RU2322687C2 - System and method for providing multiple reproductions of content of documents - Google Patents

System and method for providing multiple reproductions of content of documents Download PDF

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RU2322687C2
RU2322687C2 RU2004119954/09A RU2004119954A RU2322687C2 RU 2322687 C2 RU2322687 C2 RU 2322687C2 RU 2004119954/09 A RU2004119954/09 A RU 2004119954/09A RU 2004119954 A RU2004119954 A RU 2004119954A RU 2322687 C2 RU2322687 C2 RU 2322687C2
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Russia
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document
computer
reproduction
playback
contents
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RU2004119954/09A
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Russian (ru)
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RU2004119954A (en
Inventor
Дэвид Б. ОРНСТЕЙН (US)
Дэвид Б. ОРНСТЕЙН
Илан СЕНДЕР (US)
Илан СЕНДЕР
Джозеф КИНГ (US)
Джозеф КИНГ
Янг Гэх КИМ (US)
Янг Гэх КИМ
Джейсон М. КЭХИЛЛ (US)
Джейсон М. КЭХИЛЛ
Кейт С. БРИНТЦЕНХОФ (US)
Кейт С. БРИНТЦЕНХОФ
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Майкрософт Корпорейшн
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Abstract

FIELD: electronic documents and data storage formats, possible use for providing a single file which includes multiple representations of content of one and the same document.
SUBSTANCE: in accordance to the invention, multiple reproductions of one and the same content are combined in a single file of composite format. Each reproduction of the document is optimized to ensure best representation for certain device or application. The single file also includes meta information, which describes each one of multiple reproductions together with any supporting files, which may be used by these reproductions.
EFFECT: possible usage of one and the same file by several applications and devices.
19 cl, 8 dwg, 1 tbl

Description

This application is filed as a PCT application, registered May 17, 2003 by MICROSOFT CORPORATION, located in the United States, listing all countries except the United States.

FIELD OF TECHNOLOGY

This invention relates to electronic documents. More specifically, this invention relates to a data storage format for multiple electronic documents.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Computer users today have a wide variety of tools for viewing electronic documents. Desktop computers, laptop computers, handheld computers and tablet computers are just a few examples of the many different types of devices with which the user can view electronic documents. Each of these types of devices has a different form factor and shows documents in different ways. For example, an electronic secretary has a very different viewing area than the monitor used by a desktop computer. A desktop computer may have a different viewing area than a laptop computer. To make up the problem, electronic documents are created in so many different formats, each of which can have different viewing attributes.

Users often face the problem that a particular document may display well on one device, such as a laptop computer, and yet this document may not display well on another device, such as an electronic secretary. Software developers have tried to create a document format that can be displayed on many types of devices. For example, a representation of a “reformatted” document, such as HTML, took into account a certain amount of resizing when the window was resized without a serious harmful effect on the layout of the document. However, the use of this format often hinders the ability of the document author to precisely control what the document will be. In addition, since reformatted documents are designed to be partially viewable on many different devices, they do not provide a properly optimized viewing experience on any single device.

In contrast, formats that allow more control over how a document is displayed usually make the document applicable to a limited number of devices. For example, a word processing document can be viewed on a desktop computer in a visually satisfactory manner. However, a word processing document, if displayed in an electronic secretary, may be spread out or otherwise inappropriately. In addition, a document created by a word processor for a specific paper size, such as letter size, may not print correctly on paper of a different size, such as A4 size.

Some document formats allow you to strictly control how the document is viewed, making the contents of the document essentially a graphic image. One drawback of this document format is that several different versions of the entire document must be made available for each device on which the document is intended for viewing. In addition, the content of a fixed-format document is not editable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a system and method for providing multiple representations of document content within a single file. In short, the invention uses a compound file format to contain multiple data streams, with each data stream being a visual reproduction of the contents of a document. Other resources that are used by one or multiple plays are also stored in a composite file. Meta-information is stored within the compound file, which describes each reproduction of the contents of the document. This meta-information may also include rules that are selection criteria to support in identifying the appropriate playback for a given device or application.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a functional block diagram that shows a computing device that can be used in implementations of the present invention.

Figure 2 is a functional block diagram generally illustrating components of a system having a composite file created in accordance with this invention.

FIG. 3 is a graphical representation of a tree hierarchy that represents a composite file shown in FIG.

4 is a tabular representation of information that may be contained in a composite file constructed in accordance with this invention, which describes each of the multiple reproductions in the composite file.

5 is a graphical illustration of one specific example of a compound file having multiple streams and one storage, in accordance with one implementation of the invention.

6 is a graphical illustration of another example of a compound file having multiple streams, in accordance with one implementation of the invention.

7 is a flowchart generally illustrating a process for creating appropriate playback within a composite file available to a requesting application in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 8 is a flowchart generally illustrating a process for creating a composite file of multiple reproductions, in accordance with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The invention provides a mechanism for providing a single document that includes multiple representations of the contents of the same document. Each of the views can be optimized to provide a better view for a particular device or application. The mechanism of the invention is preferably based on a compound file format that allows storing multiple reproductions in a single document. Meta-information is included within the scope of a single document, which describes each of the multiple reproductions along with any supporting files that can be used with these reproductions. The inventors have determined that the compound file binding and embedding (OLE) file format is particularly well suited to implementations of the invention.

The invention will be described here first with reference to one example illustrative computing environment in which embodiments of the invention may be implemented. A detailed example of one specific embodiment of the invention will then be described. Alternative implementations may also be included with respect to some details of a particular implementation. Finally, examples of the implementation of composite files constructed in accordance with the invention are described. It will be appreciated that embodiments of the invention are not limited to those described herein.

ILLUSTRATIVE COMPUTATIONAL ENVIRONMENT OF THE INVENTION

Figure 1 illustrates a computing device that can be used in illustrative implementations of the present invention. With reference to FIG. 1, one exemplary system for implementing the invention includes a computing device, such as computing device 100. In a basic configuration, computing device 100 typically includes at least one processor 102 and system memory 104. Depending on the exact configuration and a type of computing device, system memory 104 may be volatile (such as RAM), non-volatile (such as ROM, flash memory, etc.), or some combination of the two. System memory 104 typically includes an operating system 105, one or more program modules 106, and may include program data 107. This basic configuration of computing device 100 is shown in FIG. 1 by components within a broken line 108.

Computing device 100 may have additional features or functionality. For example, computing device 100 may also include additional storage devices (removable or non-removable), such as, for example, magnetic disks, optical disks, or tape. Such additional memory is illustrated in FIG. 1 by removable memory 109 and non-removable memory 110. Computer storage medium (medium) may include volatile and non-volatile, removable or non-removable medium implemented in any method or technology for storing information such as computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data. System memory 104, removable memory 109, and non-removable memory 110 are examples of computer storage media. A computer storage medium includes, but is not limited to, RAM, ROM, EEPROM, flash memory or other memory technology, CD ROM, digital versatile disks (“DVDs”) or other optical memory, magnetic tapes, magnetic tape , magnetic disk memory or other magnetic storage devices, or some other medium that can be used to store the desired information and which may be accessible to computing device 100. Any such computer storage medium may be part of a device -keeping 100. Computing device 100 may also have input devices 112 such as keyboard 122, mouse 123, pen, voice input device, touch input device, scanner, etc. Output devices 114, such as a display, speakers, printer, etc., may also be included. These devices are well known in the art and do not need a detailed description here.

Computing device 100 may also include communication connections 116 that allow the device to communicate with other computing devices 118, such as over a network. Communication connections 116 are one example of a communications medium. The data medium can usually be embodied by computer-readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data in a modulated data signal, such as a carrier or other transfer mechanism, and includes any information dissemination medium. The term "modulated data signal" means a signal that has one or more of its characteristics set or changed in such a way as to encode information in this signal. By way of example, and not limitation, a communication medium includes a wired medium, such as a wired network or a direct wired connection, and a wireless medium, such as an acoustic, radio frequency, infrared, or other wireless medium. The term “computer-readable medium” as used herein includes both a storage medium and a data transmission medium.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF COMPONENTS

FIG. 2 is a functional block diagram generally illustrating components of an environment implementing the present invention. Several applications 220, 221, 222, a “playback manager” 210, and a composite file 201 are illustrated. Each of the applications 220, 221, 222 has a configuration for manipulating or displaying a document in a format specific to this application. For example, application A 220 may be a word processor or the like, application B 221 may be an email application capable of displaying HTML messages, and application C 222 may be a document viewer of a fixed format, such as an image viewer or the like. .

Compound file 201 is preferably an OLE compound file. An OLE document model is known in the art and is widely recognized as a mechanism for encompassing many incomparable data types in a single document. However, an OLE compound file is typically used in conjunction with the contents of a single document having embedded files or other supporting content that is also contained in a single OLE compound file. It is important that each element in the compound file is stored in such a way that it can be manipulated by the application that created it. The composite file 201 will be described in more detail below with reference to FIGS. 3 and 4.

In short, compound file 201 is the only file that includes multiple representations (interpretations, reproductions) of the contents of a particular document. These representations can be visual or of another type. Each playback is “targeted at” (optimized for presentation on) a particular class of devices or environments. For example, reproduction A 202 may be a word processing document, reproduction B 203 may be a reformatted version of the markup language of a word processing document, and reproduction C 204 may be a version of a fixed format of a word processing document. In addition to multiple plays, the memory 205 is included in the composite file 201 to contain other files or resources that can be used by one or more of the multiple plays 202, 203, 204. Metadata 207 includes information that describes each of the multiple plays 202, 203, 204, including which supporting files in memory 205 are used in conjunction with a particular playback.

Each reproduction includes “content” (such as text and markup) and may include a collection of “resources” (such as images, fonts, etc.). Although this is not necessary, it is envisaged that multiple reproductions may have different contents, since the markup necessary to display the content on different devices varies from playback to playback. However, these reproductions can often refer to the same resources. An aspect of the invention is that each shared resource appears only once in the composite file 201. Unlike some multi-part document formats, the composite file 201 allows one instance of a specific resource to be stored in memory 205 and used with any number of multiple reproductions 202, 203, 204.

In addition, the ability to combine editable playback (for example, a word processing document) with a fixed format (for example, XAML) in a single file is an advantage of the invention over other document formats. These different types of files can coexist in a document with many reproductions, and the correct reproduction will be used based on multiple factors, such as the availability of software during consumption or the user's intention (for example, joint development / editing of a document against printing, or the like) .

Playback manager 210 may be a service or function of an operating system that is responsible for creating document files available for applications. Compound file 201 has standard (for example, a component object model or "COM") interfaces in such a way that each playback can be manipulated as a whole or as individual streams. Each of one or more applications 220, 221, 222 can open and edit the composite file 201 by requesting access to it through the playback manager 210. Playback manager 210 opens the composite file 201 and returns interfaces for a particular playback to the requesting application based on the type of requesting application or other criteria.

Figure 3 is a graphical representation of the structure of a composite file 201, presented as a tree hierarchy. Composite files are usually referred to as the “file system in file”. Within compound file 201, there is a hierarchy of “storages” that are similar to directories in the file system, and “streams” that are similar to files in the file system.

In accordance with the invention, the content of each reproduction is placed in a separate stream or collection of streams. Thus, data that would represent the entire document file in a standard document format is stored in a specific stream of the compound file 201. Each resource referenced by one or more reproductions is also placed in a separate stream. However, several resources can be collected in a common repository.

Under the hierarchy root 301 of this example, there are several streams (i.e. stream 302, stream 304 and stream 306) and one store 308. In this example, stream 302 contains the first play (play A), stream 304 contains the second play (play B) , and stream 306 comprises a third reproduction (reproduction C). In accordance with this example, each of these reproductions represents a different visual representation of the document.

A special stream called “\ x0006RenditionList” 310 in this example contains meta information about each playback in the composite file 201. The list 310 of reproductions includes a table 312 that describes each of the reproductions in the composite file 201. Table 312 is described in detail below with reference to figure 4. In short, table 312 identifies each component of each playback in the composite file 201.

4 is a tabular representation of information that may be stored in the playlist 310. The playlist 310 may be represented as table 401, in which each row is associated with one play. In one embodiment, the columns in the table include a replay identifier column 410, a file name column 412, a rule column 414, and a description column 416. The following is a brief description of the purpose of each of these columns:

Figure 00000002

where the API is the application programming interface, MIME is the multipurpose extension of messaging on the Internet.

The format of the playback table allows you to designate one stream in each playback as the "initial stream" for this playback. When this thread is requested, the initial thread is the first thread to be submitted.

A special note should be made about the “Rules” information. As noted, the information in the "Rules" column is intended to provide the ability to make decisions about which playback to return to a specific application. Accordingly, the rule information may be as simple as the type of Multipurpose Message Transmission Extensions (MIME) on the Internet associated with a particular playback file, such as the first file identified in the file name column. In this case, the process could go through a playlist in search of a type of multipurpose Internet messaging extension that is compatible with the particular requesting application. Other identifiable characteristics could equally serve as a selection criterion, such as logical resolution and geometry, color depth, human language, or classification of the reader’s visual ability.

Alternatively, the selection criteria included in the rule column may be relatively complicated. For example, a link could be included in the rule column that points to the code either in a compound file or elsewhere, which helps the selection process. In addition, more complex information may be included in the rule column that describes each playback in a manner sufficient to support a particular application or playback manager 210 identified by the corresponding playback. These and other alternatives are apparent to those skilled in the art.

DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

Specific implementations of the invention are described below by way of example with reference to FIGS. 5 and 6, which together illustrate how the invention can be used to create a composite file to be used with the type of device for reading the working documentation of the application (FIG. 5) and for the type of processing application text.

5 is a graphical illustration of one particular embodiment of a compound file 501 having multiple streams and one store 503. In this example, the compound file 501 includes six different reproductions of the same instance of the contents of the document. The reformatting playback 505 is turned on, which represents the contents of the document in a manner whose essence is resizing according to a particular display device. Playback 505 includes a markup language or the like, which may refer to particular fonts 506 or images 507. Accordingly, these fonts 506 or images 507 are stored in one or more separate streams that are contained within the store 503.

Also included is playback 509 with a fixed screen size, which may be designed to be displayed on a specific screen size. For example, playback 509 with a fixed screen size may be a fixed size that correctly displays on a monitor having a resolution of 800 pixels by 600 pixels. Alternatively, fixed-screen playback 509 can be configured to display on a small, such as pocket-sized, handheld device.

Included are two reproductions that have a fixed size for specific computer printers. For example, reproduction 511 of the letter size includes a version of the contents of the document, which has a fixed format and is correctly printed on paper having a letter size. Playback 513 of A4 size includes a version of the contents of the document, which has a fixed format and is correctly printed on A4 size paper. As mentioned, these two printer reproductions can also refer to resources within storage 503.

The composite file 501 may also include reproducing 515 an image of the contents of the document and an audio representation 517 of the contents of the document. For example, the content of the document may be the contents of the book, in which case the image reproduction 515 may be a photograph of the pages of the book, and the audio presentation 517 may be an audible commentary on the contents of the book. It should be noted that reproductions do not have to be limited to visual representations of the same content.

6 is a graphical illustration of another example of a composite file 601 having multiple streams. In this example, the composite file 601 includes a word processing stream 603, a reformatting stream 605, and a fixed format stream 607. In this example, the word processing stream 603 may have embedded pictures and fonts that are stored in the composite file 601 in the shared resource stream 609. A playlist (not shown) for this particular example could then include playback information that allows for specific reproduction of the two source parts of a six or nine resource stream. This could be achieved by using sub-stream links when identifying files in the playlist file name part.

7 is a functional flowchart generally illustrating process steps in order to make multiple reproductions of a document available through a composite file. The process 700 begins at start block 701, where a composite file exists that includes multiple representations of the contents of such a document.

At 703, a request is received to access the composite file. This request can identify a particular requesting application and includes information useful in determining the appropriate playback, such as a particular format supported by the application, etc.

At 705, a specific application type, as well as other criteria, is identified from the request. Any additional information necessary to identify the corresponding reproduction may be requested from the application or some other source. For example, a specific type of device (for example, a handheld computer or a desktop computer) on which a compound file is located may be requested.

At step 707, a playlist associated with the composite file is requested to determine the appropriate play for the application. As described in detail above, a playlist may be requested to identify a particular playlist having the type of multipurpose Internet messaging extension that is compatible with the application. Alternatively, the playlist may include many rules or conditions that can be applied or compared with the criteria associated with the application.

At 709, a link (e.g., a plurality of interfaces) to a suitable playback is returned to the requesting application. At this point, the requesting application can manipulate playback as an object. The requesting application is represented by a presentation of the contents of a document that is intended for the application or a specific device.

FIG. 8 is a flowchart generally illustrating a process for creating a multiple reproductions file in accordance with the invention. The process 800 begins at step 801, where the application or applications created multiple reproductions of the contents of the document and prepare to record multiple reproductions in a composite file.

At block 803, a command is issued to add the first playback to the composite file. The first reproduction may be a visual representation of the contents of the document in an editable form, such as a word processing document. Similarly, the first reproduction may be in any one of many other representations of the contents of the document.

At 805, first playback metadata is added to the composite file. As indicated above, metadata may be under the stream of the playlist of the composite file. Metadata describes the first playback, including any files that may be part of the first playback. Metadata may also include rules or selection criteria in order to enable selection of a suitable play based on the requesting application.

At 807, a second playback is added to the composite file. The second reproduction may also be a visual representation of the contents of the document, or it may be some other form, such as an audible representation or representation of an image.

At step 809, metadata about the second playback is added to the composite file. Again, the metadata describes the second playback, including any files that may be part of the second playback. The metadata may also include rules or selection criteria in order to enable selection of a suitable play based on the requesting application.

At step 811, general descriptive metadata is added to the compound file, such as information about the author of the document or other play-neutral information about the document or compound file. At this point, the composite file includes two complete reproductions that may or may not share resources. This composite file can now be manipulated using a process similar to the process described above with reference to FIG.

The above description, examples and data provide a complete description of the ideas and illustrative implementations of the invention. Since many variants of the invention can be carried out without going beyond the essence and scope of the invention, the invention is defined in the following claims.

Claims (21)

1. Computer-readable media having computer-executable components comprising a composite file including a first stream and a second stream, the first stream including document content corresponding to its first playback in the format of one of the applications, the second stream includes the contents of the same document, corresponding to its second playback in the format of another application, while the composite file additionally contains a third stream, including meta-information that describes the first e reproduction and second reproduction, as well as information for identifying each play primary flow associated with each reproduction.
2. The computer-readable medium of claim 1, wherein the composite file further comprises a fourth stream including a resource shared by the first reproduction and the second reproduction.
3. The computer-readable medium of claim 1, wherein the first reproduction comprises a first visual representation of the document.
4. The computer-readable medium of claim 3, wherein the second reproduction comprises a second visual representation of the document.
5. Computer-readable media according to claim 1, in which the first playback contains an audible representation of the document.
6. The computer-readable medium of claim 1, wherein the information comprises a plurality of reproducing elements, each reproducing element having at least a reproducing identifier and a file identifier, the reproducing identifier being used to uniquely identify the particular reproduction with which the reproducing element is associated, and a file identifier is used to identify each file associated with a particular playback.
7. The computer-readable medium of claim 6, wherein each playitem further comprises at least a rule entry that includes criteria useful for determining which playback is appropriate for a particular device or application.
8. The computer-readable medium of claim 7, wherein each playitem further comprises at least a description record that includes human-readable information associated with a particular playback.
9. A computer-implemented method for providing multiple reproductions of the contents of documents, comprising receiving a command from a requesting application, the command being associated with reproducing the contents of a document in a given format; analysis of meta-information, which is a description of at least the first and second reproductions of the contents of the document in various formats, designed to identify a suitable reproduction of the contents of the document, the results of which provide access to the identified playback for the requesting application.
10. The computer-executed method of claim 9, wherein the multiple reproductions of the contents of the document are stored in a composite file.
11. The computer-performed method of claim 10, wherein the meta-information analysis comprises requesting data for multiple plays to determine selection criteria for use in identifying a suitable play.
12. The computer-executed method of claim 11, wherein the selection criterion comprises a characteristic for each of the multiple reproductions.
13. The computer-performed method of claim 12, wherein the characteristic comprises at least one selected from the group comprising the type of multi-purpose Internet messaging extensions, logical resolution and geometry, color depth, language, and classification of visual ability the reader.
14. The computer-executed method of claim 11, wherein the selection criterion contains rules for using a particular playback with a specific application or device.
15. The computer-executed method of claim 9, wherein the multiple reproductions comprise at least one visual representation of the contents of the document.
16. The computer-executed method of claim 15, wherein the multiple reproductions further comprise at least one other representation of the contents of the document.
17. The computer-executed method of claim 16, wherein said other representation of the contents of the document comprises an audible representation of the contents of the document.
18. A computer-readable medium with a data structure comprising a first stream including a document content corresponding to its first reproduction in the format of one of the applications; a second stream including the contents of the same document corresponding to its second reproduction in the format of another application; a repository containing resources referenced by the contents of the document; a table that describes the first playback included in the first stream, and the resources to which it refers, and the second playback included in the second stream, and the resources to which it refers.
19. The computer-readable medium of claim 18, wherein the table includes information about each reproduction, including an identifier for each reproduction and a list of files associated with each reproduction.
20. The computer-readable medium of claim 19, wherein the table further includes selection criteria for associating a particular playback with a particular application or device.
21. The computer-readable medium of claim 18, wherein the data structure further comprises an interface for manipulating the first reproduction as an object.
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