Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Tuesday 20 September 2005

TWiki to MediaWiki

I started to implement what I was talking previously: migrating from TWiki to MediaWiki. The tools are Perl, Rcs, DBD.

I decode the TWiki topics, now I need to understand the MediaWiki SQL schema to feed it.

Why am I doing that? To move away from TWiki for AbiWord. Off course, I'll release the code once it is done.

Apple closing XML file format?

Tim Bray point out that Apple release the documentation for developer around iWork, their office software suite including Keynote 2, the presentation software and Pages, the DTP/word processing software.

The documentation states:

This document does not describe the complete XML schema for either Pages 1.x or Keynote 2.x. The complete XML schema for both applications is not available and will not be made public.

Wow. I love so much openness. Keynote 1.0 had an open format, but not Keynote 2.0. OK it is XML so more readable than binary files, but it is still lot of work to reverse engineer.

That remind me when I requested Apple the AppleWorks file format documentation. The reason why they didn't want to provide it is "we don't want people to write buggy documents that would crash our software", which is the opposite from Macromedia about flash b.s. (read on, I got it as a comment).

Now people brought the debate in the mailing list. Apple product manager reply is awesome:

We're not trying to sell iWork to CIOs and government agencies that are pursuing long-term document archival strategies a la Office XML. We're selling it to consumers and creative professionals who want Apple's legendary ease-of-use and innovation.

So because you are not a fortune 500 or a government you are not allowed to recover your data later? So much for the lost manuscript of some famous (to be) author (Jules Verne for example whose manuscript written in the 19th centure was found and publish in the mid 90's of the 20th century), etc.

Sorry Apple, but you are making yourself ridiculous. Even more than Microsoft, because in that case you don't have a de-facto monopoly associated to a vendor lock in.