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Re: FW: MS Word and XML

> The folks who keep screaming "don't let your information be
> trapped in proprietary file formats" are simply blowing
> smoke. They're the apostles of Richard Stallman, whose real
> agenda is political/economic. "Propietary" means "someone's
> property," and Stallmanites are basically socialists whose
> real goal is to abolish privately-owned property, intellectual
> and otherwise.

Content -- which consists of not only text, but also
graphics, organization, and presentation -- is property,
too. Whether it belongs to me, or has been entrusted to
me by my employer, I fail to see how my desire to protect
the long-term viability of that content in any way makes
me a socialist. (If you defend Microsoft, does that mean
you're astroturfing? Not necessarily.)

I don't have a problem with FrameMaker's binary format,
since I can (and did) create a structured application to
represent that content. Now I can export content to, say,
crud-free HTML today, and tomorrow I can easily migrate to
Ultimate Vapor's XML Nirvana Publication System if I see
the need. I have that option with Word only if I buy the
top-end versions (for how much more $$$?).

I think Dan pretty much covered the difficulties of
importing Word into just about anything non-Microsoft.
(Anyone reading this list for any length of time has
read more than one horror story about importing a Word
file into FrameMaker.)

> Somewhere at home, I have a bunch of 5-1/4 inch floppies
> containing WordPerfect 5.1 files from, oh, about 13-15
> years ago. If I suddenly had a need for one of those
> files, I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that I could still
> access it easily in a number of ways....

Granted, but you're talking about Word Perfect now, NOT
Microsoft Word. Try doing that with a floppy containing
Word documents from 12 years ago. Just to make it easy,
assume they're already on a 3.5" floppy (however,
"Recover text from any file" isn't the same as recovering
*content*). WP never made a State Secret out of their
file format, which Microsoft turned against them (you
can *import* WP files into Word, but just try *exporting*
from Word to WP).

So what's so wrong about wanting to avoid any kind of
vendor lock-in?

Larry Kollar, Senior Technical Writer, ARRIS
"Content creators are the engine that drives
value in the information life cycle."
    -- Barry Schaeffer, on XML-Doc

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