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.)
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
"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 ...
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.
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!!)