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MS Office XML Format Now In TextEdit 86

Posted by timothy
from the beating-vs-joining dept.
computerdude33 writes "Apparently, Apple heard of Microsoft Office changing to XML formats. If you have OS X 10.4.2, you can save documents in TextEdit in Word XML Format. They are saved with a *.xml extension, and are riddled with references to Word. Here is an example of one of these documents."
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MS Office XML Format Now In TextEdit

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  • by jpsowin (325530) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @02:43PM (#13232794) Homepage
    Now you just have to find a Microsoft product to read the future Microsoft Word XML file!
  • by Esine (809139)
    I wonder if OpenOffice.org or KOffice will start supporting this format any time soon..
  • by ubiquitin (28396) * on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @02:49PM (#13232849) Homepage Journal
    So a simple two word text file has the following 33 XML tags pasted here with the greater and less than signs removed...


    ?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?
    ?mso-application progid="Word.Document"?
    w:wordDocument xmlns:w="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/word/ 2003/2/wordml" xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" xmlns:w10="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" xmlns:SL="http://schemas.microsoft.com/schemaLibra ry/2003/2/core" xmlns:aml="http://schemas.microsoft.com/aml/2001/c ore" xmlns:wx="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/word /2003/2/auxHint" xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" xmlns:dt="uuid:C2F41010-65B3-11d1-A29F-00AA00C1488 2" xmlns:st1="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smartt ags" xml:space="preserve"o:DocumentProperties/o:Documen tPropertiesw:fontsw:defaultFonts w:ascii="Times New Roman" w:fareast="Times New Roman" w:h-ansi="Times New Roman" w:cs="Times New Roman"//w:fontsw:docPr/w:docPrw:bodywx:sectw:pw:pP r/w:pPrw:rw:rPrw:rFonts w:ascii="Helvetica" w:h-ansi="Helvetica" w:cs="Helvetica"/wx:font wx:val="Helvetica"/w:sz w:val="24"/w:sz-cs w:val="24"//w:rPrw:tHot time!/w:t/w:r/w:pw:sectPrw:pgSz w:w="12240" w:h="15840"/w:pgMar w:top="1440" w:right="1440" w:bottom="1440" w:left="1440"//w:sectPr/wx:sect/w:body/w:wordDocum ent
    • Oh no my 200 GB drive is going to fill up with XML files.
    • by That's Unpossible! (722232) * on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @03:57PM (#13233766)
      So a simple two word text file has the following 33 XML tags pasted here with the greater and less than signs removed...

      What is your point? Oh lord, this file is 1200 bytes long, for "just two words of text."

      I created the same two-word document and saved it in several text-based formats that preserve the formatting. HTML (2700 bytes), RTF (3600 bytes), PDF (16,600 bytes), and of course, Word .doc format (20,000 bytes).

      The XML version is smaller than all three, and I dare-say, easier to parse and manipulate with a 3rd party program.

      Yeah, if you don't want any formatting information stored with your text, use plain text. But otherwise, XML seems to be as good a format as any of the other markup doc formats commonly used in Office.
    • <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
      <?mso-application progid="Word.Document"?>
      <w:wordDocument xmlns:w="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/word / 2003/2/wordml" xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" xmlns:w10="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" xmlns:SL="http://schemas.microsoft.com/schemaLibra ry/2003/2/core" xmlns:aml="http://schemas.microsoft.com/aml/2001/c ore" xmlns:wx="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/word /2003/2/auxHint" xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:of
  • It really concerns me that MS is able to create a "standard" due to their market share. What ensures they continue to maintain or even _use_ their own standard?

    I think of the browser wars. MS loves it that everyone but them are W3C compliant because that ensures they can break all other browsers simply by being incompatible with one standard. Because of their market share, developers will just 'give up' and code CSS, Javascript, and the like as IE compatible. Out of frustration with incompatible websites, u
    • by mroch (715318) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @02:55PM (#13232917)
      OpenDocument [oasis-open.org] from OASIS
    • Don't forget that in the days before IE, Netscape was the market leader and they defined the standard. Nobody cared about that then.
      • tags anyone.... really standards compliant...
      • Don't forget that in the days before IE, Netscape was the market leader and they defined the standard. Nobody cared about that then.
        Perhaps because the browser was free (as in beer), and they didn't also control the (non-free) OS.
      • Really? I recall learning HTML, and there being an official standard, a set of IE extensions and a set of Netscape (2.0 at the time) extensions. If you used any of the extensions you made sure that your page degraded cleanly in other browsers.
      • Netscape never "defined the standard". There have always been W3C specs for HTML. The problem was that in the middle 90s, W3C was taking forever to define specs for more than the most trivial web pages, and Netscape wasn't willing to wait on them.

        Nor was it true that "nobody cared". Lots of people bitched about it.

        • There were certain tags and technologies that (arguably) needed to be made or developed that netscape had to do, but there were also W3C standards that Netscape blatantly ignored. For example the CSS standard was made prior to Netscape 4, but Netscape had notoriously poor support for it, while IE had CSS support (albeit very limited) back in version 3.

          While IE6's poor standards support is a limitation now, it is nothing compared to the pains that Netscape 4 put people through.
          • Which is why even the dedicated MS-haters blanched at having to use NN4. It was bloated, buggy, crappy.

            MS didn't achieve browser dominance just through (mis)use of their monopoly. Netscape helped them by releasing NN4.
          • There were certain tags and technologies that (arguably) needed to be made or developed that netscape had to do

            Element types. Not "tags".

            but there were also W3C standards that Netscape blatantly ignored. For example the CSS standard was made prior to Netscape 4, but Netscape had notoriously poor support for it, while IE had CSS support (albeit very limited) back in version 3.

            Get your facts straight. At the time Microsoft were implementing CSS, it wasn't a published W3C recommendation. And Netsc

          • CSS wasn't nailed down as an official "recommendation" until late 1996. By then, almost all the work that was going to go into the original Netscape brower engine had already been done.

            I agree that Netscape should have paid more attention to CSS and other W3C standards once they actually appeared. But that's all kind of beside my point, which was that Netscape never "defined the standard".

      • I guess you're too young to remember bitching about the "BLINK" tag?
    • So I welcome the compatibility but I'd like to see an independant standards body regulat the XML DTD.

      Given the rest of your message, what would this achieve? The only way anything will get better is if a significant number of people push back at stds. non-compliance ... and then it doesn't matter who created/maintains the std.

      The obvious place for this to happen is government bodies, and non-US ones are starting to imply they will do this. How much they push back remains to be seen.

  • Yeah, it might be good and all that Office is switching word over to XML, but it's such an ugly format. Readable, but very, very bloated.

    Would probably be more effecient to use straight XHTML to make documents...

    • XHTML has its place: web.
      If you were looking for something witty (and Slashdot-approven) to say, you meant Oasis [oasis-open.org].
    • Re:Ugly format.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Heisenbug (122836) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @03:32PM (#13233380)
      I don't really see the problem with "bloated" xml, when the files are zipped by default. Instead of smushing your efficiency requirements in with your readability and standardization requirements (and screwing all three), you first handle readability and standardization and then rap it in a standard efficiency layer. The upshot is, not only are the files often *smaller* than the old Word equivalent, but I can also hack through them using a couple of standard perl packages that have come with linux, OS X and cygwin for years.

      Where's the downside?
      • The problem is that they have a patent on it. It you create software and sell it without a license they can sue you. With or without makeing the software gpl
    • Re:Ugly format.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Golias (176380)
      It's only "ugly" if you are not used to XML. It's certainly not "bloated" at all.

      "Verbose" perhaps... but verbosity is kind of the whole point of XML in the first place.

      I hate MS as much as the next guy, but I'm thrilled with the fact that they are finally creeping towards some open document standards.

      When you consider that their main profit strategy for the last 5-10 years has been "force pointless upgrade sales by screwing with the document format and breaking compatability with everybody, including our
    • Text edit can load and save XHTML (1.0 Strict or 1.0 Transitional) with Embedded CSS, Inline CSS or no CSS.

      This is just an additional format.
    • I believe that it would be more difficult to have a valid XHTML document that is as flexible as a valid XML document. The nature of self-describing data is that at any point you can add tags that bring new functionality while still maintaining a valid document, whereas you have to get a new XHTML tag ratified by the W3C.

      What's more, it is a logical step to use XML, as it is the little brother of the SGML system that dominated documentation for larger companies that could afford development of a SGML system
    • i guess you've never seen what a regular word file generates. you should be thankful!
  • .xml? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Stuart Gibson (544632) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @03:15PM (#13233158) Homepage
    I understood that the new office XML formats had an extension the same as the original with an x at the end, as in .docx.

    Possibly this was a wrapper for the format to encapsulate images etc? Can anyone who has actually looked at this clarify?

    Thanks,
    Stuart
    • Not exactly. Office 2003 includes the complete failure "XML" file format. It's useless, it isn't readable anywhere but in Office 2003 (Office 11) (which was a useless upgrade save the UI changes in Outlook), and it has been, and always will be, a complete flop. .docx is the new XML zip bundle for Office 12, which is unreleased to date, and it's strikingly similar to OpenOffice.org's new OASIS format. It will not be XML, but rather an extractable zip file with content and format properly separated. Of cou
  • "Riddled with references to Word"? Whatever you mean, I don't see it. There's a reference to the Word XML namespace. But all XML applications have to define a namespace.
    • I was wondering about that too. Maybe all the W's are considered references to word?
      • Yes, w: at the start of the XML tag indicates that the tag is part of a namespace, which would be defined somewhere in the file by adding an xmlns attribute to a tag. In this case, it's in the w:wordDocument tag, and in fact several namespaces are defined:

        <w:wordDocument xmlns:w="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/word/ 2003/2/wordml" xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" xmlns:w10="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" xmlns:SL="http://schemas.microsoft.com/schemaLibra ry/2003/2/core" xmlns:am
  • where's the standard xml header? hell, yeah, it was extended by a proprietary mso-application header. just M$ embrace-and-extend style all over...

    any sign of a xmlns attribute anywhere? nope, and yet, they use the ns:tagName notation...

    stupid.

    has M$ at least released the XML Schemas for the formats? If not, forget it: it's just as illegible as binary...

    and let's not forget it'll only display correctly inside MSWord itself...

  • I think Microsoft is noticing that the open source movement is not a fade. They were big proponents of XML based web services and now with them supporting XML document formats for Office they are finally giving users a choice. So, in the future instead of saying .NET/J2EE or Office/OpenOffice people can say both. They might not gain market share with this strategy but they might loose less in the long run.
  • by soullessbastard (596494) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @10:24PM (#13237031) Homepage Journal
    Disclaimer: I am a Mac OS X OpenOffice.org developer and a NeoOffice [neooffice.org] project founder

    One thing to note is that the Microsoft XML formats and schemas, either those exported by TextEdit or by the .docx format, are not necessarily done by Microsoft by choice. They're not even in response to OpenOffice.org. In my opinion, they are the result of "government forced technology", similar to how the California clean air regulations back in the 70s started to force Detroit to pour more money into catalytic converters and environmentally friendly cars.

    There have been numerous government proposals and mandates that require open document formats. Some of the Massachusetts proposals come to mind. I believe the EU also has proposals on the table that require the use of open document formats. The trick with the EU proposal is that it actually mentioned XML (I believe it's the ISIS proposal, but may have the wrong acronym). Governments are large Microsoft customers and Microsoft doesn't want to lose their business. Including the ability to save in publicly documented XML formats gives them a loophole to continue selling to governments, even if all of the open document format requirements are adopted.

    The ability of OpenOffice.org (and NeoOffice/J) to support these formats really is dependent on two things. First, the schemas are licensed from Microsoft on non-OSS compatible terms. Each individual person or application has to enter into a licensing agreement with Microsoft individually. This is directly against the terms of either BSD style or GPL style licensing. Secondly, Microsoft may have software patents involved with their schemas according to their licensing terms. While the patentability of a schema itself is questionable, they seem to have several patents revolving around the interpretation of XML schemas that may apply to their Office schemas. This goes against the CDDL style licensing Sun is now fond of.

    Because of these terms, the only ways that OOo/NeoOffice could legally support them would be if either the schemas are clean room reverse engineered from example documents or if Microsoft turns a blind eye to open source folk using their schemas. Since I wouldn't want to rely on Microsoft's generosity, the clean room solution is the only way I can see. Sun won't be the one to clean room them either; they don't have to. StarOffice (and Sun built OpenOffice.org for Linux/Solaris/Win) would be covered under Sun's cross-licensing arrangements with Microsoft as a result of their settlement. Those licenses don't extend to non-Sun OOo developers like me, however, so we're all up shit creek.

    Just because you can read it and the format is "open" doesn't mean it's "free". You can be sure that Microsoft's lobbyists will make sure that all of those government directives still refer to "open" and no "free" gets snuck in there by mistake.

    ed

    • Sun won't be the one to clean room them either; they don't have to.

      However, IBM has the capability to clean-room reverse engineer a free and open spec. So long as they are pushing a J2EE-centric application strategy opposing .NET, they have every reason to make a freely open implementation available to the rest of the world.

      Hope springs eternal ...

    • I think another aspect of this is that Microsoft has been having a little bit of trouble recently supporting their own formats. Here at my workplace we have sometimes had to post different versions of template files (expense reports, travel reports, etc.) for different versions of Word -- like one for Office 2000 and another for Office XP (one or the other will usually work on a given Mac version of Word, but not always). With all the versions of Office out there, Microsoft has got to be having trouble fi
  • An interesting thing is that trying to open one of those files in Pages results in a dialog that says "This XML files was created with an unsupported beta version of Word" and it doesn't open it. I'm not drawing any conclusions, I just think it's interesting.
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by King Babar (19862)

      An interesting thing is that trying to open one of those files in Pages results in a dialog that says "This XML files was created with an unsupported beta version of Word" and it doesn't open it. I'm not drawing any conclusions, I just think it's interesting.

      Ah, Pages. The program has some neat features, but has all of the hallmarks of being rushed out of the door for the 1.0 release. It's a nifty program for making flyers, and maybe short newsletters, but it's pretty much a loss to do any serious w

  • Pages (Score:1, Redundant)

    by rohanl (152781)
    I created a Word XML doc, and tried to open it in Pages. I got an error saying:
    The XML document was created with an unsupported beta version of Word.

    The fact that it knew it was a word doc is promising. Looks like Pages will support it too...
  • I just tried to load that page in Safari 1.2.4 under Mac OS X 10.3.8 and it displayed just the content of the file (no XML code), so I suppose that:

    1. This is a part of NSTextEdit class (or whatever its name is) and is not specific to TextEdit.app

    2. It's been around a bit longer, at least since 10.3.8, it just wasn't exposed in TextEdit.app

    The good thing is that all the Cocoa apps that use this class will also get the ability to handle Word XML docs - for free.

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