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Re: Emacs as word processor / Text Properties

From: T.V. Raman
Subject: Re: Emacs as word processor / Text Properties
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 16:50:11 -0800

I have been a fan of XML for 15 years. But that said, you're not
going to convince me  that I'll do better with something that is
a reflection of data structures from a word processor as opposed
to say an org file that focuses on the structure of my content. I
became a fan of XML because I hoped it would bring the richness
of s-expressions to the Web, but that dream collapsed a long time ago.

Best Regards,

On 11/27/13, Drew Adams <address@hidden> wrote:
>> Internal data structures being XML is a small step -- but only a
>> very small step. Angle brackets do not in themselves semantics
>> make:-)
> Angle brackets are not an inherent part of XML, except its serialized
> form.  Think XML data, not XML as marked-up text.  No one represents
> XML internally using text.  Not an angle bracket in sight.
> And internal data structure being XML or Lisp sexps (which I also
> suggested) would be a GIANT step.  A definition of well formedness
> and being able to validate against schemas (e.g., XML schemas or DTDs)
> makes a huge difference.
>> For seeing what I mean, just take a look at the xml files in any
>> of the modern MS Office file formats.
> Not a reference, sorry - not representative.  I've already commented
> on this.  MS Office's use of XML is not up to par.  But even it might
> improve with time...  It has to interact with the rest of the world.
> At a minimum, it has to grok clean XML and sooner or later will need
> to be able to output clean XML for others (or they will filter to
> get that).
>> Most word-processors after a while lose the distinction between
>> layout style and content, and what results in the file format is
>> a messy bag of bits.
> Wrong.  The tendency is in the other direction, at least if you
> include high-end tools that people use to create doc.  Of course,
> if you just count the number of executables out there in the wild,
> then MS Word might beat all others combined (just a guess).  Still,
> it is not the measure I use, and it certainly is not a goal that
> anyone starting today would aim for.
> In the context of Emacs, which would be to a large extent starting
> from scratch in this area, there is zero reason to emulate something
> like MS Word, in terms either of its internal data representations
> or its *.doc files.  (That does not mean that Emacs could not import
> or export *.doc files.  I mean only that it is far saner to build on
> something like XML.)

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