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RE: MS Word and XML

At 06:19 PM 4/28/03 +0200, Moritz Berger wrote:
>The author of that article fails to get its facts straight:
>Quote: "By maintaining a proprietary binary format that frequently changes,
>Microsoft has kept the exit costs high for potential defectors."
>Let's see: 1997 was the last time that Microsoft changed the Word file
>format (Office 2003 still uses the same "Word8" binary format as Office 97).
>6+ years and going strong ain't "frequent changes" to me ...

So, are you suggesting that the addition of new "features" to Word in the 
past 6+ years doesn't affect the ability to import Word documents into 
other DTPs such as FM? Why is it that the 3rd-party vendors of 
Word-to-Whatever filters have to keep updating their filters to track new 
Word releases?

>Come on, you all ought to be familiar with the fact that importing Word
>files into PM, FM, ID, QXP etc. is fairly straightforward and happens every
>day at every publisher around the world.

Now that's truly laughable. Anyone who converts from Word-to-Frame can 
attest to the massive cleanup required to turn it into a halfway decent 
Frame document.
And of course going the other way--Frame-to-Word or RTF is even more 

The holy grail we all seek is true information interchange, which demands 
the capability to output documents created in any proprietary software 
product into a non-proprietary format established by an International 
Standard in which the content and the intended formatting is preserved, 
such that any other proprietary software capable of importing documents in 
that standard format can faithfully replicate both the content and the 
intended formatting of that content.

Provably, Microsoft never intends to work toward that goal because it would 
threaten Offices's market domination, which now discourages competing 
software companies from producing products that are superior to those in 
the Office suite, particularly Word, which is most certainly the worst 
piece of crap ever created by human beings, and is probably responsible for 
the greatest diminution of human productivity in world history.

>I somehow fail to see the "MS Office barrier of exit" that DWE and the
>author of the yellow press "register" site proclaim ...
>Reason that most people stick with Office IMHO is that the alternatives are

See my above comment. Almost any good software company could produce 
products far superior to those in the Office suite if it had a good shot at 
generating a high enough demand to sell those products at a competitive price.

FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
DW Emory <danemory@globalcrossing.net>

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