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> What does this entire thread have to do with XML?
Believe it or not, this thread began with a post lamenting the idea that
only the professional levels or Word 11 will allow users to plug in their
own schemas to create XML documents, thus forcing home users to use WordML.
This somehow spawned a cockamamy theory of data ownership and a lengthy
thread, short on substance but with mild entertainment value.
What got lost in the thread was part of the original issue, that of the
average home user not being able to use custom schemas in Word. I'll give an
illustration of why this can be a problem for some folks (not intended to be
The company I work for publishes drug information, both in print and
electronic formats. We often use off-site reviewers (healthcare
professionals) and tech writers/editors. When we heard that Word 11 was
going to provide XML functionality, we saw this as a great opportunity to
send XML files to our reviewers/freelancers and round trip the data back
into our CMS without a lot of extra steps. They would simply be upgrading a
tool they already had. This would save a lot of time, effort, and expense.
Then it came out that the home version of Word 11 does not provide the
capability to use custom schemas; only the WordML schema is available. Most
of our reviewers are not going to be able to afford the high-end version of
Word at home, and the company certainly cannot afford to buy copies for
them, so the option of Word for XML has faded.
Betty Harvey and Len Bullard made pertinent comments earlier in the thread:
<len>What I would want is that ANY version of Word, Access,
Excel, etc. regardless of target market should be able to map their
own schema and export or import accordingly.</len>
<betty>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.</betty>
This is one of the reasons I use WordPerfect at home now. I can load my own
DTD and XML files and take them back and forth between home and work, as
well as use them in most other XML editing applications. This is part of the
point of XML; it is vendor/platform/format independent.
Should Microsoft make all XML functionality available in their low-end
version of Word 11? Probably not. But the ability to use custom schemas is a
basic need; it would be beneficial for this to be included in all versions
of Word. Then those who only need to be able to modify XML documents
according to a specific schema would have access to do so. In other words,
provide the basic XML functions already provided by a competitor in the
lower-end product, then provide advanced functions in the advanced version
of the product.
Just a thought (or a wish).
Douglas Rudder email@example.com
"Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most times he will
pick himself up and carry on." -- Winston Churchill