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   RE: XML in .NET - more than just SOAP?

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  • From: Chris Lovett <clovett@microsoft.com>
  • To: "'johns@syscore.com'" <johns@syscore.com>, xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 09:44:51 -0700

What I meant by "Office is not generating XML" is "Office is not generating
complete well-formed XML documents".  Office is "using" XML though.  This is
a true statement.  It is embedding chunks of well formed XML inside it's
HTML output - for round-tripping purposes only.

There has been a LOT of mis-understanding about this use of XML in Office.
A lot of it by marketing types who didn't understand enough about XML at the
time.  But I know for a fact from the Office people I have worked with that
making Office 2000 a general XML authoring tool was not a design goal.
Having a future version of Office generate XHTML would be a great idea.
There are some very real challenges to that though, which is why they didn't
tackle it in the current vesion.

-----Original Message-----
From: johns@syscore.com [mailto:johns@syscore.com]
Sent: Monday, July 31, 2000 9:12 AM
To: Chris Lovett; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: RE: XML in .NET - more than just SOAP?

Chris Lovett wrote:
"Office 2000 does NOT generate XML."

The following are from Microsoft documents:

From http://www.microsoft.com/PressPass/press/1997/dec97/HTMLPR.asp
'Taking HTML editing further, Office documents stored in HTML will enable
"round-tripping" by implementing Extensible Markup Language (XML) technology
to preserve all the Office-specific formatting in a document.'

From http://www.microsoft.com/PressPass/press/1998/Oct98/XMLcapPR.asp
'In addition to these innovations, Microsoft is using XML in its
applications software. For example, the next major release of the Microsoft
productivity suite, Microsoft Office 2000, elevates HTML to a companion file
format and uses XML to store additional document information. By using XML
in this way, Office 2000 users can save documents as Web pages and then
later return these documents to their original Office state for editing.
Once again, Microsoft is delivering XML technology first, making Windows the
premier platform for driving Internet standards and interoperable

It seems hard to reconcile these statements with the claim that Microsoft
never said that Office 2000 would generate XML. In particular, the claim
that, with this capability in Office, "Microsoft is delivering XML
technology first" is clearly an attempt to position Office as an XML
technology platform. It may be that Microsoft marketing went overboard in
claiming to be delivering XML technology (rather than using (near) XML
technology in its products). The result is that people like me
mis-interpreted the statements above to mean that Word 2000 would be an XML
authoring tool. I think that the mis-information referred to below is not
all on the side of people like me.

John F Schlesinger
SysCore Solutions
212 619 5200 x 219
917 886 5895 Mobile

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Lovett [mailto:clovett@microsoft.com]
Sent: Monday, July 31, 2000 11:13 AM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: RE: XML in .NET - more than just SOAP?

Let me correct some mis-information floating around this thread.

Office 2000 has never claimed to be an "XML" authoring tool.  The
/ofxml2k.htm page says:

"Microsoft Office 2000 supports Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) as a native
file format. Using HTML, Office documents and data can be stored,
distributed, and presented in a format that can be viewed using most Web
browsers, while retaining the rich content and functionality of Office
documents stored using the traditional companion binary file formats."

Office 2000 generates a flavor of HTML that "can be viewed using mose Web
browsers".  This is the stated goal, nothing more.

Office 2000 does NOT generate XHTML, but as some have noted, it does consume
it ok.
Office 2000 does NOT generate XML.
Office 2000 is not "broken".

General XML authoring was not a stated goal.  It does however embed some
islands of well-formed XML inside the HTML pages.  This is intended for
Office use only.  If you can figure out how to post-process the HTML to
extract and manipulate this XML then more power to you.

The Office team has not stated any future goals about turning Office into a
general XML authoring tool, but there are plenty of ways you can voice your
opinion on this subject.  See

Chris Lovett
Program Manager
WebData Team


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