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Re: Emacs as word processor / Text Properties

From: Lennart Borgman
Subject: Re: Emacs as word processor / Text Properties
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2013 02:27:58 +0100

The capability to export from .org files to LibreOffice etc is a very good feature. However the trouble is you can not import LibreOffice (since .org files can't handle all of the structure).

I think it is a huge job to be able to edit something with all the structures in a LibreOffice file (I am thinking of just Writer part). Perhaps a LibreOffice plugin is a bit easier to develop since Emacs does not have to hold the complicated XML data. I suppose it has to ask LibreOffice for it. Perhaps the plugin then must not then be able to edit all the data. (That depends of course on the plugin architecture.)

On Thu, Nov 28, 2013 at 1:50 AM, T.V. Raman <address@hidden> wrote:
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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