Paul Prescod paul at
Sat Mar 20 00:00:40 GMT 1999

"Simon St.Laurent" wrote:
> Ah, but if MS Word had a simple "Save-To-XML" option that let users save
> their documents using markup based on the styles they've built.  

I was thinking about this last week. Someone could build this relatively
easily on top of the Office 2000 save as XML and the MSHTML DLL. 

> Three
> times now, I've seen organizations that had done a lot of very good
> informal work with Word styles, and no easy path for those structures or
> the documents that use them to move to XML.  I guess the incentive just
> isn't there for MS to make life easy.  There are tools to do it, but it's
> still not much fun.  (Another painful case of asymmetry.)

Even if the tool to do it was a "Save-To-XML" option it would still be not
much fun. 

After all, the goal is not to get it into any-old-XML (that's easy) but to
get it into "our vocabulary". That's the harder part. There are tricky
problems about setting up division structure, converting tables to a
particular table model, cross-references to a particular linking model and
so forth. In the end it is a transformation job no matter how you slice
it. And even then you will likely have to do many manual fix-ups unless
the writers are Zen monks.

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

"Perpetually obsolescing and thus losing all data and programs every 10
years (the current pattern) is no way to run an information economy or
a civilization." - Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog

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