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Open XML Translator for Microsoft Word Available
Elizabeth Montalbano, InfoWorld
Companies have completed the first phase of a Microsoft Corp.-sponsored project to convert Microsoft Word documents between Open XML and Open Document Format (ODF) for Office Applications file formats. According to the Microsoft announcement, "OpenXML Translator (ODF Add-in for Word) Release 1.0 supports the current industry-standard document formats of both Open XML and ODF. It has been tested on Microsoft Office 2007, Office 2003 and Office XP and has been localized into Dutch, French, German and Polish. In addition, Novell has announced that the Translator will be natively implemented in its next version of OpenOffice. The completed Open XML Translator enables conversion of documents from one format to the other and is available for anyone to download and use at no cost. When plugged into Microsoft Office Word, for example, the Translator provides customers with the choice to open and save documents in ODF rather than the native Open XML format. The Translator may also be plugged into competing word processing programs that use ODF as the default format to open and save documents in Open XML. Microsoft Corp. announced its support for the open source project to build a technical bridge between Open XML and ODF in July 2006 to provide interoperability between formats. Since inception, it has remained among the 30 most active projects on SourceForge.net and has been downloaded more than 50,000 times." Microsoft funded the work on the translator but did not contribute any code to the project, according to Jason Matusow, senior director of intellectual property and interoperability at Microsoft. The company provided architectural guidance and management to the project. A French company called CleverAge contributed the code and built most of the Open XML Translator, while Aztecsoft Ltd. in India and Dialogika in Germany did the quality assurance and testing.
See also: the announcement
The Case for using Election Markup Language (EML)
OASIS Members, Election and Voter Services TC White Paper
This paper sets out the case for using Election Markup Language (EML) in e-enabled elections and shows the advantages and value that using EML can make to running some or all parts of such elections. It has been primarily written for an audience of election officials, candidates and other decision makers in the voting process. However it will also be of interest to voters to help their understanding of the evolving e-voting environment, and also suppliers of e-voting systems and services who may be required to implement EML in their offerings. With the advent of e-enabled elections it was recognised that at various points in the end-to-end voting process there would be a need to exchange data in a structured way between hardware, software, and service providers and no standard existed for that purpose. EML was developed to fill that gap, the objective being to introduce a uniform and reliable way to allow systems supporting the election process to interoperate. The standard has been designed to be used in both public and private elections and can be used for all or any part of the e-enabled election process, such as voter registration, casting of the vote, e-counting and communication of the result. EML has been used in public elections in several countries since 2003.
See also: the OASIS Election and Voter Services TC
Last Call Working Draft for Web Services Addressing 1.0 - Metadata
M. Gudgin, M. Hadley, T. Rogers, U. Yalcinalp (eds), W3C WD
A communication posted by Bob Freund (Chair, Web Services Addressing Working Group) announces the publication of the "Web Services Addressing 1.0 - Metadata" specification as a W3C Last Call Working Draft. The document was produced as part of the W3C Web Services Activity. Freund: "We look forward to receiving any comments your WG has on these Last Call Working Drafts... We are interested in particular in comments from the Web Services Policy and Web Services Description Working Group. We are also interested in comments from OASIS technical committees, in particular the Web Services Reliable Exchange (WS-RX) TC. Please note that the document contains substantial changes compared to the previous version. In particular, the document does no longer define a WSDL extension element or a WSDL SOAP module. This new version defines WS-Policy assertions, based on the Web Services Policy 1.5 framework... No formal objection has been reported; no patent disclosure has been reported." If the feedback is positive, the Working Group plans to submit this specification for consideration as a W3C Candidate Recommendation. Comments can be sent until 23 February 2007. Abstract/Introduction: The Web Services Addressing specification [Web Services Addressing 1.0 - Core] provides transport-neutral mechanisms to address Web services and messages. Web Services Addressing 1.0 - Metadata (this document) defines how the abstract properties defined in Web Services Addressing 1.0 - Core are described using WSDL, how to include WSDL metadata in endpoint references, and how WS-Policy can be used to indicate the support of WS-Addressing by a Web service... The specification uses a number of namespace prefixes throughout; the working group intends to update the value of the Web Services Addressing 1.0 - Metadata namespace URI each time a new version of this document is published until such time that the document reaches Candidate Recommendation status. Once it has reached Candidate Recommendation status, the working group intends to maintain the value of the Web Services Addressing 1.0 - Metadata namespace URI that was assigned in the Candidate Recommendation unless significant changes are made that impact the implementation of the specification.
Novell and Microsoft Staff Up Interoperability Lab
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, Linux-Watch Magazine
When Novell and Microsoft announced their unlikely partnership, a part of the arrangement that got little attention at the time was that they'd create a joint research facility, where both company's technical experts would collaborate on new joint software solutions. Now, they're staffing up. According to Sam Ramji, Microsoft's director of platform technology strategy, the companies are looking for a few good program managers and software engineers to populate that joint research facility. The Lab will focus on interoperable virtualization between the Windows and SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) and will be part of the product engineering teams for both companies. In particular, the Lab will focus on several areas: "Virtualization, Office OpenXML/ODF interoperability, WS-Management interoperability, and directory federation." Ramji, and his Novell colleagues, are looking for program managers and software design engineers. Depending on the particular job, one might work for Novell, while another would draw his or her pay-checks from Microsoft. The job descriptions make it clear, though, that virtualization is at the top of the priority list for the two companies. Specifically, Microsoft wants a "Software Design Engineer in Test, Linux Interoperability" and a "Program Manager, Linux Interoperability," while Novell is seeking a "Software Design Engineer in Test, Windows Interoperability." [Note: WS-Management was contributed to DMTF in August 2005 and ratified as a Preliminary Standard at DMTF in August 2006.]
See also: WS-Management
OpenDocument v1.1 is Now an OASIS Standard
Peter Korn, Blog
The OASIS ballot for OpenDocument v1.1 has closed, and without a single dissenting vote, OpenDocument v1.1 has been approved as an OASIS Standard. This is another affirmation of the increasing participation of the disability community in developing technology standards—and in the welcome that participation is receiving by at least this technology standards body. Proof of this is the fact that OpenDocument v1.1 is primarily the work of the disability community and experts in disability technology—with key additions coming from the Royal National Institute for the Blind, and the Institute for Community Inclusion, in addition to those from disability technology experts at committee members large and small. Thanks to the contributions of Joanmarie of the Carroll Center for the Blind, and those of Dave Pawson of the Royal National Institute for the Blind, and David Clark of the Institute for Community Inclusion, and Janina Sajka of the Free Standards Group Accessibility working group, and the many other people from the disability community taking part in the open source Orca screen reader effort and the larger UNIX accessibility work, people with disabilities are no longer "forced to be consumers instead of contributors". Changes in OpenDocument version 1.1, according to Alex Hudson: (1) minor editorial changes - references, etc., cleaned up, obvious mistakes corrected; (2) clarifications on many features, e.g., bi-directional text, various minor features; (3) 'writing mode' attribute added for bi-di text; (4) RNG schemas corrected; (5) URIs replaced with more international-friendly IRIs; (6) accessibility improved by the additions of: "soft" page breaks—applications record how they paginate a document; alternative text for images, hyperlinks, etc.; navigation order added to presentation slides; new guidelines on accessibility.
See also: Alex Hudson
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