Contents tagged with XPS
The buzz about XPS has unfortunately faded away during the last year, probably due to the discussions about the Open Xml formats. XPS is still here and will eventually submitted to ISO and proposed as a standard.
So you can create your XPS documents from any application with printer support. In combination with the updated Wordpad application in Windows 7 that supports both ODF and the Open Xml formats (post build 6801) you have a great interoperability experience.
Now that you have created an XPS document you of course need to read them. On previous versions of Windows you needed to install a separate application, XPS Viewer EP, to get a good viewer experience but Windows 7 contains an XPS Viewer out of the box.
The viewer is basically the same viewer that can be downloaded for previous Windows versions (it is in fact the same viewer and .exe file) but has a much more Windows Vista/7 like interface.
It’s hard to say what the features will be like in the final version but this version has support for signing documents (only available if you opened an XPS using Internet Explorer on Vista) and managing your accounts. Can’t try it out fully since I have trouble creating my signing accounts.
To sum it up; with Windows 7 you have a complete solution to read, create and sign your XPS documents.
First of all it’s the support for the different file formats that I long for (ODF for example) and then there is the Outlook performance – both of these are addressed! XPS and PDF will be supported from scratch – no need to install a free plugin (just as it was in the Office 2007 betas).
The current working draft 1.2 is now publicly available for anyone and the technical committee (TC46) of Ecma is requesting comments on the XPS draft. They also provide an issue list with all identified problems and an optional status.
Ecma, and Microsoft, is taking this process a bit slower than the previous and controversial OOXML fast-track, which is good for everyone. Let’s see how the comments (or FUD) looks like this time…
Previously you could just before the vote sign the agreement and participate. From now on you must have been a member of the technical committee at least three weeks ahead of the votes you would like to participate in. The new rules also clearly points out that you only have one vote (I'm still wondering who voted twice...).
I think this is a good idea, but I have a feeling that in any similar cases (read XPS) in the future, the "stuffing" will begin three weeks ahead of the vote instead.
ECMA International TC46 has updated the XML Paper Specification documents to working draft version 1.1. The new drafts can be found here as PDF or XPS and the changes can be found here (only as PDF :-) in the issue list.
It seems like there are no major changes, mostly minor and editorial changes.
I think we can expect some more changes when Office Open Xml has gone through the last steps of the ISO Fast-Track procedure, especially the references to the OPC.
The year of 2007 is about to come to an end, and it has been a really exciting year.
First of all I've had a great year with my family; my daughters turned four and one years old during 2007 and it's so wonderful having them around giving me energy. My wife has been home with them the whole year and next year I will take a few months of parental leave and give them my full attention.
During 2007 we sold our company, iBizkit, which we started in 2000 to a larger company, Pdb DataSystem. This is something we wanted to do for some time. iBizkit forms a new team focusing on portals and SharePoint within Pdb which I think will be great. I can now focus more on doing stuff that I'm good on rather than spending time on administration. After just a few months we have seen a great increase in business opportunities and I hope I can share some of them during next year.
I have been spending a lot of time this year with the new Microsoft Office System 2007 releases; SharePoint Server, Office desktop applications and the standardization of Office Open XML. During the last few months this market has exploded here in Sweden, I'm not sure if we are late or early up here? I have heard through Microsoft channels that the product sales of the Office desktop applications have experienced increased sales numbers during the same period. I look forward to continuing with this during 2008.
The heavily discussed OOXML standardization has of course affected me and I look forward to see what will happen during the BRM in the beginning of 2008. I really hope it will get an approval, which will hopefully result in that ECMA International will submit the XPS (XML Paper Specification), which I think is one really interesting standard.
Summing up 2007 and not mentioning Windows Vista, would feel very odd for me, so here it comes. I had great expectations for Windows Vista during the beta phase and when it was released. Beta testing is nothing compared to working with it eight hours a day. I currently uses Vista as my primary OS for my business laptop and as a Media Center at home. As a Media Center machine, and occasionally playing some games on, is great - except for the d**n lack of graphic driver support from Nvidia. As a primary workstation, I would like to say that it really sucks, if you are doing anything else but using Office 2007! I have been struggling with it for a year now, far to long I think. My rescue has been Virtual PC with a couple of different machines. But I'm positive and have big hopes for Vista Service Pack 1.
And I'm still wondering what will happen to the Ultimate Extras - will it ever be worth the money!
Blogging has been fun, I have not had the time I wished for it but I think I have had some interesting post during the last year. Here are the top five posts of 2007 (written during 2007):
- NVIDIA drivers for Windows Vista with overscan available in march - that did not happen!
- Dissecting XPS, part 1 - The basics - first part of the Dissecting XPS series.
- Customize the Favorite Links in Windows Vista common dialogs
- Using Windows Vista ReadyBoost on an SD-card
- Windows DreamScene Content Pack available - I was not the only one looking forward to this...and got disappointed!
All time favorite post is Watch DVDs in VIDEO_TS folders on Vista Media Center - wonder why :-)
I'm really looking forward to 2008 and this is my whish list for the next year:
- A working version of Windows Vista with Service Pack 1
- That OOXML gets approval from the national bodies
- That XPS is submitted to ISO
- Getting at least a few of our customers to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008
- Having a nice parental leave
- Getting some time over so I can finish msfeedicon version 3
- Testing out the new Media Center for Vista, codename Fiji
- Internet Explorer 8
What are your whishes for 2008?
The list can grow longer, but these are the ones currently on my mind. I will keep blogging about them and other stuff that I find interesting for the moment.
I hope that this blog will continue to grow in number of subscribers, and I would be glad if you give me some feedback on my posts and recommend it to friends and colleagues.
A Happy New Year to all of you!
This shot was taken the day before Christmas eve at our weekend cottage. It was a great scenery with one centimeters of hoarfrost.
The ECMA Technical Committee 45, continues to comment the comments received during the Office Open XML ISO fast-track procedure and have now reached to two thirds of them. The response to comments are only sent to the national bodies
The last set of proposed changes contains one major interesting thing; OOXML, or DIS 29500, is proposed to be a multi-part standard, which some national bodies suggested. The parts are:
- DIS 29500-1: WordProcessingML, SpreadsheetML, PresentationML and SharedML specifications
- DIS 29500-2: is the Open Packaging Convention, OPC
- DIS 29500-3: the extensibility specification
This is not a big shocker, I imagined it coming, but anyway I'm glad they made the change(proposition to change). Having the OPC in a separate specification is great! Imagine now how we can use this separate standard for packaging other types of information.
Having OPC in a separate standard will also have impact on the XPS standardization, I guess that ECMA will produce an updated specification of XPS, referring to DIS 29500-2, when submitting XPS to ISO/JTC1 (if OOXML goes through the BRM next year).
Head over the the ECMA press release and read about the other interesting proposed changes to DIS 29500, such as VML removal from the main specification (read the discussions about this in one of my previous posts).
If I don't get time to make another post until next year I wish you all a great New Year...
A few links on XML Paper Specification that I stumbled upon the last few days.
View XPS documents using Acrobat 8
Note: it's not supported in Acrobat Reader 8.1.
A new set of XPS tools from SANAtech
- XPSViewer is an ActiveX control for embedding XPS capabilities (viewing and printing) into applications.
- XPSRenderer 1.0 is a multi-platform library for rendering and printing XPS documents, it's available for AIX, Linux, OS/X and other Unix derivatives. This library is the core of the XPSViewer ActiveX control.
- XPSToolkit 1.0 is a not yet released multi-platform toolkit to fiddle with your XPS documents
These tools looks promising. I have not had the chance to test them, except for the viewer - sorry Maged, I will as soon as possible, to much work right now.
NiXPS Library v 1.5 SDK is released
NiXPS, pioneers in XPS tools, has released their C/C++ XPS library available for a free trial download with great documentation. The library allows you to create and modify XPS documents on almost any kind of platform and a C/C++ compiler/linker, it even allows you to render your XPS documents into an image buffer or TIFF file.
The standardization of the XML Paper Specification (XPS) as an ECMA International standard proceeds. Adrian Ford reports that the initial working draft has been published on the ECMA web site.
There are no major changes as of now to the original specification by Microsoft, but rather some editorial changes, read the latest draft here (available as PDF or XPS). Lets hope that the ECMA TC has learned from the recent Office Open XML ISO failure and get rid of all these non-issues that most of the OOXML comments really was about.
XPS and OOXML both uses the Open Packaging Convention (OPC), and I would like to know how ECMA will handle this part of these standards. Will XPS reference OOXML, or OOXML reference XPS or will OPC be a separate standard?
The next meeting for the TC is in late September, so I hope we get some nice reports from that meeting within a few weeks.
The XPS viewer is a part of their upcoming version of the NiXPS platform, which is a cross-platform application for inspecting and manipulating XPS files. It is currently in beta but I think that this new version with the improved XPS previewing abilities will really boost the application.