Friday, August 28, 2009
  NiXPS' offices on a 1611 AD map
I stumbled upon this gem: a map of low countries from 1611.
It maps large parts of present day Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and the north of France.

NiXPS is located in the area of Ghent, Belgium. And the town called '7.Eeken' (meaning in English:'7 oak trees'), is currently known as 'Zeveneken', and is about 1 km. from our office.

Here's a detailed view, with our offices marked:

That map is almost 400 years old, and it's pretty detailed. Fascinating.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
  Do more with XPS!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
  PDF files that can only be opened by Adobe Reader
Apparently it's possible to create PDF files that can only be opened by the latest version of Adobe Reader
More here.

Talk about vendor lock-in.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
  Desktop UI design
Here's a nice article that touches some interesting toppics on UI design for desktop applications.

The UI is one of the most important aspects of an application, and designing a UI that let's your user take advantage of all your brilliant code in a non-intrusive, elegant and comprehensible way, is very, very hard.
There is a lot of software out there with horrible user interfaces, and we really do not want to be part of that.
Not a lot is published on the subject of UI design & UI theory, so experience driven information like the one in the article is very helpful in designing a better user interface.

Over at NiXPS we are in the midst of preparing a new release of our NiXPS View application, and we encountering a lot of these conundrums ourselves. We are building a better UI, and we are very happy with how our next release is getting along. I'm going to show you some of this in a next post.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
  Microsoft and Nokia team up
Microsoft and Nokia announced a partnership around Office Mobile today.
Microsoft is going to bring the Office Mobile to the Nokia handsets, which are mainly based on the Symbian operating system.

This is interesting, as Microsoft competes against Nokia with their own Windows Phone (former Windows Mobile) OS software.
On the other hand, it is not unusual for Microsoft to port it's software to other operating platforms, Office runs on Mac for years.
Also, Windows doesn't make a phone of their own, as such they are not directly competing against Nokia, which is mainly a handset maker (with a software portfolio - QT springs to mind).

This is again a sign that the mobile computing space is heating up, it's an arena where the big corps are actively playing a lot of chess...
Thursday, August 06, 2009
  XML issue, NiXPS SDK unaffected
The Register reports the discovery of an XML flaw that appears to affect a lot of different XML libraries, as such it seems to be more of a design issue with XML, than a regular software bug.

XPS contains a lot of XML, so it's an issue that is of interest to the XPS community.

The details are scarce, but by looking at the references on the CERT advisory it seems to be related to the DTD an XML file can contain; and more specifically related to recursive DTD references.
The Apache software foundation publishes a very popular XML parsing library, Xerces.
They have implemented a fix, and the commit message appears to be: 'Avoid recursion when parsing simply nested DTD structures.' So we can safely assume that DTD recursion is at play here.

Our NiXPS SDK does not contain a third party XML parsing library, as we regarded the XML processing very vital and core to XPS processing, that we decided not to use a third party library for this.

The XML parsing implementation in the NiXPS SDK is immune to this DTD recursion issue.

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