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Re: Henning's proposal (Re: ASCII art)

2005-11-23 21:59:45

John C Klensin wrote:

--On Wednesday, 23 November, 2005 13:54 -0800 Joe Touch
<touch(_at_)ISI(_dot_)EDU> wrote:

To others:

     I'm seeking help with two aspects of this template:

     a) being able to generate ASCII printer output from Macs and
     under OpenOffice
             the current template has been tested only under
             Office XP with the "Generic / Text Only" print driver

     b) being able to generate XML output
             the current version can print to any printer,
             or output HTML,
             and can output ASCII text as above,
             but needs to be augmented to dump XML

             (NOTE: I'm still unconvinced of the utility of this
             exercise; at the end of the day, most of what I need
             a document to do I get out of .txt, .html, and .doc,
             including access to databases of BibTex references
             via EndNote)

If any of you would like to help, drop me an email (ASCII,
please ;-)


Getting a simulation of XML out can be done simply by doing a
"save as" from the version of Word included in Office
Professional 2003.  The difficulty is that it is
XML-used-as-format-markup, not XML-as-generic markup, and
"MS-XML" at that (i.e., if there is a defined DTD or Schema, it
appears to be only available to and manipulable by their
proprietary tools (and license-prohibited against reverse

That's the rub. There's allegedly a way to import DTDs into Word and
apply them, but I haven't figured out how to use them.

I tried to do that conversion with a version of RFC2821bis that
was composed using the  RFC3285 template plus a few corrections/
twitches suggested by colleagues at Microsoft for better Office
2003 compatibility.   I can show pictures of  the dents made in
the nearest brick wall by my head, a problem that was aggravated
by the fact that introducing either the 3285 template or yours
into my environment screws up the normal Word working
environment, which I need to keep pretty standard.

RFC2821bis was finally converted to rfc2xml format on a
one-time, no going back, basis by Tony Hanson.  I'm not sure of
exactly what he did, and suspect it involved some hand tuning,
but I at least ended up with something I can work with, get into
I-D form, and revise as I go along.  The difficulty, of course,
is that I lost all of the finely-tuned Word change tracking and
comment stuff which was why I used Word in the first place: Tony
converted the comments to XML comments, but that just isn't the
same thing.

Yeah - just outputting XML isn't enough. I need to be able to import it
as well. As per below, I thought Word 2003 was supposed to be capable of
this - though, as below, full transition to XML is 'forthcoming'. As
with the custom DTDs noted above, it's not clear that's going to help
us, even if the spec is open. This thread was talking about the IETF's
DTD, which wasn't designed with word processors in mind.

Microsoft announced yesterday that Word 12 (Office 2006?) will
have an XML output/ input/ archival format that they are going
to make public and submit to ECMA for standardization.  Whether
that will actually be any better or is just a ploy to keep a few
states (including Massachusetts) from standardizing on OpenDoc
is something that we won't know until the next version of Office
and the draft spec actually appear.


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