[NTG-context] DOC/RTF to ConTeXt via XML

Christopher Creutzig christopher at creutzig.de
Wed Sep 28 13:45:03 CEST 2005

Duncan Hothersall wrote:

> RTF can capture everything that .doc can (MS update it every time they
> rev the .doc format), and it has the advantage that it is defined in a
> spec with a grammar, which means that importing routines (like the one

 Oh, yes, the RTF spec.  It really makes you wonder what Microsoft
employees understand by the word “spec.”  Word breaks almost every
single rule in that spec and has done so for ages:  “The LetterSequence
is made up of lowercase alphabetic characters (a-z). RTF is case
sensitive.  The following Word 97-2000 keywords do not currently follow
the requirement that keywords may not contain any uppercase alphabetic
characters.  ...”  But I should be happy that these violations are
actually dcumented.

> in OO.o) tend to be better than for the binary .doc format. So I would

 Okay; I did not know that whatever Microsoft currently calls RTF is
actually able to save all Word files losslessly.  (I am in the lucky
position not to have any Word files to convert.)  Makes me wonder if
there really is any need for an XML step in between.  Can OOo convert
RTF to XML without user intervention, such as clicking somewhere with a
mouse?  Maybe rtf2fo.com, http://www.infinity-loop.de/products/upcast/,
or http://sourceforge.net/projects/majix/ are good alternatives for this
step?  (I never used any one of them.)

> which have certainly improved. But RTF is a fairly safe bet, and
> additionally it is 'human readable' so that helps debugging.

 Asking a human to read RTF is certainly inhuman.  :-)

 But there is another advantage of using RTF: Authors can use almost any
word processor they want. :-)

> Well you might not need to - remember that ConTeXt can process XML
> natively now, which is why I suggested you look at the

 But unless I'm mistaken, this is based on a streaming model, which has
its advantages, but also disadvantages.  So, the question is whether the
xml format is close enough to the order in which ConTeXt would like to
get the bits and pieces.  Since the format has not been defined yet,
this question should be kept in mind.


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