Word and XML (was: XML standards coherency and so forth)

Sean Mc Grath digitome at iol.ie
Sat Jan 23 11:21:09 GMT 1999

>[Sean Mc Grath]
> > RTF doesn't map well to XML -- even very low level -- formatting
> > oriented XML -- because of the way RTF is structured.
> > 
> > It is stack based and allows structures to overlap:-
> > 
> > 	\b1 bold \i1 bold italic \b0 italic \i0 plain
> > 
> > Matching up the on/offs:-
> > 	<b> bold <i> bold italic </b> italic </i> plain
> > 
> > invalid XML (or indeed SGML) because of the overlaps.
[David Megginson]
>This is actually quite simple to handle algorithmically by maintaining
>a stack and doing a pushback when tags aren't nested:
>RTF   Tags        Stack
>\b1   <b>         (b)
>\i1   <i>         (b i)
>\b0   </i></b><i> (i)
>\i0   </i>        ()

I agree that removing the overlap is doable but the fun starts
when you try and layer descriptive semantics onto the elements.
For typographic effects it doesn't matter because the
turn-off-and-immediately-turn-back-on markup is

Different story when, say bold in some context signals
telphone element and you get this after unravelling:-)

	<Telephone>+353 96</Telephone><Telephone><i>473</i></Telephone>

I guess I get worried when people say things like
"Office 2000 can save stuff in XML therefore we
can author our structured documents with it...."

If the XML is concerned with low level typography
"Save as XML" is still a million miles away from
OFX, Duckbook or whatever.

<Sean uri="http://www.digitome.com/sean.htm"/>

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