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Re: SEUL: common file formats

> IMHO we should not try to establish new standards for data exchange, e.g. 
> HTML or RTF, but open a convenient way to use de-facto-standars (Winword...)

Properly speaking a standard is something published and which can be used
by anyone, and which must also be stable. To my knowledge RTF could be
one, but .doc is not. Also, please note that there are many .doc formats
which are convertible only in one direction (from version 1 upwards). 

> in our Linux distribution.  Although we can assume that our "target user"
> will know how to use text converters, many people with whom he wants to
> exchange data will not know how to generate a HTML file from their Word
> document, and so our target user will have to cope with this "standard".  

Well, if html2rtf (this must be an easy script to write) and
rtf2html are done, this problem is solved. .doc, as I said before,
is unstable. Our distribution can't solve just any possible problem.

> As far as text exchange is concerned our target user could prefer a word
> processer like StarOffice, Applixware... or TeX/LaTeX for his work. So 

Or Lyx or AndrewToolkit (which are both GPL-ed and WYSIWYG).

There is also a WYSIWYG word processing with sgml doc format
taking place. I think it is called Wurd.

> we have to  provide tools to convert the DOS/Win/Mac-formats to the 
> word processer or LaTeX format. 
> If we decide to provide a word processor like StarOffice with our 
> "distribution" we will hopefully get a convertor for most PC formats with 
> it, in case of LaTeX a word2(la)tex converter would be nice.

There already exist rtf2tex and doc2tex converters. I didn't try them.
Nevertheless, conversion between Word, TeX, LaTeX, WP, etc is
not, even theoretically, possible for arbitrary documents in these
formats (not to mention that the Word format is unstable). This is
why I think that this problem should somehoe be bound to HTML.

NB. There are very many other document preparation systems out
there, and all they have in common is ascii and HTML. This
is true for the Mac also. If a document preparation system
does not support HTML output its developers do probably consider
providing it, don't they.


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