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Like many when I saw Office 11 at XML2003 I was excited. Although the
beta versions haven't exactly met my expectations, I still had a lot of
The corporate world has been waiting for a light-weight easy-to-use
XML editor. Every technical publisher usually has many authors for
every book. Medical publishers can have hundreds of authors for
each book. Publishers cannot mandate that their authors purchase
a $500-1000 XML editor when the authors royalties may not even cover
the cost of the editor.
The publisher cannot afford to cover the cost of an editor and
training to use the editor for all their authors. Their solution
is usually to get the information from the authors then either
convert it themselves or contract out for the conversion.
I worked on a pilot this year where the organization developed their own
light-weight editor in order to have their agencies provide the required
information in XML. The editor worked o.k. but wasn't the optimal solution
and the pilot was a great success. However, if they could give the
agencies a Word-based solution, they could move very quickly into an
XML-based solution. The XML editor is a key component.
If I could 'bend Microsoft' I would suggest that they provide
a 'developers' version of Office. This would provide organizations
to develop their own schemas, stylesheets, macros, etc. and allow
their end user the ability to use the developed XML applications
This solution would make everyone happy. Editors and authors don't
want to be in the business of developing applications.
I think WordPerfect (Corel) did a nice job (not perfect) of
including SGML and now XML into the WordPerfect product. The compiled
XML application could be given to the end user. The end user could
provide XML data where required but could still use WordPerfect
as a daily word processor. XML is embedded in the product as
an add-on and those who aren't interested aren't bothered by it.
On Mon, 14 Apr 2003, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> I agree that even the home office tools should be XML-capable.
> The question is what XML capabilities should be there. It makes
> some sense to me not to sell Mom and Pop software that they will
> not use nor can they make good sense of. It makes sense that many
> users can make use of XML tools that cannot afford expensive
> enterprise licenses.
> So after everyone gets their licks in on MS, perhaps with some
> more information, we can make some sensible suggestions about
> which of these capabilities belong in the upper-tier products
> and which should come with Office for any user.
> Open Office with everything including the kitchen sink tossed
> in will be problematic in its own right. A home user doesn't
> fiddle with install files, doesn't know a jar file from Adam
> Sandler, and will not tolerate excess baggage on the disk drive
> if it takes up room reserved for wedding photos. We really do
> have At Least, two tiers here, based on what they have skills
> for and what they expect to do. Yes, the skills of home users
> are often underestimated. Still, I just don't see Auntie Mame
> grinding out XML Schemas for exporting her Excel to Turbo Tax.
> Is this really a debate about what it will cost the rest of us?