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RE: [xml-dev] OOXML: So what *should* happen now?

[Sorry Michael, I meant to send to the list... stupid mail client at home...]

Michael Kay wrote:

>> As far as I can tell, the reason to get XML out of existing
>> Word documents is to use the data for something smarter
>> and/or more up to date.
> That's what most of us want to do. But I believe MS have a design
> objective that it should be possible to use the XML as the native
> representation of the document, that is, it should contain every
> bit of information that the current proprietary formats contain.

Surely it should - how else will we ever be able to get the data out? If
MS Office products are able to add value to processes by facilitating
round-tripping, then we will benefit - nobody would argue that being able
to manipulate data as XML is worse than trying to access the same data in
a Word file. If Office products cannot deliver those benefits, then OOXML
represents a path where massive amounts of data can start pouring out of
proprietary applications and into XML, eventually being mapped into ODF or

I suspect that what will happen will be a combination of the two, but
mainly the second. There will be areas where round-tripping makes sense,
but for the vast majority of existing and probably new documents, the
objective will be to free the information from the application. Of course
Microsoft will encourage round-tripping, but it's only going to happen if
it makes sense in the particular circumstances. They can't make us do
anything, once the data is in XML.


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