John R Durant (update: spelling fixed) writes:
In other matters, it strikes me that we still have not delivered an adequate amount of tools and utilities to bolster our Office XML story. We should deliver a whole series of tools and transforms to let developers create solutions that move data cleanly between Word/Excel/InfoPath/Web/ and so on.
I agree that the Microsoft Office XML story needs some bolstering. Or is it that the product needs bolstering?
For Word I would love to see complete working XML applications for XHTML and Docbook. XHTML particularly. There still doesn’t seem to be a Word based XHTML application out there that I would hand to a user.
Or can’t it be done in Microsoft Word using the inbuilt XML tools?
If it’s not practical using the XML editing tools - how about an XHTML application for Word based on styles. We’re working on that at OfficeContent. Would Microsoft like to assist?
Jon Udell suggested a style-based solution in his review of Office 2003:
Word 2003 The new Save as XML feature produces WordML, an annoyingly verbose but nevertheless pure XML representation of your document. If you accumulate content in WordML, rather than in the DOC format, you’ll be able to search that repository using any XPath-capable tool. What you are able to find, of course, depends entirely on what’s been tagged. The deluxe solution is to map a subset of the document to an XML schema, but that entails complexity for developers and users alike. Here’s a cheap alternative: Offer templates that promote consistent use of Word styles. This was always a good idea anyway; now those styled elements can facilitate structured search.