MCAD Tech News #195

13 Dec, 2006 By: Jeffrey Rowe

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Today's edition of MCAD Tech News is the last of 2006. We'll take a break for the holiday season, returning in the New Year with the January 4, 2007, edition. We thank our authors and all our loyal readers for another successful year and wish you all the happiest of holidays.
 — Cadalyst staff

Will XML Win the Open Format Wars?


Last week was an interesting time for XML as an open format. A standards organization known as Ecma International approved Microsoft's Open XML, the default document format in Office 2007, as an international data standard -- despite objections from IBM. Ecma, a nonprofit industry association of technology developers, vendors and users, is responsible for future development of Open XML.

In approving the specification, Ecma's General Assembly meeting in Geneva also agreed to submit the standard for adoption by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization). ISO approval would greatly increase the new standard's use by a myriad of organizations.

Theoretically, standardizing Open XML will aid interoperability between Office and other competing software, such as Corel's WordPerfect and OpenOffice, an open source suite. Approval of the specification, however, was not unanimous. IBM voted against Open XML, saying OpenDocument (having already earned ISO approval), which is the default format in OpenOffice, is a "vastly superior" format, and another standard was unnecessary. IBM, not surprisingly, was the only Ecma member to vote against Open XML's approval. Sounds like this could devolve into a battle of dueling document standards -- and XML could be the basis on which the battle is fought. Read more>>

Autodesk Gets Platform-Neutral DWF Viewing into Vista

By Sara Ferris

Following closely on Microsoft's debut yesterday of the long-awaited Windows Vista, Autodesk announced that DWF technology has been incorporated into the new operating system using XPS (XML paper specification). This will allow Vista users to view DWF files without requiring plug-ins or other additional software tools. DWF files published to the XPS specification can be automatically opened and viewed using the XPS viewer built into Windows Vista, Autodesk reports. We spoke with Amar Hanspal, vice-president, Autodesk Collaboration Solutions, for details about this significant announcement, which we reported initially in the Cadalyst Daily newsletter. Read more >>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Institute of Industrial Engineers Courses
January 17-March 27, 2007
Norcross, Georgia
The Institute of Industrial Engineers offers courses on Six Sigma, Process Management, Statistical Analysis, Lean Enterprise and Lean Supply Chain Management on the student's schedule or during fixed dates at its Georgia headquarters. Read more

UGS Connection User Conferences
April 23-October 17, 2007
Various locations
UGS, in cooperation with national user group organizations, will jointly host UGS Connection annual conferences, including PLM World and PLM Europe, to connect users, developers and senior managers. Read more

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here>>

what's new at

New! Hot Tip Harry Newsletter from Cadalyst
Cadalyst announces the latest addition to its line-up of e-mail newsletters, designed for AutoCAD power users and beginning programmers alike. Debuting January 16, 2007, Harry's Code Class: Tips for Programmers will offer insight and how-to for LISP, VBA and ObjectARX programming for AutoCAD. Best of all, Harry's Code Class is led by Harry himself (a.k.a. Contributing Editor Bill Kramer, author of Cadalyst's popular "Hot Tip Harry" column). Don't miss a single issue -- sign up for Harry's Code Class: Tips for Programmers today!

Get the Code!
Cadalyst's December code from Hot Tip Harry is now available for download. This month, each AutoLISP tip was developed by Harry himself, in response to user requests posted on Cadalyst'sHot Tip Harry -- Help discussion forum.

Cadalyst's December Web Exclusives Now Live Online!
The latest editions of all your favorite Cadalyst tutorials for AutoCAD and other popular CAD software, CAD Cartoon, Dialog Box (letters from readers) -- plus all the content from the December edition of Cadalyst magazine -- are now live on Check it out!

My Monitor's Bigger Than Your Monitor
The latest Cadalyst Quick Poll is live online. This month, we want to know about your screen real estate: Is your monitor sadly small, the envy of all the CAD world or somewhere in between? Take the poll (go to any page of and scroll down to find the Quick Poll in the margin), then watch for the results in Cadfidential in the January 2007 edition of Cadalyst magazine.

Time for a New Job?
If you're in the market for a new job -- or if you just want to see what's out there -- offers a Job Search that will help. Powered by Indeed, this search tool offers a state-by-state list of CAD-related job openings, or you can customize a search to find your own list of U.S. job openings based on the keywords and locations you specify. Check it out today! Use the Job Search button under the Resources section on any Web site page, or click here for a direct link.

Cadalyst Daily Update
For all the latest news and new products, subscribe to the Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every issue includes a feature you won't find anywhere else -- hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, AutoCAD tips and much more! Here's a sample of what you missed recently:

•  AutoCAD Tips: Time-Saving Toggle Routines: Personalize your software with code to quickly switch a variety of variables.