Today’s Word Processing News

Buy this book at Amazon.com!MSDN UK Nuggets Should Win an Award

There should be some kind of people’s-choice awards for free instructional videos for Office technologies. The MSDN Nuggets team out of the UK wins my contest! While Channel9 does a great job introducing personalities and relatively narrow technical topics, the Nuggets guys have a mastery over choosing a broad topic that drills down to specifics quickly. What Mike Ormond, for example, does for Office 2007 and Open XML in his Nuggets, would have really helped me out in the Office 2003 timeframe.

I got so caught up in Channel9 feeds that I lost contact with the Nuggets team: for some reason their videos are not included (or somehow I can’t see them) in the Channel9 Videos or Screencasts feeds—additionally (as of this writing), there is no “nugget” tag among Channel9 tags.

However, it must be said that Martin Parry of the MSDN Nuggets team does a great job all ’round—but his “Using Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005 Second Edition” is misleading and incomplete—and is representative of the official sources of frustration mentioned earlier in this journal. Parry’s video does not demonstrate how to deploy a VSTO SE solution and run it on a box that is not a development box. I have already gone through the grueling challenge of finding written material on this subject but a spot-on video would really have been the cat’s pajamas.

Default VSTO SE Setup Dependencies

Default VSTO SE Setup Dependencies

The picture above shows the default Setup dependencies for a VSTO SE Add-In project in Visual Studio 2005. This is little picture is important to me because when you add a new Setup project to an existing VSTO solution the dependencies are different. I noticed that most of these dependencies were included when you add a new Setup project manually. However, as you can see in the picture, most of dependencies are excluded by default for 2005 Add-In projects.

Adobe PDF IFilter is still around…

For those old-school, Index Server heads, the Adobe PDF IFilter is still around. It’s up to version 6.0 and according to Adobe, “Starting with Acrobat and Reader 7.0.5, iFilter functionality is now bundled within the Acrobat and Reader products.”

XForms spec has no concept of “rich text”…

Buy this book at Amazon.com!I am certain that I have written one insult too many for the InfoPath team. However, for my needs they are the best game in town. I should have evaluated XForms for some concept of what InfoPath calls the rich text box (or control). I can’t find something like this among Form Controls in the W3C spec.

Also the OpenOffice.org implementation of XForms shows no sign of the repeating field or master-detail fields. Now I have a technical understanding why InfoPath is so far from XForms and is actually closer to the hierarchical and repetitive ‘nature’ of XML (assuming you can accept XML as natural).

Here is a short list of my InfoPath adventures:

  • In “InfoPath: My Rules of Engagement,” I ‘swear’ to never write code for InfoPath. Eventually, I started writing (script) code for InfoPath.
  • In “My First Cute Little InfoPath Application,” I act on my promises. But, over the years, I find myself editing XML directly with schema-Intellisense in Visual Studio 2005 rather than use this ‘cute’ InfoPath form.
  • In “Trippin’ over No Round-Tripping,” the new idea (to me) of one-way data submission is introduced. Much of this one-way thinking is due to technical and security limitations in Office in general and InfoPath in particular.

The Philo Janus post “Why hasn’t anyone heard of InfoPath?”—especially the comments for this post—reveal that my ‘insults’ for InfoPath are feeble compared to what’s published there by Microsoft…

An incremental step to Word 2007?

My personal journey to Word 2007 should include using the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats in Office 2003. My only concern would be that this addition would affect the functionality of CleanXHTML. In actuality, it does not. When a 2007-format document is opened in 2003, this Compatibility Pack causes 2007 formats to be converted for several seconds into runtime 2003 formats. This lag time even for small files is not suitable for daily use but my style uses only a small percentage of Word files daily—in fact, it is mostly one file: the ‘journal’ file I use with WordPress to publish the post you are reading now. I use CleanXHTML daily to copy and paste Word fragments into WordPress.

First sign of documents for migrating from InfoPath 2003 to InfoPath 2007

My first document that details some differences between InfoPath 2003 and 2007 is “Compatibility between InfoPath 2003, 2007, and Forms Server.” Now my eye looks out for more. Why is it so difficult for me to find these documents and discussions?

2 thoughts on “Today’s Word Processing News

  1. Thanks for the feedback (and the constructive criticism). I’ve passed your comments onto Martin as well. Maybe I can convince him to do the nugget you suggest – he’s usually up for a challenge. On the C9 front you raise a very good point. I wont go into the (boring) reasons why things are as they are today but I entirely agree we should be striving for a greater level of integration with them. All the best, Mike.