Office XML Interview

The folks at interviewed Brian Jones about the new Office XML default format. I downloaded the MP3, burned it to a CD and listened to it in my car. It’s a pretty good interview and worth a listen.

I’m getting excited about the new version of Office. This is the first time I’ve ever been able to say that. One of the points on the interview was about robustness. (Actually, the word “robust” was probably used about 1,000 times – typical Microsoft.) Jones describes a situation where some data gets corrupted, but because all the characteristics (data, styles, meta) are in separate xml files, the file is still recoverable, if only partially. In some instances, the data can be rebuilt with redundant data elsewhere in the file. It’s like when you shoot the Terminator in the head and it fills back in.

Now, on to my podcasting rant. If you are expecting high production values, then you should adjust your expectations or don’t listen, ’cause they ain’t there. Podcasting (why do I taste bile when I say that?) is to professional radio production as blogging is to real journalism. The content on this particular podcast was worth putting up with poor production, but I’d wager that most other podcasts don’t meet that standard.

Two points about the production that podcasters should note: When your nose hits the microphone, it doesn’t make a loud sound in your cans (that’s what Phil Hartman calls headphones). But when I listen to that same thing in my car, I have to change my pants. I don’t know squat about producing audio, but I’ll bet 15 minutes and some freeware editing software would go a long way.

Here’s a paraphrase from this podcast:

How are you doing? I’m good. I’ve been enjoying the summer months; riding my bike. How are you?

Point two: Listening to that was boring. Reading that is boring. In fact, I nearly fell asleep just typing it. If you guys need to show up five minutes early to exchange pleasantries, then go ahead and do that. I will gladly accept five minutes less of a podcast.

All ranting aside, if you’re interested in the new file format for Office 12, you may be interested in hearing this interview.

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3 thoughts on “Office XML Interview

  1. Dick,
    I enjoy your blog.
    Regarding your comments about podcasting. If you want to bash it, there is a lot of ammunition…however, if you want to find good (ok, maybe reasonably good) content, it is out there. I enjoy my mp3 player because of the freedom (ok, control) that it gives me. First it was music, then audible books, and now this…maybe what is next will be better still.


  2. Let us hope that the coming XML-fileformat for MS Office, at least, is compatible with the OASIS OpenDocument XML-fileformat.

    It’s supported in the coming version of OpenOffice (2.0) and other Linux-based office suites.

    Kind regards,

  3. Thanks for the comments, Jay. I agree that bashing something new, like podcasting, is really low hanging fruit. My mom used to say “Anyone can get a laugh by being mean or crude.” and it’s really been a help in my amateur comedy career.

    However, I loved the content of this particular cast despite it’s flaws and I’d really like to hear more like it. I find it hard to find good content amid all the crap out there. If you, or anyone reading this, comes across a good podcast or a good source for podcasts, leave a comment or drop me an email.

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