Yesterday I started writing a paper for WWW2008 about widgets (and given the highly competitive nature of the WWW conferences, I doubt it will be accepted). Anyway, the conference mandates that citations conform to ACM’s referencing style (eg. smith  says, “bla bla”), which is not currently supported by Microsoft Word. My immediate thought was, “Right! Word’s style files are just (OO)XML so it should just be a simple matter of changing some angled brackets to create the ACM style!”. My plan was to base the ACM style on the already supported ISO 690 style, which is similar except it uses parenthesis “(1)” instead of brackets “”. So I went into MS Word’s program file directory, and located the bibliographical styles. To my shock, the reference style file was an impenetrable XSLT file (7093 lines long and completely uncommented!). I spent about 20 minutes trying to work out what the hell the file was doing… but eventually I gave up :(. I compared ISO 690 XSLT style file to the ACM Bibtex sytle file. The bibtex style file is only around 1700 lines long, and nicely commented I might add.
Yay! the W3C has canned the work on the Declarative Format for Applications and User Interfaces (DFAUI), putting an end to something that had no way of ever finishing. Of course, you probably have never heard of the DFAUI because the WAF WG never published any documents about it. The idea was to standardized an XML language similar to XAML or Openlaszlo…. but instead, what the WAF-WG got was an input from Nexaweb called XAL. Anyway, the people that were supposed to be editing the document never got very far, and as far as I am concerned, the work they produced was of fairly low quality (that’s not to say my work doesn’t suck!).
These are my random thought on how I think the DFAUI should have been standardized…and why it failed….
If you are thinking of installing Vista, don’t! It is easily the biggest waste of time and money ever. Their campaign should really focus on the “Wow! now that’s total crap” factor. Easily the most counter productivepiece of software I have ever used. After using it for 6 months I swear I was about to throw my laptop against the wall. I don’t usually experience frustration with software, but Windows Vista just goes too far. It’s slow, even with all the glitz turned off, and nothing works properly: could not print as the spooler service would constantly crash on start-up, explorer.exe constantly crashed, slow, slow, system freezes, more slowness, would not come back from sleep mode, argh I get angry just thinking about it!!!
I instead reverted back to WindowsXP (which we have now dubbed “the workhorse”). Out of frustration I also installed Ubuntu, hoping to free myself from Microsoft… alas, Linux still has a few years to go. The world is rosey again 🙂