OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help



   RE: [xml-dev] Common Word Processing Format

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]

Going long here.  Sorry.

We seem to be able to use MS Word here to do that.  We rely on:

o Templates (not much more than a copy of the outline with the styles set)

o Common sense (don't be creative and the styleGoons won't come to see you).

Controlling the chimps is expensive and the bonobos won't pay attention 
anyway so don't waste your time or money.

Lots of things are going on here including politics that would make 
NicTheMach proud, but the trouble is we really don't have a way to 
say when something is 

a) open b) open enough c) good enough 

except to let the market choose.  If there is a common core as claimed 
often over the years, if we want fewer XML languages, if we want 
an open market, we may just be wanting too much.  The fact is, 
MSoc IS by market adoption the current de facto standard.  The numbers 
are there.  On the other hand, MSDoc is also a proprietary closed 
format with closed semantics and that is objectionable to some 
for different reasons but undeniably closed markets lead to 
de facto standards that regardless of certifying organization are 
still closed markets.

So beyond the technical discussion which is most interesting is 
the market discussion which isn't nearly as sunny as advertised.
Why?  The technical discussion has implications about the 
commoditization of component software.  Schwartz mostly gets 
this right but I'm not sure people are applying it to this case.

MS is opening it up in Office 12 and most I think outside the 
usual AnyoneButMS crowd laud that, but it doesn't mean much 
in the medium to long term.  Sure, you can develop for it but 
the possibility is that by the time you get to market there 
won't be one because the market may move on to a new architecture 
for the task in general (don't need complex word processing 
for the majority of tasks and those that do have apps that 
have reached a Nash equilibrium of feature sets, so upgrading 
isn't the delight or requirement it used to be).

Given those, I can skip past that and ask some interesting questions:

1.  Is there a common core?  Is it possible that HTML/XHTML 
covers most of that ground?

2.  Is the inflection point some see coming not one of converging 
XML WP formats but of a next-generation system where the desktop 
and browers disappear in favor of bundled just-in-time components 
delivered with the application/task/user/role/privilege/security 
in mind?  IOW, skip the wpWarz and move right into the death of 
the browserAsCertainToBeOnTheDesktop discussions (see MAC86).

Keep in mind:  some word processors have features that are seldom 
used but ARE used by some.  Now, who pays for those, what should 
they pay, and how should they procure them because we aren't really 
sharing tasks but costs and data across the enterprise and that means as 
customers, we aren't in control of our procurement.  If there is a 
standard common core plus namespace-added features, then we are. 
Plugins are a fact of life in audio applications and almost every 
other commodity app I use EXCEPT word processors.

One of the now aging arguments for thin clients was enabling the 
customer/management to control what is on the desktop rather than 
getting huge bundles of mostly unused features.  The other side 
of the curve is the tendancy to bundle them anyway because software 
on a disk is like printing money; on the other hand, in an intermediated 
click economy, that isn't necessarily so.  

Curmudgeonly rant: iTunes, eBay, etc., suck.  I don't like intermediated 
economies: that is the music business model. Producers hate it even as 
consumers get to like it because it pays those who do not much but make 
connections and say yes/no to your work.  A customer gets to buy a 
song or component by the piece but the supplier isn't *allowed* to 
sell by the piece.  That stinks by effectively raising barriers to 
competition and keeping the game in the hands of the bigCos.


-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Koberg [mailto:rob@koberg.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2005 2:12 PM
To: Bullard, Claude L (Len)
Cc: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Common Word Processing Format

Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> What I am on about here is what is the common core?

I think this misses what is going on. I think what is happening is not 
what is the best format, but what is /currently/ the easiest way to 
author documents.

Authoring MSWord or OOWrite docs is most definitely not the best way to 
create a set of coherent, standardized and usable documents for an 
entity/organization/corporation. But it the easiest for the slightly 
computer savvy. One-off docs that satisfy the authors style whim and 
discretion, sure, but not the larger group. Corporate blogs approach 
something that could be cool, but are seriously limited.

Since no one has created (or had the marketing force to 
explain/advertise...) a simple interface for users and been able to 
extol the virtues of why something is better than MSOffice/OO, we will 
be stuck in a slow evolution.



News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2001 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS