Microsoft Corp. announced it will take steps to offer the file format technology behind Micosoft Office as an international standard. Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, the British Library, Essilor, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, NextPage Inc., Statoil ASA and Toshiba will co-sponsor a submission to Ecma International, the standards organization, of the Microsoft Office Open XML document format technology. Microsoft will also make available tools to enable old documents to capitalize on the open standard format. These organizations have agreed to work together as part of an open technical committee that Ecma members can join to standardize and fully document the Open XML formats for Word, Excel and PowerPoint from the next generation of Office technologies, code-named Office “12,” as an Ecma standard, and to help maintain the evolution of the formats. The group will ask Ecma to submit the results of their collaboration to the International Organization for Standardization for approval. Since its inception in 1961, Ecma International (Ecma) has developed standards for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Consumer Electronics (CE). Publications can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.ecma-international.org
Antenna House, Inc. announced that XSL Formatter V3.4, their newest XSL-FO processor, is now available. As an option Antenna House is offering with V3.4 the ability to support PANTONE Colors. The PANTONE Option provides the ability for more than 1000 PANTONE Colors to be converted into RGB or CMYK values automatically. V3.3 also offers improvements many new enhancements that have been implemented through FO extensions. These include: 1) PANTONE Colors can now be supported using the new PANTONE Option; 2) show-distination is now effective with Distiller; 3) axf:document-info has been extended and the magnification and the action, etc. when opening PDF can be specified. The document information dialog for this function is also newly added; 4) in SVG is supported; 5) Line Numbering is now able to be output; 6) Extension for European Rule is newly provided; 7) axf:avoid-widow-words is now available to specify so that the last line of the paragraph does not become one word; 8) overflow=”error-if-overflow” is supported; 9) When layout=”auto” is specified for the table, the number of rows can now be controlled by the option setting file.
I saw Jack Welch speak at a conference the other day, and he had a lot to say about content management.
OK, not really.
But he did have a lot to say about success, and about how to effect change in an organization. It was a manufacturing audience, so he touched on quality initiatives like Six Sigma, and he made the point that you should always put good people in charge of such initiatives. “Don’t pick the guy who is a year from retirement and shows it,” he said. “People can tell who the turkeys are.”
This reminded me of a recent discussion I moderated on implementing new technology. The question came up about success factors in implementing new systems, and one theme emerged again and again–new initiatives need champions. The conventional wisdom has become that technology projects need executive champions, but we ended up agreeing that projects need champions in the trenches too. I think of my own experiences with successful projects, where there were always stubborn, determined developers and content owners who bulled through technical glitches, patched software, and system crashes. No major project unfolds without setbacks. You need to have a certain doggedness. And if I could have asked Welch such a question (400 or so people were fighting for the microphone), I would imagine he would say doggedness is a good quality as well.