is really cool. I was a big proponent of doing this work)


    nice Smiley
  • Stevan VeselinovicSteve411 Me, all suited up!
    XML!XML!XML!XML!XML!XML!XML!XML! < -- Steve Ballmer
  • MinhMinh WOOH!  WOOH!
    I hope this will allow replacement the current Office suite & I'll tell you why I hope so later. But here's my hope.

    1) There's simpler file formats.
    2) Even though the current suite can write the new file formats, the suite is still buggy & has high maitenance cost.
    3) Some maverick within MS proposes writing a new Office suite to deal directly w/ the simpler file formats
    4) The newly proposed Office suite is inherently simpler & therefore, more robust and has lower cost, the maverick says.
    5) The maverick got the OK -- as long as he writes the new Office suite in .NET -- lower dev cost & all.
    6) Right around Longhorn release, the maverick finishes Office.net and there is finally a reason to upgrade to Longhorn.

    OK, here's why I want a new Office. When I open Word, there are 1,000 UI elements staring me in the face when all I want to do was to type a note. Since Longhorn is all about visualization, how about some adaptive UI for the new Office? I'll thank you personally.
  • orcmidorcmid Orcmid as Apparition
    Scoble was very excited about the excitement around this announcement, and now I can see why.  

    As a document system and interoperability guy, I must admit this is very exciting.  I am particularly taken with the lessons learned from the last format change (to docfiles in Word 97) and the careful use of Zip as a packaging technology for hierarchical inclusion of content, components, and anything else you want to carry around (including the old format in the test version that Brian demonstrated).

    The retrofit of the new format all the way back to Offices 2000, XP, and 2003 is also heartwarming as a powerful move to sustain interoperable reach across generations of the application. 

    The document-management, content-management folk are not going to miss the value of this, and the comment about Sharepoint appeal is going to catch a lot of attention from those with ideas about other interoperable applications of distributed documents.

    This is goodness guys. 

    (I notice I comment like I am blogging, so now I'll go do that too.)

    Hip, hip, hooray! 
  • leighswordleighsword LeighSword
    Office 97 can open it? i am care about the compatibility and speed.
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    I believe you need Office 2000, Office 2003 and Office XP to be able to open up these new file formats.
  • MinhMinh WOOH!  WOOH!
    Also, I'm curious about licensing issues. Is it "open" as in free to read & write by all, or "open" as in the .GIF format is well-known, but you gotta pay Unisys if you want to use it. (I believe the patent has expired, but you get the gist).
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    Minh: I'll ask Brian and Jean for clarification, but  in the video he made it very clear that this is open as in free to read and write by all.
  • TDavidTDavid Learn more so you can earn more
    EXCELLENT? s.
  • cravikirancravikiran Ravi Chodavarapu
    Must add my excitement:

    Hurrah!! Really, this is awesome news.  Hopefully, people will take full advantage of this!  At any rate, this is very very cool!

    Big Smile Big Smile
  • leighswordleighsword LeighSword
    scobleizer wrote:
    I believe you need Office 2000, Office 2003 and Office XP to be able to open up these new file formats.

    yes, i still remember the Office 97 is able to open the new file formats of Office 2003(it's shocking), you know, our company is only able to makes a 2003 version app to open up a file formats of 97 verion.
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    Leighsword: not sure what your point is.

    Office 12 will still be able to open up Office 97 files and will still be able to save as the binary format that Office 97 will be able to open up.

    By the way, why haven't you upgraded? Office 2003 is a LOT better than Office 97.
  • leighswordleighsword LeighSword
    scobleizer wrote:
    Leighsword: not sure what your point is.

    Office 12 will still be able to open up Office 97 files and will still be able to save as the binary format that Office 97 will be able to open up.

    By the way, why haven't you upgraded? Office 2003 is a LOT better than Office 97.

    this is means that we as programmers need a convert tools for compatible with Office 97 and Office 12.

    i knew it, i used to a legal Office97 in company, and use a piratic Office2003 at home.
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    >this is means that we as programmers need a convert tools for compatible with Office 97 and Office 12.

    No, you just need to stick with the old binary file format if you need Office 97 compatibility. No converter needed.
  • Well this is quite nice. I'm guessing that means there's no technical reason for Office 12 not ship with support for ODF?

    But does it makes the given reasoning for MS not participating in the ODF design process seem all the more shallow.
  • leighswordleighsword LeighSword
    >> The extensions will change from .DOC, .XLS, .PPT to .DOCX, .XLSX, .PPTX.

    why not use .xml(or .msoffice) as unified file extension of Office(includes Word ,Excel,PowerPoint,etc).
    then we are able to open and edit the .xml  in the unified IDE(office , just like Visual Studio IDE ).
  • leighsword wrote:

    why not use .xml(or .msoffice) as unified file extension of Office(includes Word ,Excel,PowerPoint,etc).
    then we are able to open and edit the .xml  in the unified IDE(office , just like Visual Studio IDE ).


    That would defeat the point of filename extensions under Windows. VS is an IDE, yet there's absolutely no need for all the files it handles to have the same filename extension. It would be a nightmare for your average users to understand.
  • one word ...."WOW"
  • leighswordleighsword LeighSword
    Syphoon wrote:
    leighsword wrote:
    why not use .xml(or .msoffice) as unified file extension of Office(includes Word ,Excel,PowerPoint,etc).
    then we are able to open and edit the .xml  in the unified IDE(office , just like Visual Studio IDE ).


    That would defeat the point of filename extensions under Windows. VS is an IDE, yet there's absolutely no need for all the files it handles to have the same filename extension. It would be a nightmare for your average users to understand.

    just like the .sln(xml) file, users don't care about what is it(VC,VC#, Word, Excel), just need to double click for open up it.
    you also can use different Icons to distinguish the different .sln files .the Icon has the word signalment when use Word to export a .xml file,the Icon of file should be the Excel signalment when use Excel to export a .xml file, .
  • leighswordleighsword LeighSword
    scobleizer wrote:
    >this is means that we as programmers need a convert tools for compatible with Office 97 and Office 12.

    No, you just need to stick with the old binary file format if you need Office 97 compatibility. No converter needed.

    could you guys to provide a plug(or office sevice pack) for the older Office(97,2000,XP,2003) to directly open the new file format up?
  • eddwoeddwo Wheres my head at?
    If you have a Word document, and you embed part of a spreadsheet from Excel, while Word is running that sheet is an embedded Ole object.

    What happens when you save the document as docx? Does the excel object become a binary ole file inside the zip container, or does the object become an Excel xml referenced from the word xml file?
    How does Word know which embedded objects can be persisted as xml files rather than binary ole objects?
  • rjdohnertrjdohnert You will never know success until you know failure
    leighsword wrote:
    >> The extensions will change from .DOC, .XLS, .PPT to .DOCX, .XLSX, .PPTX.

    why not use .xml(or .msoffice) as unified file extension of Office(includes Word ,Excel,PowerPoint,etc).
    then we are able to open and edit the .xml  in the unified IDE(office , just like Visual Studio IDE ).


    Too long for an extension and too confusing for customers.  Adding an 'X" is probably the best thing to do at this time.
  • rjdohnertrjdohnert You will never know success until you know failure
    leighsword wrote:

    could you guys to provide a plug(or office sevice pack) for the older Office(97,2000,XP,2003) to directly open the new file format up?


    Scoble already said, Office 2000, Office XP, Office 2003.  Thats it.  No Office 97.
  • El BrunoEl Bruno El Bruno
    smaller files ??? YEAAAAHHH !!!!
    one default extentions for all files ??? ,,,, mmmm
    is a great idea, all the documents are "objects" and they are independent serialized objects in Xml format ... I like this a lot Big Smile

    Bye from Spain
    El Bruno
    http://spaces.msn.com/members/brunocapuano/
  • sbcsbc GW R/Me
    For the formats to be truly open, GPL software should be able to read and write them (without users having to agree to anything other than the GPL). Despite what people think of the GPL, it is a popular license and has wide adoptation in the open source world (far more so than BSD and similar licenses, which allow proprietary derivatives - thus giving less incentive for contribution to the code (i.e. take someone elses work and make money on it, while giving nothing back)).

    Edit:
    Why are the whitepapers in Word format? Surely they should be in PDF format?
  • rhmrhm
    This is really cool news. I esp. like the idea of not having to buy a new version of office to take advantage of this new format.

    Q. Are the formats going to be licence encumbered like the current (old) XML formats? I mean we have been able to look at XML from office for a while now, but to use the format you had to agree to all sorts of stuff that wasn't terribly attractive for the ISV.
  • This all sounds great but can anyone tell me how is this any different from how OpenOffice is handling files right now?

    Tom
  • figuerresfiguerres ???
    scobleizer wrote:
    I believe you need Office 2000, Office 2003 and Office XP to be able to open up these new file formats.


    Hey Scoble,

    why the link to Mary Jo Clueless?

    for example:

    http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1820607,00.asp

    she says that

    "Developers say there's a dirty little secret about Longhorn that few Softies are discussing publicly: Longhorn won't be based on the .Net Framework."

    and later in the same trash:

    "(Maybe Microsoft's revelation on Wednesday that the .Net Framework 2.0 beta is breaking applications has something to do with this? We're waiting for official word back from Microsoft.)"

    this is just one of many times where her facts and information are false, wrong, misquotes or in some way missing key information.

    I posted a reply to her "talkback" and I see it's gone.  I guess she did not care for my telling her she was wrong and that I could make up junk like that easy and that perhaps I should work there ....


    I don't have a problem with storys that ask questions or reveal facts .... but when it's a mess of bad quotes, half truths and guesswork it get's me Angry!

  • TomRaftery wrote:
    This all sounds great but can anyone tell me how is this any different from how OpenOffice is handling files right now?

    Tom


    I don't know - and really, no client that I know of has used open office, so I don't really care.
  • cravikirancravikiran Ravi Chodavarapu
    Yep, the big news here is that Microsoft Office is now going to use XML for its default file formats.  While OpenOffice might be doing it, its different when the dominant commercial suite's format starts doing it.
  • Kudos to the Office Team. They seem to have done some nice work here. Good to know that they are starting to open up and listen to community feedback.

    Would be nice to think this new openness will extend to whatever cool UI they put on Office 12. Be nice to be able to give our apps the same look and feel and save us all from reinventing the wheel. Smiley
  • In the 2003 XML formats, OLE objects were saved as binary objects.  In the new Open XML Formats, the OLE objects are saved as their native file format.  Therefore, when you open the .docx (for example) for a WOrd document with an embedded Visio diagram, you will find a Visio file inside.  This is really great for when you want to easily change the embeded content in a file (as part of a solution).  You can do it without opening the Office app.  (Note: This is not a recomemnded end-user scenario!!)
  • Here's a BIG question for me - the PST file format in Outlook. Is there any way that that'll move to PSTX? It'd be REALLY nice to be able to work with that from my applications which run on a webserver or J2EE process. Right now, it's a ROYAL pain to open up and work with such files. (i.e. impossible). Or, if not, is there any way to get access to the NON encrypted file format?
  • bofebofe OMGWTFBBQ
    +50 points for Jones' use of "if you started dicking around with it"
  • Is it just me or have we gone full circle?  This made me immediately think of the old school Word Perfect and their "reveal codes" function which let you fine tune the formatting with tags.
  • One thing I didn't understand was whether the docx format is the same a WordML that is used in Office 2003. Is it the same or are they updating it?

    Also, even though I'd imagine Office 12 is a little way off yet would MS consider releasing the updates for Office 2000, XP and 2003 earlier so that we can start building apps for it before Office 12 is released?
  • AndyD wrote:
    One thing I didn't understand was whether the docx format is the same a WordML that is used in Office 2003. Is it the same or are they updating it?


    It is an evolution (therefore mostly the same).  Clearly, it will be updated to incorporate new "Office 12" functionality.  Another type of change is structural - some of the features, such as document properties, that are common across all the applications or are a type of content that is likely to be manipulated on its own have been broken out into their own separate "part."  This'll make it easier to manipulate this type of information in a programmatic way in solutions.  The other change is that things like images and OLE objects are stored in their native binary form rather than as encoded XML, since we've heard from customers that this is the preferred way to work with these types of things. 

    I actually don't know what's going on regarding namespaces - we'll have to hear from Brian on this.  Regardless, "Office 12" will be able to read and write the Office 2003 XML as well, so solutions built today will continue to run.

  • AkainaAkaina C9 is cool, but /. has better karma.
    AWESOME NEWS!!!

    Wait! Stop the presses...

    Is this spec tangled with expensive patents?

    "Microsoft may have patents and/or patent applications that are necessary for you to license in order to make, sell, or distribute software programs that read or write files that comply with the Microsoft specifications for the Office Schemas."

    That one question will determine if there is cause for celebration.
  • TomasDemlTomasDeml Run Chiro, Run!
    mc717990 wrote:
    Here's a BIG question for me - the PST file format in Outlook. Is there any way that that'll move to PSTX? It'd be REALLY nice to be able to work with that from my applications which run on a webserver or J2EE process. Right now, it's a ROYAL pain to open up and work with such files. (i.e. impossible). Or, if not, is there any way to get access to the NON encrypted file format?


    Yeah, he's got a point, what about PST XML files?
  • Akaina wrote:
    Stop the presses...

    Is this spec tangled with expensive patents?

    "Microsoft may have patents and/or patent applications that are necessary for you to license in order to make, sell, or distribute software programs that read or write files that comply with the Microsoft specifications for the Office Schemas."

    But you have to keep reading. Smiley  That's just the intro - the rest of that section gives you the royalty free license to those patents for reading and writing files in the XML formats.  Keep the presses rolling ...
  • LwatsonLwatson One ugly mug...
    Its about time....

    Finally a format that I can leverage directly without COM control of an installed OFFICE application. Our Grid control will finally be able to write to an Excel file directly. Our letter managers will be able to do the document creation from Word teemplates without having to COM interop on word thus avoiding all the mess that is Com interop with version differences and different default conditions in one installation over another and what not...

    Kudos Microsoft for finally listening...

    Let the countdown begin....

    T minus 1.5 years and counting.... sigh....
  • MauritsMaurits AKA Matthew van Eerde
    TomasDeml wrote:
    Yeah, he's got a point, what about PST XML files?


    Um... please, no... XML is many things, but space-efficient it is not.
    How about ditching .pst files and using a SQL backend for local Outlook storage instead?
  • MauritsMaurits AKA Matthew van Eerde
    JoeShak wrote:
    Akaina wrote:Stop the presses...

    Is this spec tangled with expensive patents?

    "Microsoft may have patents and/or patent applications that are necessary for you to license in order to make, sell, or distribute software programs that read or write files that comply with the Microsoft specifications for the Office Schemas."

    But you have to keep reading.   That's just the intro - the rest of that section gives you the royalty free license to those patents for reading and writing files in the XML formats.  Keep the presses rolling ...


    Let me make sure I'm interpreting this correctly.

    If I want to write a utility that converts (say) PowerPoint .pptx files into a series of static HTML pages... then do I have to license the patent or not?

    What if I want to sell the utility?
  • Maurits wrote:
    If I want to write a utility that converts (say) PowerPoint .pptx files into a series of static HTML pages... then do I have to license the patent or not?

    What if I want to sell the utility?


    That page is the license; by reading it you have the license.  So yes, you can freely write (and sell) that utility without asking Microsoft or signing anything anywhere. You can even do that today with the Word and Excel 2003 XML formats.
  • Andre Da CostaAndre Da Costa Created with PhotoDraw 2000 V2

    What about Access and Publisher? No .mdbx or .pubx?

  • rhmrhm
    Andre Da Costa wrote:

    What about Access and Publisher? No .mdbx or .pubx?



    Access and Outlook's PST are database formats (i.e. the whole point is that you can add and remove data from them and search them quickly) so it wouldn't make any sense to turn them into XML-zips.

    As for outlook using SQL Server locally, that would be cool from a geek point of view, but the fact that it doesn't exposes a real flaw with Microsoft's SQL Server embedded strategy. Although SSExpress is pretty lightweight, it's still an out-of-process server and another dependency that has to be installed for a given app to work. If MS made a version of SQL Server that was literally just a DLL you could link with your app, then applications like Outlook could use it. They should take a look at VistaDB.
  • MinhMinh WOOH!  WOOH!
    I'm a bit curious about what Brian said about if the transmission of a doc stops in the middle, you can still get a the content. Since the container is a ZIP file, I know that WinZip wouldn't be able to open up a corrupted ZIP. So, I'm wondering if you made your ZIP loader a bit more robust to be able to handle incomplete files.
  • figuerresfiguerres ???
    Minh wrote:
    I'm a bit curious about what Brian said about if the transmission of a doc stops in the middle, you can still get a the content. Since the container is a ZIP file, I know that WinZip wouldn't be able to open up a corrupted ZIP. So, I'm wondering if you made your ZIP loader a bit more robust to be able to handle incomplete files.


    Good QUestion!

    in fact in a "Standard" zip file the end of the file is where the "Directory" is stored so if you have half a file then you have no list of files to expand... there are tools that can scan a zip and determine some of the data though... it's been a while since I had to fix a bad zip.

  • Hmm, I'd argue that it's not that hard to append to an XML file or do similar techniques. Access, perhaps it's not as easy, although there, I'd almost say make use of the OS X style system where you have a directory as the file, then in that directory subfolders for things like tables, code, views, reports, etc. It makes it far more flexible, allows easy searching, catalogging, etc. Further, you could then zip the directory up, and call it mdbx. As for speed - XML isn't fast at all. Straight text is generally much quicker, but neither case is slow, particularly if you're using indexes properly in a database. SO, having a PSTX or MDBX file format shouldn't be all that slow. Further, with regards to removing data, outlook pst files themselves have that problem already, where removing emails/deleting things doesn't necessarily compact down a PST file - it's an issue I've seen quite a bit. An XML file format would work FAR better, in my view, and make interoperability far easier. Yes, SQL Server or some other system might be ok for it's main interface, but I'd almost argue at that point to make an ODBC database connection to whatever it's going to use instead, and that doesn't necessarily help with large storage, easy access, etc. XML PST file? Please? Or, a PST to XML converter??? I could live with that, although not happily - a native XML file format I could use and then script calendar additions into would ROCK.
  • First, THANK YOU THANK YOU for the new file extentions and the 2k/XP/2k3 compatibility. This is something I ranted at over a year ago
    (http://www.tallent.us/blog/CommentView.aspx?guid=5990589a-fe83-48af-bbcd-fbe6cbe74b06)
    , and I *still* can't add ExcelML to my apps because of clients and even employees not yet using Office 2003. Giving outdated Office users a path for backwards compatibility will remove developer worries about moving forward with these formats.

    A few questions:

    1. Can we still load *uncompressed* XML files if there is no need for an archive? When they saves, will they retain their uncompressed state if nothing is embedded that requires enclosure?

    2. Why Zip files? Obviously decent compression, but why not one of the XML-based schemas for XML and binary enclosures, (e.g., Echo/RSS)?
    I just RTA, found the answer...

    3. Will Office VBA developers have direct access to the XML DOM? That would be *sweet*.

    4. Will the Excel ODBC driver be updated to work with these XLSX files natively? If so, will the 255-character ROWSCAN truncation issue be resolved?

    5. Will an entire Excel workbook be considered a single XML file as before, or will worksheets be stored as separate XML files? (my vote is for the same single-file format, FWIW). Nevermind, found the answer in the article...

    6. For PowerPoint, I would love to see the opposite: separate files for each slide, allowing easy programmatic means of compiling presentations from libraries of "best practice" slides. PPT is actually the most exciting prospect of the three to be able to access via ZIP code.

    7. For Word forms, where will current form data be stored? In a separate file like Acrobat's XFDF?

    8. For secure files, which ZIP encryption standard will you be employing, if any? The WinZip method or the PKZip method? I seem to remember that there was some patent frap about this a few years ago...

    9. While you are at it, any built-in support for SVG in any of the applications?
  • Can the Ink Serialization Format (for Tablet PC) be opened too?
  • mydigitalselfmydigitalse​lf chamonix + st anton this year
    Quite interesting in that OpenOffice.org's file format is pretty much identical - ZIP file that supports multiple artifacts such as images, xml streams.

    You guys been learning from people who choose not to patent?
  • JoeShak wrote:
    Maurits wrote: If I want to write a utility that converts (say) PowerPoint .pptx files into a series of static HTML pages... then do I have to license the patent or not?

    What if I want to sell the utility?


    That page is the license; by reading it you have the license.  So yes, you can freely write (and sell) that utility without asking Microsoft or signing anything anywhere. You can even do that today with the Word and Excel 2003 XML formats.


    This is PATENTLY UNTRUE.  Read the page again.

    You need to include the following language in your products (prominantly displayed in both the license and documentation):

    "This product may incorporate intellectual property owned by Microsoft Corporation. The terms and conditions upon which Microsoft is licensing such intellectual property may be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/odcXMLRef/html/odcXMLRefLegalNotice.asp."


    Simply reading the notices is NOT sufficient.
  • For Microsoft to get me to put my information in "office" format, two free tools are needed.

    a) A stand alone diff tool, that can be driven from the command line as well as the GUI.  This would let me put office documents in a source code control and still track changes people make.

    b) A asp.net tools that “renders” the document in such as way as ALL web users can read it. 

    i) If the use has office 2006 installed, send it back as is

    ii) If they have an older version of office without the new converter installed, then convert to “doc” format on the web server and sent it back.

    ??) If they have open office, send it back in that format!
    iii) If they can cope with PDF, sent it as a PDF

    iv) otherwise convert to HTML

    This would allow me to use office format on a companies document management system, and know that ALL users could read the documents.

    Ian Ringrose
    www.ringrose.name <- email on web site

  • LarryOsterman wrote:
    This is PATENTLY UNTRUE.  Read the page again.

    You need to include the following language in your products (prominantly displayed in both the license and documentation):

    "This product may incorporate intellectual property owned by Microsoft Corporation. The terms and conditions upon which Microsoft is licensing such intellectual property may be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/odcXMLRef/html/odcXMLRefLegalNotice.asp."


    Simply reading the notices is NOT sufficient.


    Absolutely - I stand corrected.  Sorry for the confusion!  I am not a lawyer and should not be trying to interpret legalese. Smiley  Nonetheless, it's still relatively painless, royalty free and you don't have to sign a contract with Microsoft.
  • LwatsonLwatson One ugly mug...
    JoeShak wrote:
    LarryOsterman wrote:This is PATENTLY UNTRUE.  Read the page again.

    You need to include the following language in your products (prominantly displayed in both the license and documentation):

    "This product may incorporate intellectual property owned by Microsoft Corporation. The terms and conditions upon which Microsoft is licensing such intellectual property may be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/odcXMLRef/html/odcXMLRefLegalNotice.asp."


    Simply reading the notices is NOT sufficient.


    Absolutely - I stand corrected.  Sorry for the confusion!  I am not a lawyer and should not be trying to interpret legalese.   Nonetheless, it's still relatively painless, royalty free and you don't have to sign a contract with Microsoft.


    But can't that be said of any application that is written in .NET and runs on Windows anything?


  • Lwatson wrote:
    But can't that be said of any application that is written in .NET and runs on Windows anything?




    Not sure what your point is.  For those wanting more clarity around the licensing, the following page is very good: http://www.microsoft.com/Office/xml/faq.mspx
  • JoeShak wrote:
    LarryOsterman wrote: This is PATENTLY UNTRUE.  Read the page again.

    You need to include the following language in your products (prominantly displayed in both the license and documentation):

    "This product may incorporate intellectual property owned by Microsoft Corporation. The terms and conditions upon which Microsoft is licensing such intellectual property may be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/odcXMLRef/html/odcXMLRefLegalNotice.asp."


    Simply reading the notices is NOT sufficient.


    Absolutely - I stand corrected.  Sorry for the confusion!  I am not a lawyer and should not be trying to interpret legalese.   Nonetheless, it's still relatively painless, royalty free and you don't have to sign a contract with Microsoft.


    Hey, I was just feeling trollish this morning Smiley 

    Btw, the /. crowd is complaining that this license is too restrictive (since it apparently includes language that allows Microsoft to revoke the license if you sue Microsoft).
  • I think that legal document is for Office 2003's formats, which are completely different.
  • I'm hoping that the read and write xml possiblities will be extended to the Mac products. 99% Mac school district. Peter Zingg Technology Coordinator Kentfield School District
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    gnatware: yes, the Mac Office will support the XML formats as well. Here are more details: http://blogs.msdn.com/rick_schaut/archive/2005/06/01/424086.aspx
  • Looks like the news made Slashdot ~ I was the person wino Submitted it. response so far. seems mixes. oof! 008 o!! is $ $ ox ! but don't believe that the format will be truly "open''/ not Patent encumbered. -Briar
  • jcwelchjcwelch The Mad Monk of Missouri
    sbc wrote:
    For the formats to be truly open, GPL software should be able to read and write them (without users having to agree to anything other than the GPL). Despite what people think of the GPL, it is a popular license and has wide adoptation in the open source world (far more so than BSD and similar licenses, which allow proprietary derivatives - thus giving less incentive for contribution to the code (i.e. take someone elses work and make money on it, while giving nothing back)).

    As Jordan Hubbard, one of the main *BSD folks says:

    The GPL is not something we really considered to be a license so much as a political manifesto, and speaking purely for myself, I prefer to keep my license agreements and my politics separate. I feel that code which isn't being used in a situation where it COULD be used is code which isn't achieving its full potential and the GPL scares a lot of potential users away, which is simply counter-productive in my opinion. I don't care whether or not the users give their changes back to me, that's just an added bonus if it happens and nothing I'd want to try and enforce at the point of a gun.

    Forcing people to give code back is a limitation on how you use the original code, and is no more or less onerous than any other license agreement. BSD is still, and always has been more open and more free than the GPL, and is a much better license for those who aren't sure what they plan on doing with their code.

    john
  • eddwo - We have a mechanism where we look at the the object being persisted and see if it we should be using an iStorage as the persistance format or if it uses the ZIP archives (it's obviously a bit more complex than that, but that's how it generally works). We also see if we can find the content type and extension associated with that object, and we use all that information to determine how to store it in the zip container.
    So, if you have an Excel file embedded in a Word document, you could crack open that Word document and you would find a .xslx file. You could then crack that Excel file open too if you wanted and see what it has embedded.
  • jcwelchjcwelch The Mad Monk of Missouri
    JoeShak wrote:
    In the 2003 XML formats, OLE objects were saved as binary objects.  In the new Open XML Formats, the OLE objects are saved as their native file format.  Therefore, when you open the .docx (for example) for a WOrd document with an embedded Visio diagram, you will find a Visio file inside.  This is really great for when you want to easily change the embeded content in a file (as part of a solution).  You can do it without opening the Office app.  (Note: This is not a recomemnded end-user scenario!!)

    But it is great when you aren't using that document on Windows. (this does happen, shocking but true.)
  • jcwelchjcwelch The Mad Monk of Missouri
    Andre Da Costa wrote:

    What about Access and Publisher? No .mdbx or .pubx?


    Yeah...Publisher writing to a file that InDesign could easily import and make proper use of wouldn't suck, although at least now, i have a chance of ridding my company of Publisher, which is truly an abomination of a publishing application.
  • DouglasHDouglasH Just Causual
    Kinda makes you wonder how the Office formats relate to Metro and the Avalon Document apis.

    Metro is closer to that All in One file format. as it is a PDL and Persistance format (metro reach) and a printer Spool all in one.

    The Document API takes into account a Container (metro uses zip also) and document manipulations. although it does to appear to lose some of the fidality, (print to metro from PPT appears to lose the round trip without massive xslt work)

    Since Metro will work with the new font engine in Avalon, any chance that O12 will have access to use the new open type features that Avalon documents will support??

    Douglas
  • bsoft wrote:
    Looks like the news made Slashdot ~ I was the person wino Submitted it. response so far. seems mixes.  but don't believe that the format will be truly "open''/ not Patent encumbered. -Briar " />


    Frankly I don't think that (and I really hope they didn't) make this change to placate the open source crowd with a sort of "me too" type of thing.

    I hope that this is a considered move on microsoft's part to make it eaiser for ISV's such as myself to interact with office documents so that I and other microsoft customers/partners can make more money selling "Proprietary"  office solutions.
  • Chris PietschmannCRPietschma​nn Chris Pietschmann
    The new file format is actually enclosed in a ZIP file. Change the extension name to .ZIP and you'll be able to double-click and get access to all the pieces of the new format (Brian in his demo shows what it looks like).


    This is what Open Office does.
  • The gratitude displayed here makes me sick.

    My reaction is more: "Finally, you goddam M#()$ F_#@ers..."

    I've always wondered how we delude ourselves that we live in the Information Age when that information is locked up by some rich c&$*s in America. F#$& you.

    Go ahead and censor this.

  • Yayyy!!! This is fantastic news. I can't find any downside to it what so ever!
  • rasxrasx Emperor of String.Empty
    Great news: the file format reminds me of the CAB format in InfoPath templates. Great to finally hear from Office people!

    However, there were no answers about Microsoft providing XSL transforms into DocBook or XHTML---third parties have to write their own (and the Office schemas "keep changing").
  • DouglasHDouglasH Just Causual
    Speaking of Docbook,

    Although it would be nice to support the format that was designed for Technical documents natively in Office. It would be nice to see the Book format in Office completely overhauled so that it works

    Especially with distributed writing resposibilities.

    perhaps a .bookx format With a top level container that contains the outline of the book. and references the actual Docx files that relate to the chapters.

    Although I havent tried the compound document platform in 2k3, I know in 97, 2k, and XP it was almost unbearable to work with at times. especailly when multiple writers were involved. 

    douglas
  • Office 12 is definetly looking pretty cool so far. There's a lot more to come.
  • rhm wrote:
    If MS made a version of SQL Server that was literally just a DLL you could link with your app, then applications like Outlook could use it. They should take a look at VistaDB.

    Isn't that similiar to IE? Just MSHTML DLL that apps link to?

    If it is, I'm getting spooky sense of deja vu.
  • buggy123 wrote:
    The gratitude displayed here makes me sick.

    My reaction is more: "Finally, you goddam M#()$ F_#@ers..."

    I've always wondered how we delude ourselves that we live in the Information Age when that information is locked up by some rich c&$*s in America. F#$& you.

    Go ahead and censor this.


    Got to love the Slashdotters.


    Also, you make me sick.
  • buggy123 wrote:
    The gratitude displayed here makes me sick.

    Exactly! Though I'll not bring myself to express in this manner.

  • sbcsbc GW R/Me
    jcwelch wrote:
    sbc wrote:For the formats to be truly open, GPL software should be able to read and write them (without users having to agree to anything other than the GPL). Despite what people think of the GPL, it is a popular license and has wide adoptation in the open source world (far more so than BSD and similar licenses, which allow proprietary derivatives - thus giving less incentive for contribution to the code (i.e. take someone elses work and make money on it, while giving nothing back)).

    As Jordan Hubbard, one of the main *BSD folks says:

    The GPL is not something we really considered to be a license so much as a political manifesto, and speaking purely for myself, I prefer to keep my license agreements and my politics separate. I feel that code which isn't being used in a situation where it COULD be used is code which isn't achieving its full potential and the GPL scares a lot of potential users away, which is simply counter-productive in my opinion. I don't care whether or not the users give their changes back to me, that's just an added bonus if it happens and nothing I'd want to try and enforce at the point of a gun.

    Forcing people to give code back is a limitation on how you use the original code, and is no more or less onerous than any other license agreement. BSD is still, and always has been more open and more free than the GPL, and is a much better license for those who aren't sure what they plan on doing with their code.

    john

    Then why are there more GPL projects than BSD? Source: http://sourceforge.net/softwaremap/trove_list.php?form_cat=14
    Top 3 licenses:
    GPL - 44129, LGPL - 7210, BSD - 4617

    I find it a bit of a surprise that there are licenses that have no projects. I would expect at least one (from the license writer) - although the files could be hosted somewhere else.

    BSD benefits those that want to take someones work and give nothing back in return (or they want to release freeware, as they have some code that may be valuable for them - i.e. used in future products, or licensed to other). Although for small, simple projects BSD may be worth it (i.e. something you have written in a couple of hours). The authors of a license will always say theres is superior, but different licenses are needed for different software.

    BSD is good for commercial entities, but when you use the GPL, software can evolve more rapidly, as changes have to be made available.

    Can you work around the GPL by writing a 'wrapper' library and using the LGPL? Perhaps if that is not enough do a wrapper of the wrapper with a BSD license.
  • jcwelchjcwelch The Mad Monk of Missouri
    sbc wrote:
    jcwelch wrote:
    sbc wrote:For the formats to be truly open, GPL software should be able to read and write them (without users having to agree to anything other than the GPL). Despite what people think of the GPL, it is a popular license and has wide adoptation in the open source world (far more so than BSD and similar licenses, which allow proprietary derivatives - thus giving less incentive for contribution to the code (i.e. take someone elses work and make money on it, while giving nothing back)).

    As Jordan Hubbard, one of the main *BSD folks says:

    The GPL is not something we really considered to be a license so much as a political manifesto, and speaking purely for myself, I prefer to keep my license agreements and my politics separate. I feel that code which isn't being used in a situation where it COULD be used is code which isn't achieving its full potential and the GPL scares a lot of potential users away, which is simply counter-productive in my opinion. I don't care whether or not the users give their changes back to me, that's just an added bonus if it happens and nothing I'd want to try and enforce at the point of a gun.

    Forcing people to give code back is a limitation on how you use the original code, and is no more or less onerous than any other license agreement. BSD is still, and always has been more open and more free than the GPL, and is a much better license for those who aren't sure what they plan on doing with their code.

    john

    Then why are there more GPL projects than BSD? Source: http://sourceforge.net/softwaremap/trove_list.php?form_cat=14
    Top 3 licenses:
    GPL - 44129, LGPL - 7210, BSD - 4617

    If you want to go by numbers, I imagine that "no license" and "Pay me and get no source at all" trounce all the open source licenses combined.

    There's also the wee issue of some lawsuit by AT&T that kept BSD rather occupied for a number of years.

    sbc wrote:

    BSD benefits those that want to take someones work and give nothing back in return (or they want to release freeware, as they have some code that may be valuable for them - i.e. used in future products, or licensed to other). Although for small, simple projects BSD may be worth it (i.e. something you have written in a couple of hours). The authors of a license will always say theres is superior, but different licenses are needed for different software.

    Conversely, BSD benefits those who don't like overly restrictive copyrights and just want the code to be out there. Some of us have better things to do with our time than treat users of our code as criminals from the get-go by forcing them to do the right thing. 

    sbc wrote:

    BSD is good for commercial entities, but when you use the GPL, software can evolve more rapidly, as changes have to be made available.

    There's nothing in the GPL that guarantees faster development. If it did, HURD would be more than Richard Stallman's attempt to have done something useful in the last decade or so that didn't involve political arguing and turning software into a moral battleground. I'd say that Apple has done some pretty good stuff with BSD licensed software and at a pretty good clip too. They couldn't have done most of it if BSD was 100% GPL'd.

    sbc wrote:

    Can you work around the GPL by writing a 'wrapper' library and using the LGPL? Perhaps if that is not enough do a wrapper of the wrapper with a BSD license.

    Ah, the infamous "GPL Condom". Yeah...that's a great idea....create multiple barriers so that your work isn't infected by the GPL. By doing that, you do show, however that the GPL isn't the great guarantee of "WE WILL MAKE YOU GIVE US YOUR SOURCE" that you think it is. In the end, for a business, the BSD license is simpler, and gives the people writing the code a choice in what to do with it. Last I heard, choice is good, and forcing someone to do something isn't choice at all.
  • richardtallent wrote:

    3. Will Office VBA developers have direct access to the XML DOM? That would be *sweet*.


    I agree with this sentiment, once a document is loaded into Word, for example, I'd rather manipulte the XML, much more powerful than using the old API because frankly the API doesn't do stuff that I would like it too (for example inserting a subdocument between two other subdocuments).
  • LwatsonLwatson One ugly mug...
    JoeShak wrote:


    Not sure what your point is.  For those wanting more clarity around the licensing, the following page is very good: http://www.microsoft.com/Office/xml/faq.mspx


    Actually that page points to the Old Office 2003 XML FAQ. Anything about the new stuff has yet to be made fully public. If we assume that things stay more or less the same, then My original assertion remains. Most anything we chose to write in .NET may use Microsoft Patented Code. If the application is running on windows it may use Microsoft Patented Code. Thats is all....


  • TaskerrTaskerr This ones a Gem!
    This has to be a good move!  Outside of XML is this a philosophical return to Wordperfect/Wordstar?  These technologies had the equivalent of tags surrounding text.

    It will make the document's content technology proof given that Office has such a wide customer base.

    Long-term storage of documents/data is becoming a problem as they are tied to the version of an application.  The change from O97 to O2000 is a case in point. Documents may have to be kept for 30 years or more.

    A rule of thumb has always been to save the info in ASCII format.  However, given that the new docs will be compressed it seems that bit 8 is still alive.

    In this respect One assumes that the zip format in use is not propriety and will still be available in 30 years time.

    Who cares, I hear you say!

    Well, it could be information relating to your mortgage; the one that you pass down to your children. 


  • sbcsbc GW R/Me
    jcwelch wrote:
    If you want to go by numbers, I imagine that "no license" and "Pay me and get no source at all" trounce all the open source licenses combined.

    There's also the wee issue of some lawsuit by AT&T that kept BSD rather occupied for a number of years.

    Still shows out of all the open source licenses, GPL is far more popular.
    The GPL is probably most popular with Universities and non-profits who cannot afford proprietary software.

    When was that lawsuit?
    jcwelch wrote:

    Conversely, BSD benefits those who don't like overly restrictive copyrights and just want the code to be out there. Some of us have better things to do with our time than treat users of our code as criminals from the get-go by forcing them to do the right thing.

    BSD is probably better for those that want to make money on software, but for those that sell services and support, the GPL might be better. After all you still need people to write the code. Like what RedHat does with its distribution. Linux is more rapidly developed than FreeBSD, so developers do write more GPL code than BSD, just not developers for major software development companies.

    RedHat may spend months on developing it and then it gets released and people create alternatives based on it for free. It appreciates that it may lost some customers due to this, but someone may come along and add features that are benefitial to everyone. That may end up with gaining them more customers as they would want support and far more prompt updates (with derivitives updates may be a day or two later).

    The ones that may actually add the new features may be some that would not use there software otherwise.
    jcwelch wrote:

    There's nothing in the GPL that guarantees faster development. If it did, HURD would be more than Richard Stallman's attempt to have done something useful in the last decade or so that didn't involve political arguing and turning software into a moral battleground. I'd say that Apple has done some pretty good stuff with BSD licensed software and at a pretty good clip too. They couldn't have done most of it if BSD was 100% GPL'd.

    No license can guarantee fast development. But if Linux was not released under the GPL (i.e. under a BSD license instead), it would not be where it is today. Didn't BSD get released before Linux? Yet there are only three major distributions I know of (FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD). I'm sure there are more, but nowhere near as many as those based on Linux.

    Surely there are more Linux users than Apple MacOSX users? They have done a good job, but I suspect RedHat or SuSE have greater market share.
    jcwelch wrote:

    Ah, the infamous "GPL Condom". Yeah...that's a great idea....create multiple barriers so that your work isn't infected by the GPL. By doing that, you do show, however that the GPL isn't the great guarantee of "WE WILL MAKE YOU GIVE US YOUR SOURCE" that you think it is. In the end, for a business, the BSD license is simpler, and gives the people writing the code a choice in what to do with it. Last I heard, choice is good, and forcing someone to do something isn't choice at all.

    Yes you do need choice. BSD is good for some, GPL is good for others.

    Anyone who wants to write an application either has to write it from scratch, use BSD code or use GPL code or another license. The difference with GPL software is that it can only really get better - as if you add improvements, other people have to have them as well. People shouldn't complain about the GPL - the only reason to do so is if there is similar software to what they do, only yours is not free. You do not have to use GPL code - it just means you may need to do more work.

    What will customers choose? Often the free alternative. Unless you can offer better value through services and support.

    MySQL and RedHat have proved that you can build a business on open source. The major powers on the internet use open source (not just GPL licensed, but BSD and others) - Google, Yahoo, Amazon. ASP.NET and Coldfusion seem to be the only platforms that compete with the open source alternatives (PHP, Perl).



    Back on topic. I don't feel that any license that Microsoft comes out will appease GPL developers. Perhaps when the next version of the GPL is out it might be possible.

    At the moment, the only real alternative to Microsoft Office (Open Office) is under the GPL license so I don't see it supporting this new format, unless the filters used are not governed by it. I could imagine users requiring Star Office to open these formats though as Sun is the main one behind OpenOffice.
  • mydigitalselfmydigitalse​lf chamonix + st anton this year
    I believe this is possible with Office 2003 today, certainly in Word and XLS - even if the document is in DOC format, you can query the DOM using XPATH.

    AndyD wrote:
    richardtallent wrote:
    3. Will Office VBA developers have direct access to the XML DOM? That would be *sweet*.


    I agree with this sentiment, once a document is loaded into Word, for example, I'd rather manipulte the XML, much more powerful than using the old API because frankly the API doesn't do stuff that I would like it too (for example inserting a subdocument between two other subdocuments).
  • DouglasH wrote:
    Kinda makes you wonder how the Office formats relate to Metro and the Avalon Document apis.


    The Office Open XML Formats use the same ZIP/XML conventions that Metro uses.  So, you can use System.IO.Packaging in the WinFX SDK to open and manipulate the format.  In fact, we'll be showing this at our TechEd session next week.

    Now, the content is clearly different as Metro is a fixed file format whereas the Office Open XML Formats are for the rich document information needed for manipulating Office documents in a collaborative environment which includes, display, metadata, change revisions, comments, etc... 
  • rasx wrote:
    However, there were no answers about Microsoft providing XSL transforms into DocBook or XHTML---third parties have to write their own (and the Office schemas "keep changing").


    We will clearly provide tools and help to developers who want to work with files in these formats.  It's just a bit too early to be able to give specifics.  With the Office 2003 schemas we have already shipped a transform to HTML for Word in the Word Viewer. Simply install it, and you can find the XSL in the Office directory in the program files tree.

    DocBook is an interesting thing, being a combination of data elements and display XML.  A straight transform wouldn't be possible unless you gave the user a way to define the data-aspects of it as well.
  • What's the story with VBA and VSTO customisations?

    For development, will we be able to store the xml and VBA inside it in plain text, so we can easily use source-code control, merging changes etc?

    For production, will we be able to protect the file, such that the VBA code can't be viewed?

    Will we be able to store VSTO assemblies in the file, so they can be distributed much more easily than at present?

    Will I be able to digitally sign parts of the xml file, use DRM on bits of it etc?

  • Tom ServoTom Servo W-hat?
    There's a rumor going around that there'll be preview code of the new file format for Office 2K to 2003. Confirm/Deny?
  • Lwatson wrote:
    JoeShak wrote:


    Not sure what your point is.  For those wanting more clarity around the licensing, the following page is very good: http://www.microsoft.com/Office/xml/faq.mspx


    Actually that page points to the Old Office 2003 XML FAQ. Anything about the new stuff has yet to be made fully public.


    The new stuff will abide by the same terms as the old stuff.  We worked closely with a number of customers and governments to ensure the terms met their bars for openness; we don't see a reason to change them.
  • Tom Servo wrote:
    There's a rumor going around that there'll be preview code of the new file format for Office 2K to 2003. Confirm/Deny?


    What do you mean by 'preview code?'  We will release patches that allow versions back to and including Office 2000 to read and write files in the new format.
  • Microsoft should create a lot more formats like this, space saving is always a plus. Although this new format is not limited only to a space saving advtange, this format is just wonderful sounding!
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...
    Wow.  That just makes so much sense in so many ways.  Great job MS!  Just the ability to carry around my own metadata/data inside the files brings up all kinds of new options.  Robert, a 30-45 min tutorial on xml would be great as you mentioned.  Get the XML co-creator at MS to do it Smiley
  • Stephen Bullen wrote:

    What's the story with VBA and VSTO customisations?

    For development, will we be able to store the xml and VBA inside it in plain text, so we can easily use source-code control, merging changes etc?

    For production, will we be able to protect the file, such that the VBA code can't be viewed?

    Will we be able to store VSTO assemblies in the file, so they can be distributed much more easily than at present?

    Will I be able to digitally sign parts of the xml file, use DRM on bits of it etc?



    Hey Stephen, I answered a few of these questions back on my blog.

    You have access to each part since it's just ZIP, so if you wanted you could sign and/or encrypt each part. We aren't going to have any built in functionality though for that level of granularity from directly within Office though. It would need to be part of a seperate solution.

    -Brian
  • Tom ServoTom Servo W-hat?
    JoeShak wrote:
    What do you mean by 'preview code?'  We will release patches that allow versions back to and including Office 2000 to read and write files in the new format.

    People telling so called it preview and referred an URL to Microsoft containing "preview". That's why I said preview.

    So, are you releasing these patches on Monday? Or is that just rumors someone spawned?
  • leighswordleighsword LeighSword
    JoeShak wrote:
    DouglasH wrote:Kinda makes you wonder how the Office formats relate to Metro and the Avalon Document apis.


    The Office Open XML Formats use the same ZIP/XML conventions that Metro uses.  So, you can use System.IO.Packaging in the WinFX SDK to open and manipulate the format.  In fact, we'll be showing this at our TechEd session next week.
     

    to open the new Office12 file formats up directly, no more .net framework and WinFX.

    http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=73924

  • Deactivated UserDeactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • MauritsMaurits AKA Matthew van Eerde
    Winston Pang wrote:
    Excuse my ignorance, but, if it's going to be a open file format. What about if the file is to be password protected? And what happens about sensitive data inside the documents?


    Presumably the interior of the document is encrypted.
  • Tom Servo wrote:
    JoeShak wrote: What do you mean by 'preview code?'  We will release patches that allow versions back to and including Office 2000 to read and write files in the new format.

    People telling so called it preview and referred an URL to Microsoft containing "preview". That's why I said preview.

    So, are you releasing these patches on Monday? Or is that just rumors someone spawned?

    Probably a misinterpretation.  We have a 'preview Web site' we just put up: http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/  It doesn't have much on it now, but it does give you a way to sign up to receive notices of future information.  We wouldn't release any patches outside of a formal beta because it all needs to work together.
  • Winston Pang wrote:
    Excuse my ignorance, but, if it's going to be a open file format. What about if the file is to be password protected? And what happens about sensitive data inside the documents?

    There are a number of types of protections that can be applied; we will do the appropriate thing for each case.  When you really want to control what people can do with content, you would use something like Rights Management.  When you do this, the document is encrypted - it needs to be that way in order to enforce the rights.  Sorry, no easy XML access.  If you're using something lightweight like range locking in Word 2003, where the purpose is to create a more robust template or solution in order to help protect honest end users from messing up, the password is encrypted but everything else is in XML.  This could be opened up and abused through XML, but then that feature is not intended for high security.  There's a range of options between these, depending on the intended use of the feature.  (I can see that we should document all these types of cases somewhere ... thanks.)
  • Tom ServoTom Servo W-hat?
    JoeShak wrote:
    The Office Open XML Formats use the same ZIP/XML conventions that Metro uses.  So, you can use System.IO.Packaging in the WinFX SDK to open and manipulate the format.  In fact, we'll be showing this at our TechEd session next week.

    So a CompoundFileContainer generates basically a ZIP file?

    --edit: Nevermind, in the Beta1 RC it has been renamed to ZipPackage. Question answered.
  • Just watched this....and it's like GREAT
    Windows is getting inspired by Linux....weeee...lol
  • MovGP0MovGP0 BuckyBall
    eddwo wrote:
    If you have a Word document, and you embed part of a spreadsheet from Excel, while Word is running that sheet is an embedded Ole object.

    What happens when you save the document as docx? Does the excel object become a binary ole file inside the zip container, or does the object become an Excel xml referenced from the word xml file?
    How does Word know which embedded objects can be persisted as xml files rather than binary ole objects?

    Interesting Question. The ideal case would be the later.
    The Answer is do not using OLE but .Net and XML where possible. When you have the ability to see  Office as a single Program and Word, Excel, etc. are only Plugins it should not be a real Rocket Science (but even a lot of work).
    -- Ok, I truly have no idea how the next office will implement this.

    But I think there is a lack of innovation because some of the Ideas from OLE arent realized until today.

    In an ideal case u have only one program (Windows) and file-format (XML). Accordingly to the unix idea everything-is-a-file there should be an everything-is-a-XML-element mentology. And so u can begin make the whole filesystem as an (virtual) single XML-File. Instead of filetypes there could be used the XML-Namespace.
    -- I think something like this is the idea behind WinFS.

    If the "Main Program" Windows opens an File (XML-Section with an special file-namespace in the Analogy) it should look in the registry with program is registered for the given Filetype (namespace). The Program is then started with is then responsible for loading and handling the file (section).

    When the program (ie. Word) is up and the file (ie. .docx) contains a namespace the program can't handle by itself (ie. a .xlsx subsection) the program witch is registered is loaded and used for handling it.
    -- Instead of inline-XML-data there could also be a XLink and/or XInclude

    The presentation and handling of the section works mostly like OLE in the current aproach.

    A more advanced approach would be to use a common rendering objects/environment - something like Avalon. Instead of returning a rectangular-bitmap-representation of the subsection, the handling program could return a Stream of Avalon-Objects.

    In the example as given above Word could host the whole file and Excel handels the Excel-Subsection. The Data of the Excel Subsection is handeled by Excel and gets transformed to Avalon-Objects with are sended back to Word. Word itself transformes the Word-part of the file also into Avalon objects and then integrates the result from Excel. The Graphics Subsystem of Avalon is then presenting the Data to the user and gets input actions based on triggers (I think of a kind of dynamic created EventHandlers) embeded in the Avalon-Data.

    Given so if the user now is editing the text of the word-part, the mouse and keyboard events are handeled by Word. But if the user clicks on an cell of the Excel-Table (given that the subsection described above is a table), the events are calling Excel-Methods.

    Because this works transparent for user it may seem that word has the same possibilities than Excel - Excel appears as an kind of Ad-Hoc-Plugin for Word. Because the common interface is Avalon, the same works also in the other direction, when embedding an Word-Document into an Excel Sheet. Also the use of Avalon would give the possibility to draw the data in non-rectangular and auto-linebreaking bounds and possibly even over the content of the host-document.

    -- a bit radical thinking so far, and I'm not a professional writer - but I hope you can understand what I mean. But please correct me.
  • Deactivated UserDeactivated User
    Excellent, I lke XML. But does this mean that MathML will/could be natively supported in Word or other apps?
  • MauritsMaurits AKA Matthew van Eerde
    freney wrote:
    Excellent, I lke XML. But does this mean that MathML will/could be natively supported in Word or other apps?


    Equation Editor was one of my favorite Word extras.  IIRC it was actually developed by a third party (not Microsoft) who still sells a pro version?  Is that true?
  • MovGP0MovGP0 BuckyBall
    Maurits wrote:
    freney wrote:Excellent, I lke XML. But does this mean that MathML will/could be natively supported in Word or other apps?


    Equation Editor was one of my favorite Word extras.  IIRC it was actually developed by a third party (not Microsoft) who still sells a pro version?  Is that true?


    The "Equation Editor" is the small version of MathType witch is a typesetting-only version of Mathematica. But because it is just an OLE Plugin and not natively Word it has many Drawbacks:
    • Fonts are looking horrible when resizing
    • Terrible (meaning "no") vertical line-Align
    Also the "Equation Editor" has a lack of Keyboard and Font Support. Even it is based on TEX. Personally I'm using MathCAD because of the better Keyboard Support and the more flexible Rendering (Graphs, better looking Fonts when resizing, etc.). But if u want to write technical Articles you are better at learning TEX and using Publicon (but you are better using TEX on Linux - then you can choose between more programs).

    The idea I've described above would allow to insert MathML directly into WordML and let the MathML-Program do the translation from MathML (to SVG) to Avalon witch would be rendered by Word. So if Word has mot MathML Support and you have a program like a Avalon based Version of Equation Editor witch can work as Plugin for Word (you need special interfaces witch aren't existing today) you wold have proper vertical align, and no resizing artefacts, and proper font-style choosing and rendering by applying the Word-Document-Style also to the Avalon-Code generated from the MathML-Code.

    The only problem that keeps is the lack of Shortcut-Support of the "Equation Editor".

    But currently tis is just an idea of mine - not a product of the near future like Office 12.
  • MovGP0MovGP0 BuckyBall
    The lack of native Math-Support by Word and Scientific-Diagramtypes like  Smith-Diagrams (Gummel-Plots; similar to Polar-Diagrams), Ternary-Diagrams (something like 3D-Point-Diagrams but drawn in 2D by forming an triangle with the XYZ-Axes), Vector-Diagrams, Stock-exchange-Diagrams (Points or Lines with the ammount of statistical error), and the like by Excel; is one of the biggest Problem when trying to use Word for scientific documents.

    In Fact, this was the purpose to waste Word for my main use - even there are lot of good but expensive Programs witch do that work really good.
    (I'm currently writing Scientific-Documents in HTML and/or TEX)
  • Deactivated UserDeactivated User

    I just hope that Word will natively support MathML. There will still be room for applications like MathType (for better editing, etc.) but there are many problems with equations nowadays with both Equation Editor and MathType (mainly problems of spacing for inline equations and aligning of multiple equations).

     

    There are more and more people in the scientific and academic fields who are writing thesis in Word because they are easier to edit and share on screen than a tex documents (both me and my roommates were required by our advisors to write the document in Word even though the main platform we worked on was UNIX).

     

    There is still some times before Office 12 is released, so I hope this will make it into it.

  • Freney - We've heard this request from a number of different customers. I'll have more information over the next several months around the schemas and what our formats are going to look like. In addition, I'm trying to find out what types of things people would want to get out of our files, so we can look at providing good documentation and tools for transforming from our formats into other formats. MathML is definitely a common request.

    -Brian

  • Brian: What about Outlook access? If there's ANYTHING I could use, it's access to the Outlook file. I can get by with txt translations into word, but it's near impossible to do anything with Outlook right now. For any of our Java apps, that makes life absolutely miserable. Thanks! Jason
  • mc717990: Hey Jason, are you trying to get at the contents from outside of Outlook? If so, then I agree this is pretty difficult (I'll try to dig up some more info on this).
    If you are able to go through Outlook's OM though, then there are things you could to do output Outlook data as XML. Here's an article showing taking Outlook tasks and outputting them as XML and then importing that into Word: http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/understanding/outlook/codesamples/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dnofftalk/html/office06012004.asp

    -Brian
  • Brian: Yep - I'm trying to access the contents outside of Outlook. This is mostly to access archived emails, attachments, or other data in a PST file. For Exchange, I can use the concept others have used and access the webdav server if I need programatic access to calendars or online information. This is just for PST files on the local system. I wish Outlook was moving to an XML file format.... Thanks! Jason
  • I hear you Jason. Sorry there isn't anything currently available, but we are definitely undergoing an evolution in Office. As I talked about at the beginning of this post in my blog, we've been doing work with XML since back in Office 2000 (development for that started in 1997). The new format in Word is just an evolution on what we did in Word 2003. While Word, Excel and PowerPoint are the only three moving to new default XML formats in Office 12, you can definitely expect us to continue in this direction with future releases of Office. Jean actually talks about this a bit towards the end of this video: http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=76169

    -Brian
  • aruarun_coorg New Inventions might change the thinking towards innovation.

    HI,


     Wish to see the evolution soon !

     
     Thanks


     -Arun

  • You can get your first preview here. I posted example files in 3 formats:

    1. Word binary format from 2003
    2. Word XML format from 2003
    3. New Word 12 XML format

    -Brian

  • This is all really cool. I am a web developer and it was my dream for a long time to have easy (at least open) way to stream back Word and Excel files.

    However, in this interview I haven't heard about some really important issues. Like protection,  security, document autencity. What will happen if I set password to the Word document? It'll just use this password for ZIP compression? How do I know whether the document came from a reliable source and wasn't tempered? Ok, it is easy and exciting to replace a JPG image, but how would I know that it was replaced? It is easy to change the author's name in XML but not secure. I would really like Microsoft to make it possible to detect WHICH PART OF THE DOCUMENT was tampered (if it was). Security is a very important issue here, when Word and Excel go to open standards.

    I hope in the next interview you will ask these questions!
  • pringlespringles sup?
    wow, that wallpaper is horribly distracting, right?

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