> The real value, it seems to me, in using Word as an XML editor is not
> in the default tagging but in the fact that it can be configured to
> use YOUR tag set (from your XML Schema). Many people who need to create
> or edit documents in XML and who are familiar with Word will welcome
> the ability to create their content, tagging the things that matter to
> them with their tags, using a tool the know. I don't see anyone here
> arguing that there is anything "wrong" with the XML files that WordML
> produces if it is set up with the user's XML Schema.
The challenge, it seems, is not the validity of the XML output Word is
capable of producing, but the ability of a Word-based authoring
environment to support the effective (stable, economical) capture of an
author's unique and valuable intellectual property. My travels suggest
that any authoring tool that cannot enforce and support the unique
structure of the information being captured is not fully up to the task.
Word, by its nature, does not like enforcing discipline on its users.
Putting in styles and templates help, but the equation still lacks the
discipline that is inherent in a complex content capture process. Adding
an inference engine to the back end of the Word authoring process,
regardless of how it is configured, does not directly address this
deficit. Likewise, mapping the Word internal structures to a "Rainbow"
XML does nothing to support the disciplined capture process. Truth be
known, it will probably be only slightly less tenuous to convert Word XML
to target XML than it is to convert straight Word to XML.
I believe firmly that the axiom "capture information value at the source"
should be the guiding priniciple of authoring. Any attempt to interpose
Word in that process without making Word fully disciplined, adds little.
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