[rfc-i] Proper use of word processors

Joe Touch touch at isi.edu
Tue May 29 10:10:20 PDT 2012

On 5/29/2012 2:18 AM, Iljitsch van Beijnum wrote:
> I read the discussion about Word and how it exports to HTML. Like
> pretty much all other programs that can export to HTML, but aren't true
> HTML editors, it just uses whatever it can to get the output it needs,
> without regard for the semantic structure of the HTML....
> However, for our purposes it is useful to have clean markup, because
> contrary to what some people think should be the case, we often edit our
> document code by hand.

I *never* manually edit document code, and I see no reason why anyone 
should ever need to. I don't do that for any other kinds of docs I 
publish, in any other venue. Making support for that a requirement here 
is definitely both limiting and outdated, IMO.

(you offer to help with conversion tools for the body for Word '97)...

> That leaves the front matter with all the metadata and the
> references,
> but fortunately those only make up a small portion of the document so if
> those are handled in a less elegant way that would be ok.

Metadata can be added any number of ways, but plowing through references 
and converting them is going to get old fast. Again, the question is 
why? There's no universally accepted format for references anyway - all 
that's needed is enough information that the author can get at the info. 
We allow URLs, which ought to be enough at that point.


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