Archiv für November 2005

ODF vs MS XML analyzed

November 29, 2005 - Markus Hoenicka
Alex Hudson, J. David Eisenberg, Bruce D'Arcus and Daniel Carrera posted a nice comparison of the soon-to-be ISO standard OpenDocument XML format and MS XML, the now-submitted-as-an-ECMA-standard Microsoft version of an XML office data format. At a glance, OpenDocument wins hands down, but didn't we experience over and over in the past that Microsoft's presence on 90% of the personal computers world-wide gives sufficient momentum to even the lousiest and stupidest implementation of (graphical interface | web browser | media player | [insert your favourite here]) to leave the well-thought-out and well-implemented stuff to diehards? Seeing Massachusettes start to wobble as soon as Microsoft mentions the word "open" in context with "Office" gives a clue as to how much education is still necessary.

Converting SGML to XML

November 27, 2005 - Markus Hoenicka
What sounds to be an easy task has some pitfalls, as I had to notice when I attempted to convert the RefDB manual from SGML to XML. The main reason for this move was nxml-mode, which validates your document while you edit it. Besides, I wanted to see whether the processing tools are really up to their task. Processing SGML documents has never been a problem for me, on any platform I tried, for the last couple of years. But whenever I tried I found out the hard way that the XML hype was years ahead of the available tools. Moreover, setting up the XML toolchain was never really easy because it involved several Java tools which are a pain to handle unless you use intelligent wrapper scripts. Fortunately FreeBSD, my main platform for a couple of years, ships most Java tools with a wrapper shell script which greatly simplifies the usage of these tools. So off I went into the realms of XML.

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