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RE: Status of RTF format?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 02:14:45 -0400 (EDT)
To: A.Flavell@physics.gla.ac.uk
cc: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>, WAI Guidelines List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0007240210220.18962-100000@tux.w3.org>
On Fri, 21 Jul 2000, Alan J. Flavell wrote:
[snip]
  And such documents can be saved as RTF, and converted by various
  RTF-to-HTML conversion tools (provided of course that the tools are
  properly attuned to creating proper structured content, rather than
  the pseudo-WYSIWYG garbage that gets extruded by some software).
CMN  
I used to use a tool called rtf2html for the Mac, which did a pretty good job
of this.

AF  
  If I had my way in configuring Word, I'd put the styles as buttons on
  the main menu, and hide the direct-formatting buttons away in some
  obscure Advanced-users section.
  
  While it's true that the names of the styles are not formalised in the
  way that HTML is, nevertheless you get a starting set in the standard
  templates that come with Word (Heading 1, Heading 2, List Bullet, Body
  Text etc.), some of which map in obvious ways to HTML; or you could
  decide to use styles named directly for the HTML structural tags.
  
CMN
Agreed. One of the things that bugs me a bout word2k is that it in fact has
both systems built in - and if you don't use the web-specific ones, you get
output which is all graphically done - the lists (which in RTF are actual,
structured lists) are convereted to paragraphs which start with bullet
characters and so on. It would make much more sense to have the clean
conversion, and would mean HTML was more neatly round-tripped into Word,
enabling authors to use the various features Word provides to support
structured editing (such as mamking things that seem to be lists into
lists...)

AF  
  In the end it seems to me that it's pretty much the same problem in
  any language, since it's not the details of the language that you need
  to overcome: it's the preconceptions of the users, a large proportion
  of whom believe that the task is about putting 8pt Times Roman and
  appropriate areas of white space onto the page, rather than
  identifying the structure of their information content.  Once that
  major leap of abstract thought has been achieved, it can be put to
  work in any language.  Until it has been achieved, little progress
  seems to be possible (in any language).
CMN
Yep.  

cheers

Charles
Received on Monday, 24 July 2000 02:14:53 GMT

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