Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Day: May 31, 2005

Microsoft to Make XML Default File Format in Office 12

Microsoft Corp. announced that it is adopting XML technology for the default file formats in the next version of Microsoft Office editions, currently code-named “Office 12.” The new file formats, called Microsoft Office Open XML Formats, will become the defaults for the “Office 12” versions of Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint, which are expected to be released in the second half of 2006. The interoperability capabilities of the Microsoft Office Open XML Formats enable Microsoft Office applications to directly access data stored in systems outside those applications, such as server-based line-of-business applications. These third-party applications, in turn, can access data stored in the new Office file formats. Microsoft Office Open XML Formats are fully documented file formats with a royalty-free license. Anyone can integrate them directly into their servers, applications and business processes, without financial consideration to Microsoft. People using Office 2000, Office XP and Office 2003 will be able to open, edit and save files using the new formats, thanks to a free update available as a download from Microsoft that enables those older Office versions to work with the new formats. Documents created with the current binary file formats in Office also will be fully compatible with “Office 12” applications. So workers can save documents to their current formats and exchange those documents with people using “Office 12” — and when they upgrade to “Office 12,” they can continue to use their existing binary documents. Microsoft will provide further technical information about the Microsoft Office Open XML Formats, including draft versions of the schemas, to help ensure that developers and IT professionals can be prepared to take advantage of the formats before product shipment. People interested in the new file formats and the next version of Office can get additional information beginning Monday, June 6 at a preview site,

OASIS Approves DITA as Standard

OASIS announced that its members have approved the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) version 1.0 as an OASIS Standard. DITA defines an XML architecture for designing, writing, managing, and publishing many kinds of information in print and on the Web. DITA consists of a set of design principles for creating “information-typed” modules at a topic level. DITA enables organizations to deliver content as closely as possible to the point-of-use, making it ideal for applications such as integrated help systems, web sites, and how-to instruction pages. DITA’s topic-oriented content can be used to exploit new features or delivery channels as they become available. Participation in the OASIS DITA Technical Committee remains open. All those interested in advancing this work, including users, XML tools vendors, and consultants on Information Architecture and Content Management Systems (CMS), are encouraged to join the Committee. OASIS hosts an open mail list for public comment and the dita-user mailing list for exchanging information on implementing the standard.

SDL Announces SDLAuthorAssistant 2005

SDL International announced SDLAuthorAssistant 2005. SDLAuthorAssistant enables creators of corporate content to perform real-time, automated comparisons of newly authored content with existing translation memories and terminology glossaries. Content volumes for translation are minimized and forbidden terms are excluded. By integrating a common set of visual tools directly into Adobe FrameMaker, Arbortext Epic, Blast Radius XMetaL and Microsoft Word, SDLAuthorAssistant empowers authors to create content that complies with corporate standards and is optimized for the translation process.

Document Retention in Light of Today’s Supreme Court Reversal of Andersen Verdict

Today’s Supreme Court ruling reversing the decision against Arthur Andersen
is big news in the compliance world. My bet is that it will have two important
effects–both good. 

The first is that, once again, it will be OK to destroy documents in
accordance with a company’s retention policy. The second is that it is going to
become even more obvious to companies that they really do need to have a
carefully designed document retention policy, along with a way to ensure that it
is implemented and monitored.

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