WordML WAS: Re: The sky is starting to fall again

Subject: WordML WAS: Re: The sky is starting to fall again
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 16:48:18 -0400


bounce-techwr-l-106467 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com wrote on 04/27/2005 04:08:15 PM:
> If you take a look at a WordML file, you'll see that it's
> really an XML implementation of something along the lines of an RTF
file. The
> formatting is inextricably bound to the content. So, while it is
> technically an XML file that doesn't buy us much.

Of course it does. Unless Word changed to a structured authoring
environment, what else could you expect to be included in WordML?

However, if the styles are designed with structure in mind and well used
couldn't the specifics of formatting be removed and the structure implied
from the formats?

And to say not much has been gained is a joke. Now instead of trying to
convert RTF files using PERL, you can use the same XSLT processor you use
for the rest of your XML work. You can also produce output from your XML
system that can be used directly by Word. Seems like a HUGE leap forward
from rtf to me.

> Essentially what it boils down to is that WordML was
> created to preserve the format of the document, not the structure.
> >
> >
> Well put. It's yet another attempt to keep everyone in
> the Microsoft tool chain. One might even say that it is an attempt to
> keep as many documents as unstructured as possible.

Please. Once again I ask: What structure exists in a Word file that isn't
tied directly to formatting alone? I can be as anti-big-monopoly as the
next guy, but what else could be done or expected from a non-structured
environment/tool?

See it as the equivalent to MML for FrameMaker. A great way to export
information/data from a database system and publish it. I think the
conspiracy angle needs a little more proof and a viable alternative
approach to be given any credibility.

If you want to preserve formatting, use PDF. If you want to share content,
demand structure. Why would you want to recreate Word's pig's breakfast of
formatting and internal organisation and structure in another
tool/environment?

Or, if format is such an important aspect, I guess we're suggesting that
PS become the new writing format standard? I'm sure it could be made XML
compliant. And, there is "structured" PDF now.....

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer

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References:
Re: The sky is starting to fall again: From: Bill Lawrence

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