This week provided some interesting opportunities for discussion on the LiveClipboard mailing list. While only a small change in the grand scheme of things, what I’ve just witnessed take place is something I am still in a bit of ’shock’ over. But shock like this is something I can handle.
The details of the discussion are not important to this post, as you can access the April 2006 mailing list archive if this interests you (the first topic [0.91 Spec comment: escaped markup is harmful] @ the link provided. Starts with a post from Danny Ayers on Tues, April 4th and moves forward from there. Thanks for getting this conversation started, Danny!) What is important is this:
The community spoke. Redmond listened.
Update: If I would have thought things through just a tiny bit, I would have realized that a CTO of a group headed by Microsofts CTO (Ray Ozzie) didn’t really make a whole lot of sense. As such, I have returned the text to appear as it does on the signature of Matts original post as “CTO Concept Development Team” which is the full name of the group. My apologies to the folks as MS for my decision to give Matt an infered promotion, without at least asking if it would be okay.
To my defense, I do stupid things sometimes. (thats all the defense I have at the moment… I’ll let you know if that changes. :)
[Original Post Continued]
Here’s the result recently posted to the list by Matt Augustine, Software Design Engineer, CTO Concept Development Team @ Microsoft:
In response to the various suggestions posted to the Live-Clip mailing
list, we propose the following changes to the Live Clipboard
specification, control scripts and samples. Please review them and post
your comments here as soon as possible so we can proceed. Assuming
people are amenable to these changes, we will work to release the
updates on our website in the next week.
If the <lc:item> element within <lc:format> contains XML data, this data
will not be escaped in a CDATA section. It must have a single root node
under <lc:item> and will be loaded by the control script as part of the
the control script will make this XML data accessible by storing its
root node in a property named “xmlData” in the DataItem object. The
contenttype attribute of <lc:format> elements containing items with XML
data should indicate that the content is XML, i.e. text/xml or
If the contents of <lc:item> is not XML data, it should be escaped in a
CDATA section. It will continue to be accessible by the existing “data”
property in the DataItem object. In this case, the DataItem “xmlData”
property will be null.
Thanks for all the time and effort everyone has put into providing us
with substantive feedback.
Software Design Engineer
CTO Concept Development Team
These are simple things, but as Danny asks in his original post:
Is there any compelling reason not to use XML properly?
Many of us believed that there wasn’t.
Microsoft listened. The above change was the result.
And it took less then 4 total days for this change to take place. To me, that’s amazing!
To Matt, Microsoft, and the rest of the folks who have been involved in building the interface that has opened up doors into Redmond for the community:
My guess is that in opening these doors, and making an effort to truly listen, to make changes when they seem rightfully justified, doors out here in the community that would otherwise be closed to anyone, or anything that even remotely resembles Microsoft, or someone representating them, will suddenly (yet for now, still cautiously) begin to start opening.
This stuff REALLY matters. Thanks!