VO as an authoring environment

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VO as an authoring environment

Steve Litt
Hi all,

I admit it -- I thought Noel was going a little over the top when he began
moving VO toward a generic authoring environment. Then I considered the
alternatives, at least where books are concerned...

LyX (a gui front end to LaTeX) went south on me, so researched OpenOffice 2.0
with the new OpenDocument native format. Have you ever looked at
OpenDocument?

I created a document with the words "Hello world." and saved it. It saved to
a .zip file opening into a directory structure containing several files. The
one called "content.xml" contained the "Hello world", but also contained tons
of extraneous stuff, all crammed onto a single line with thousands of
characters. A quick s/></>\r</g separated it into lines, but it was still
obtuse. I added "by steve litt" to the end of the Hello World, then rezipped
it to hello2.odt, and looked at the result in OpenOffice.

OpenOffice told me the file was corrupt, offered to rebuild it, and rebuilt it
correctly. Presumably my introduction of newlines with each code caused the
"corruption".

I created a file with a user created style, and unzipped it, and tried to add
some text in Vim. I then eliminated all my linefeeds. No good, it came out
corrupted, and when OO rebuilt it, my style was gone.

To me, one of the benefits of a text native format is the ability, if worst
comes to worst, to make modifications in a text editor. This is clearly
difficult in OpenDocument. In that respect it's similar to Microsoft RTF --
sure, it's text, but good luck trying to manipulate it as such.

OpenDocument isn't binary, but it almost might as well be. You'd need to be an
XML guru to manipulate it in an editor -- it's the most non-human-readable
stuff involving space through tilde.

When writing books, LyX is problematic, OpenOffice's native format precludes
manipulation with an editor. Noel, you're starting to make a lot more sense
to me these days.

SteveT

Steve Litt
Founder and acting president: GoLUG
http://www.golug.org
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Re: VO as an authoring environment

Matej Cepl-2
Steve Litt wrote:
> LyX (a gui front end to LaTeX) went south on me, so researched OpenOffice
> 2.0 with the new OpenDocument native format. Have you ever looked at
> OpenDocument?

I am forced to use OOo 2.0 myself (working with a lot of Excel tables) and I
found it surprisingly good (if I would be able to make bibus
<http://bibus-biblio.sourceforge.net/> or some other bibliography tool work
with OOo, I am seriously contemplating switch from LyX).

> I created a document with the words "Hello world." and saved it. It saved
> to a .zip file opening into a directory structure containing several
> files. The one called "content.xml" contained the "Hello world", but also
> contained tons of extraneous stuff, all crammed onto a single line with
> thousands of characters.

To make it more readable uncheck Tools/Options/Load&Save/General/Size
optimization for XML format. There is whole website xml.openoffice.org,
which deals with the format of OOo files. Check especially their FAQ
<http://xml.openoffice.org/faq.html> and maybe answer to the question #6
(and go to <http://xml.openoffice.org/filter/>. There are also third-part
packages which do this (I have tested them with OOo 1.*, so I am not sure,
how well they work with OOo 2.0) -- search for "FlatXML".

BTW, you may be interested in things like:
http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-think15/
http://ooolib.sourceforge.net/ (Perl-library for manipulating OOo files).

> I created a file with a user created style, and unzipped it, and tried to
> add some text in Vim. I then eliminated all my linefeeds. No good, it came
> out corrupted, and when OO rebuilt it, my style was gone.

Still uncheck that option and be careful whether you are not messing with
CRLF/LF/CR settings.

> To me, one of the benefits of a text native format is the ability, if
> worst comes to worst, to make modifications in a text editor. This is
> clearly difficult in OpenDocument.

No, it isn't, but you have to be very careful about XML settings -- there is
something called FlatXML filter (I cannot find good URL to download it),
which makes OOo document into pure XML (one file, no zips).

> In that respect it's similar to
> Microsoft RTF -- sure, it's text, but good luck trying to manipulate it as
> such.

See above -- you should probably not deal with it in pure vim (well, it is
possible -- there are people editing complex XML files with Vim), you are
much better with some real XML-aware editor (even Emacs with some mode
should work). And of course, barring some disasterous situations, you deal
with the document with XSLT, not plain text editor.

> OpenDocument isn't binary, but it almost might as well be. You'd need to
> be an XML guru to manipulate it in an editor -- it's the most
> non-human-readable stuff involving space through tilde.

Learn XSLT -- I was able to add in one afternoon (without any previous
experience with neither XSLT nor OOo) into their Docbook export
bibliographical information from OOo document (which is not useful, but it
was a good exercise in how easy it is to manipulate with OOo documents).

> When writing books, LyX is problematic, OpenOffice's native format
> precludes manipulation with an editor. Noel, you're starting to make a lot
> more sense to me these days.

Well, it seems to me that the problem with all DIY formats (like LaTeX,
wiki-based documents, Docbook-in-Emacs, etc.) is that you HAVE TO do
everything yourself. On the other hand, it is hard not to see how
incredibly huge amount of work already went into complete Office packages
(just compare KOffice with either M$-Office or OOo -- there is so much
stuff they are missing yet). Just managing your indexes, TOCs, footnotes,
or bibliographic citations "by hand" (i.e., by some DIY tools) is pretty
messy and that is not even half of the really advanced stuff (see for
example this
http://www.openofficetips.com/blog/archives/2004/11/webquery_scrapi_1.html
-- of course you can do something similar with Perl, Python, etc., but in
OOo Calc (and M$ Excel) it has been already done so you can make it work in
minutes).

Just dumping current state of my thinking of this theme -- and yes, I still
use LyX/BibTeX and I haven't switched yet. Followup on this these theme is
more than welcome.

Matěj

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Re: [GoLugTech] VO as an authoring environment

Steve Litt
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
On Monday 31 October 2005 06:18 am, Homer Whittaker wrote:
> On Monday 31 October 2005 10:10, Steve Litt wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > I admit it -- I thought Noel was going a little over the top
> > when he began moving VO toward a generic authoring
> > environment.
>
> Steve what do you mean byh a "generic" authoring environment?
> Homer

VimOutliner is moving toward a point where, with the proper scripts, a single
outline could be used to produce a paper output, a web page, a pdf, or who
knows what else.

In other words, the idea might be to write an entire book in VimOutliner, then
run a Vimoutliner2LaTeX or VimOutliner2OpenOffice or VimOutliner2HTML script
on it.

Basically, Noel implemented styles and tables, and of course we already had
body text and a heading hierarchy.

SteveT
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Re: VO as an authoring environment

Matej Cepl-2
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
Steve Litt wrote:
> To me, one of the benefits of a text native format is the ability, if
> worst comes to worst, to make modifications in a text editor. This is
> clearly difficult in OpenDocument. In that respect it's similar to
> Microsoft RTF -- sure, it's text, but good luck trying to manipulate it as
> such.

Aside from references mentioned in my previous post, I would also
http://books.evc-cit.info/, which again illustrates benefits of using
widely-used tools -- there is just so much information out there (including
this one, which is really accessible even to XML non-gurus).

Matěj

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Re: VO as an authoring environment

Noel Henson
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
On Monday 31 October 2005 07:10 am, Steve Litt wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I admit it -- I thought Noel was going a little over the top when he
> began moving VO toward a generic authoring environment. Then I
> considered the alternatives, at least where books are concerned...

I sometimes do that (go a little over the top). :)

>
> LyX (a gui front end to LaTeX) went south on me, so researched
> OpenOffice 2.0 with the new OpenDocument native format. Have you ever
> looked at OpenDocument?

I am currently taking a look at it. It looks to be simple, if one keeps it
simple. I see that there is huge opportunity for obfuscation of the actual
information stored with it; as you point out. Still, it is the future.  
Perhaps there should be a tool or tools to strip out the XML that is
extraneous formatting and program-specific information?

> When writing books, LyX is problematic, OpenOffice's native format
> precludes manipulation with an editor. Noel, you're starting to make a
> lot more sense to me these days.
>
> SteveT

Well, I'm glad to hear that. Seriously though, I have had this pet peave of
not being able to open old documents. I had some great spreadsheets, once
upon a time, that I archived because I wasn't sure if I'd need them again.  
The archiving part worked very well. What I failed to do was save my old
programs (123, Quattro Pro and Word Perfect). Over the years, modern
programs failed to maintain the ability open them. Who knew? If there had
been a human-readable format to save them in, I should have.

Today it is also a productivity issue. I hate word processors. Or rather:
I hate WYSIWYG word processors. I don't like the way they help me with
formatting. I don't like the way they make it hard to enter acronyms.  
I don't like many things about them. The two biggest issues are: wasted
time and reduced bandwidth. I've had employees take many times longer to
write documents in Word than in DOS WP because them spend most of their
time on the document's glamor instead of on the content. It was a horrible
drop in productivity when Word offered animated bullets and other images.  
Sales and graphics people wasted huge amounts of time on these
'enhancements'. Not to mention that many of our clients couldn't open these
documents because they had not yet 'upgraded' their MS apps. Arrgh! But
I ramble.

I use text editors and VO whenever possible. It is the simplest to edit and
contains the highest information density possible for creating and editing
a document as well as the highest information density in the stored filed.  
Text files (and VO files) are also the most resilient, non-ECCed way to
store information. Try deleting or changing a random byte inside a Word
document. Though Word will try to repair the document, it is usually
unreadable past the point of the modification. The same is not true of text
files.

Steve, you wrote some stuff on lyx that I've read again and again. I really
like the idea. It separates presentation from entry and editing. Kind of
like the old nroff days. I loved that. I just typed and my tech reports
came out beautifly formatted. I've been slowly working my way to a VO to
lyx program. Actually I'm slow working my way around to many VO to
* programs. I want to remain in my maximum information density mode for as
much of my work as I can. I have programs that take VO files and:

        * generate project reports
        * generate project report summaries
        * generate otl file summaries
        * generate nicely-formatted documents (in html)
        * generate nicely-formatted letters (in html)

As many know, I've just finished the alpha version of a program that can
convert an otl file to most tags-based formats. It should be easy to create
configuration files for:

        html
        xhtml
        sgml
        opml
        OOimpress (though you'll have to gzip the output files
        Open Document?
        man
        tex
        lyx?
        what else?

These conversions will allow me to do even more with VO.

Again, I ramble. The basic idea is that I intend to keep going "over the
top" concerning the use of VO as my primary editing and document creation
environment. It simply makes me more productive.

Noel

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Re: VO as an authoring environment

Matej Cepl-2
Noel Henson wrote:
>> LyX (a gui front end to LaTeX) went south on me,

Steve, actually only when reading Noel's reply it hit me -- what problems
you have with LyX?

> Well, I'm glad to hear that. Seriously though, I have had this pet peave
> of not being able to open old documents. I had some great spreadsheets,
> once upon a time, that I archived because I wasn't sure if I'd need them
> again. The archiving part worked very well. What I failed to do was save
> my old programs (123, Quattro Pro and Word Perfect). Over the years,

BTW, 123 and WordPerfect should be readable by OOo 2.0 (and maybe there is
some project for Quattro Pro, but who knows).

> Steve, you wrote some stuff on lyx that I've read again and again. I
> really like the idea. It separates presentation from entry and editing.
> Kind of like the old nroff days. I loved that. I just typed and my tech
> reports came out beautifly formatted.

Before jumping on LyX, read please this thread of mine on lyx users list
http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.editors.lyx.general/19370
LyX (and LaTeX and to some extent XML) people had always in the back of
their heads hope that someday people will finally recognize value of
structured authoring (aka WYSIWYM aka "separation of presentation from
content") and there will be huge influx of users and developers. I am
afraid that the sad reality is that even if such global revelation happens,
then people will go to XML and most probably to OOo. As you said Noel, that
is the future. You may not like it (and I am not quite sure what to think),
but I am afraid it is. And I am getting tired of waiting and I am afraid
that LyX will sooner or later (and I am afraid sooner) finally die (if it
hasn't happened yet -- there is still no 1.4 version).

> OOimpress (though you'll have to gzip the output files
s/gzip/zip/
> Open Document?
same as above

Matěj

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Re: Re: VO as an authoring environment

Noel Henson
On Tuesday 01 November 2005 03:24 pm, Matej Cepl wrote:
> BTW, 123 and WordPerfect should be readable by OOo 2.0 (and maybe there
> is some project for Quattro Pro, but who knows).

Yep. Now.

>
> > Steve, you wrote some stuff on lyx that I've read again and again. I
> > really like the idea. It separates presentation from entry and
> > editing. Kind of like the old nroff days. I loved that. I just typed
> > and my tech reports came out beautifly formatted.
>
> Before jumping on LyX, read please this thread of mine on lyx users list
> http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.editors.lyx.general/19370
> LyX (and LaTeX and to some extent XML) people had always in the back of
> their heads hope that someday people will finally recognize value of
> structured authoring (aka WYSIWYM aka "separation of presentation from
> content") and there will be huge influx of users and developers. I am
> afraid that the sad reality is that even if such global revelation
> happens, then people will go to XML and most probably to OOo. As you
> said Noel, that is the future. You may not like it (and I am not quite
> sure what to think), but I am afraid it is. And I am getting tired of
> waiting and I am afraid that LyX will sooner or later (and I am afraid
> sooner) finally die (if it hasn't happened yet -- there is still no 1.4
> version).

Eventually I think people may. Once real productivity is analyzed, changes
will be made. I had a client that continues to use a character-based
console to access his sales, quoting, ordering, invoicing, receivables,
payables and inventory system. He has refused to upgrade it to a GUI. It
would slow his people down. They themselves find it much easier to type:
4332, to jump to a particultar inventory query screen or 1221 to get to
a list of their outstanding quotations so they can convert on into a sale.

Another example was my bank. They used to have no or very short lines
waiting for tellers. They had about 10 teller windows and only about six
were ever open at any time. They switched from IBM green-screen terminals
specially constructed for the banking industry to a GUI front end running
on XP. From that moment on there were long, long lines to see a teller.  
And, more often than not, all 10 teller windows were open. My banker told
me that she wished they could switch back. Customer satisfaction was way
down and her labor costs had tripled. Not due to the slowness of the
application mind you. It was the speed of the human/computer interface. Now
there was a huge amount of mousing. Before there was none. Now there were
nearly no keyboard shortcuts. Before there were many. The list goes on.

Now I know that these two examples don't have anything to do with creating
or editing a document, but I think the same problem exists. Specifically
I think that the real cost of creating a document will come out. Why pay
someone to write and format a sales letter every time. Why not pay them
just to write the letter. I'll wager that in most cases, the time to create
the letter will decrease by 60% or more. Email, for the most part, is very
much like what I'm talking about. Although, it is getting worse and worse
as more email editors are adding glamor and increasing the amount WYSISYG.

>
> > OOimpress (though you'll have to gzip the output files
>
> s/gzip/zip/

Oops. Thanks. I rarely use zip.

>
> > Open Document?
>
> same as above

??? I don't think I understand. Unless it's that OOo uses the Open Document
standard. With 'Open Document?', I meant that the otl2tags program may be
able to output an Open Document-formatted file that OOo and other programs
could read and perhaps even merge with some glamorous template.

Noel

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Re: Re: VO as an authoring environment

Steve Litt
In reply to this post by Matej Cepl-2
On Tuesday 01 November 2005 06:24 pm, Matej Cepl wrote:

> Steve, actually only when reading Noel's reply it hit me -- what problems
> you have with LyX?

Same complaints as I've had for three years, but it finally made me crazy:

1) Creating your own environments subjects you to HUGE debugging times. The
same styles I could create in 5 minutes with WordPerfect 5.1, MS Word or
OpenOffice can take more than a day with LyX. Yeah, I'm not the greatest LyX
technician in the world, but I wasn't the greatest WordPerfect, MSOffice or
Openoffice technician either.

What happened a couple days ago is no matter how I modified my layout file,
the symptom, including the line number reported with the error (upon
compilation to dvi) remained the same. Finally, the next day, when I was no
longer furiously livid, I traced it down to my leaving the "End" statements
off my LyX styles. OK, defective programmer -- I cop to it, but Jeez,
couldn't they give me some useful error messages?

2) Same ol, same ol, NO CHARACTER STYLES!!! Until this is fixed (1.4, from
what I understand), the LyX crew has absolutely no credibility touting
WYGIWYM, and then telling me to represent the name of a troubleshooting
process step with either noun or emph, instead of being able to construct a
troubleshooting_process_step character style. Dekl Tzur, bless his heart,
told me about a workaround with colors, which allowed me to write
"Troubleshooting Techniques of the Successful Technologist". Had it not been
for Dekl's workaround, I would have had to back out and write the book in MS
Word.

Steve Litt
Founder and acting president: GoLUG
http://www.golug.org
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Re: VO as an authoring environment

Steve Litt
In reply to this post by Noel Henson
On Tuesday 01 November 2005 03:56 pm, Noel Henson wrote:
> On Monday 31 October 2005 07:10 am, Steve Litt wrote:
[clip]
> Steve, you wrote some stuff on lyx that I've read again and again. I really
> like the idea. It separates presentation from entry and editing. Kind of
> like the old nroff days. I loved that. I just typed and my tech reports
> came out beautifly formatted. I've been slowly working my way to a VO to
> lyx program.

The concept of LyX is wonderful, which is why I keep letting it abuse me. The
main problem is that creating your own styles is like pushing a Chevy
Suburban with 4 stuck wheel bearings up the rocky mountains.

If you mean VO to LyX *content* converter, that's trivial -- much easier than
the VO to OpenOffice that's already been written. As long as you separate the
document preamble and layout file, and don't do those in VO (they really
shouldn't be -- there's nothing hierarchical about LaTeX), then the
conversion is trivial. You just name your styles in VO -- a functionality
you've already put in, and then just transfer them to the LyX file.

Now if you can find a simple way to make LyX layout files that do what I need
done, that would change everything.

SteveT

Steve Litt
Founder and acting president: GoLUG
http://www.golug.org
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Re: [GoLugTech] VO as an authoring environment

Steve Litt
In reply to this post by Matej Cepl-2
On Tuesday 01 November 2005 12:35 pm, Matej Cepl wrote:

> Steve Litt wrote:
> > To me, one of the benefits of a text native format is the ability, if
> > worst comes to worst, to make modifications in a text editor. This is
> > clearly difficult in OpenDocument. In that respect it's similar to
> > Microsoft RTF -- sure, it's text, but good luck trying to manipulate it
> > as such.
>
> Aside from references mentioned in my previous post, I would also
> http://books.evc-cit.info/, which again illustrates benefits of using
> widely-used tools -- there is just so much information out there (including
> this one, which is really accessible even to XML non-gurus).
>
> Matěj

Hi Matěj,

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!!

That URL does a great deal to explain OpenDocument, and even gives example
code for reading (and presumably modifying) documents of that format.

I've decided to give LyX another chance, but the web page you referenced gives
me the confidence to know that if I have to beat a hasty retreat to
OpenOffice, my content will be safe and workable in OpenDocument format.

Thanks again.

SteveT


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Re: Re: VO as an authoring environment

Matej Cepl-2
In reply to this post by Noel Henson
Noel Henson wrote:
>> > Open Document?
>>
>> same as above
>
> ??? I don't think I understand. Unless it's that OOo uses the Open
> Document standard. With 'Open Document?', I meant that the otl2tags
> program may be able to output an Open Document-formatted file that OOo and
> other programs could read and perhaps even merge with some glamorous
> template.

OOImpress (version 2.0) uses the same OpenDocument format as the rest of
OpenOffice.

BTW, both you guys may be very much interested in this book (available
online) <http://books.evc-cit.info/odbook/>, esp. in the examples how to
manipulate OOo with Perl in its examples
<http://books.evc-cit.info/odbook_examples_05_10_17.zip>.

Best,

Matěj

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Re: [GoLugTech] VO as an authoring environment

Steve Litt
In reply to this post by Matej Cepl-2
On Tuesday 01 November 2005 12:35 pm, Matej Cepl wrote:
> Steve Litt wrote:
> > To me, one of the benefits of a text native format is the ability, if
> > worst comes to worst, to make modifications in a text editor. This is
> > clearly difficult in OpenDocument. In that respect it's similar to
> > Microsoft RTF -- sure, it's text, but good luck trying to manipulate it
> > as such.
>
> Aside from references mentioned in my previous post, I would also
> http://books.evc-cit.info/,

Matej -- the abovereferenced URL was a spectacular info source -- clear and
complete, without assuming the reader is either an idiot or a genius.

Do you know of similar quality online documentation on LaTeX?

Thanks

SteveT
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Re: Re: Re: VO as an authoring environment

Noel Henson
In reply to this post by Matej Cepl-2
On Tuesday 01 November 2005 05:46 pm, Matej Cepl wrote:

> OOImpress (version 2.0) uses the same OpenDocument format as the rest of
> OpenOffice.
>
> BTW, both you guys may be very much interested in this book (available
> online) <http://books.evc-cit.info/odbook/>, esp. in the examples how to
> manipulate OOo with Perl in its examples
> <http://books.evc-cit.info/odbook_examples_05_10_17.zip>.
>
> Best,
>
> Mat?j

Thanks. I'll check it out. I'm in the middle of the other OD quick-start
guide (http://books.evc-cit.info/) and playing with content.xml and
styles.xml files. It seems that otl2tags can easily create the content.xml
file. OO can open it correctly even with an empty styles.xml file. Wrapping
that inside of a shell script to create the rest of the JAR should be
trivial. Creating a odp file seems a little more complex. I'll take a look
at it a bit later.

Does anyone want to try to create some otl2tags configurations for OD? It
will help me refine it.

Noel



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Re: VO as an authoring environment

Matej Cepl-2
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
Steve Litt wrote:
> Do you know of similar quality online documentation on LaTeX?

Not online -- go for dead wood. Kopka, Daly's "Guide to LaTeX" (now in the
4th edition) <http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321173856/> is really
spectacularly good, it even give me the feeling that hacking LaTeX is
really simple :-).

Matěj

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..every Man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has
any Right to but himself. The Labour of his Body, and the Work of
his Hands, we may say, are properly his. .... The great and chief
end therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putting
themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their
Property.
    -- John Locke, "A Treatise Concerning Civil Government"


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Re: Re: VO as an authoring environment

Matej Cepl-2
In reply to this post by Noel Henson
Noel Henson wrote:
> Eventually I think people may. Once real productivity is analyzed, changes
> will be made. I had a client that continues to use a character-based
> console to access his sales, quoting, ordering, invoicing, receivables,
> payables and inventory system. He has refused to upgrade it to a GUI. It
> would slow his people down. They themselves find it much easier to type:
> 4332, to jump to a particultar inventory query screen or 1221 to get to
> a list of their outstanding quotations so they can convert on into a sale.

And there is even worse possible situation. I am now employed in some
conversion of HR department to Peoplesoft database, and so I sit all day in
front of WEB-BROWSER, because that is the sole user interface for PS! Talk
about productivity block! On the other hand, I have to admit, that PS
programmers tried to make it as good as possible (there are tons of
Javascript somewhere behind), so it is much better, then what you expect
from browser interface, but still. And yes, another nice side-effect is
that although everybody here uses Internet Explorer, Firefox works so I can
spend my whole day with my notebook and Linux (BTW, greasemonkey RULEZ!!!
-- and I say it as a faithful KDE lover, who tries to use KDE-programs for
everything if possible).

Matěj

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stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers
of the righteous." The prayers of a friend are one of life's most
gracious gifts.
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Re: VO as an authoring environment

Ben Armstrong
In reply to this post by Noel Henson
On Tue, 2005-11-01 at 13:56 -0700, Noel Henson wrote:
	html
	xhtml
	sgml
	opml
	OOimpress (though you'll have to gzip the output files
	Open Document?
	man
	tex
	lyx?
	what else?
Freemind "mm" format.  This may be helpful:

http://freemind.freezope.org/FreemindWiki/ImportAndExportToEmacsAndWikipediaOutlines

Ben
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OT: evolution+exchange plugin "Wants to receive HTML mail" limitations

Ben Armstrong
On Thu, 2005-11-03 at 09:35 -0400, BG - Ben Armstrong wrote:
> Freemind "mm" format.  This may be helpful:
>
> http://freemind.freezope.org/FreemindWiki/ImportAndExportToEmacsAndWikipediaOutlines

My apologies for the HTML post.  Evolution's addressbook "Wants to
receive HTML mail" option is apparently only supported in the local
Evolution address book.  The vimoutliner contact entry is saved in my
Exchange addressbook.  Now that I have figured this out, I will move the
entry to Evolution's own addressbook to prevent future slip-ups.
(Everyone in the company is on Outlook except me, and they all prefer
HTML mail, so that's my default -- I was manually unchecking this option
for each public mailing list post, but sometimes I forget.)

Ben


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Re: VO as an authoring environment

Noel Henson
In reply to this post by Ben Armstrong
On Thursday 03 November 2005 05:35 am, you wrote:
> Freemind "mm" format.  This may be helpful:
>
> Ben

I just took a look at the FreeMind XML file format. It should not be any
problem at all for otl2tags. Just make a config file for it. Start with one
of the files I posted and the modifications should be fairly straight
forward.

Noel


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Re: VO as an authoring environment

Ben Armstrong
In reply to this post by Ben Armstrong
On Thu, 2005-11-03 at 09:35 -0400, BG - Ben Armstrong wrote:
> Freemind "mm" format.  This may be helpful:
>
> http://freemind.freezope.org/FreemindWiki/ImportAndExportToEmacsAndWikipediaOutlines

Hm.  That's from the old Wiki.  This page in the new wiki may be more up
to date:

http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Accessories

Ben

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Re: Re: Re: VO as an authoring environment

Noel Henson
In reply to this post by Matej Cepl-2
On Wednesday 02 November 2005 09:52 am, Matej Cepl wrote:

> Noel Henson wrote:
> > Eventually I think people may. Once real productivity is analyzed,
> > changes will be made. I had a client that continues to use a
> > character-based console to access his sales, quoting, ordering,
> > invoicing, receivables, payables and inventory system. He has refused
> > to upgrade it to a GUI. It would slow his people down. They themselves
> > find it much easier to type: 4332, to jump to a particultar inventory
> > query screen or 1221 to get to a list of their outstanding quotations
> > so they can convert on into a sale.
>
> And there is even worse possible situation. I am now employed in some
> conversion of HR department to Peoplesoft database, and so I sit all day
> in front of WEB-BROWSER, because that is the sole user interface for PS!
> Talk about productivity block! On the other hand, I have to admit, that
> PS programmers tried to make it as good as possible (there are tons of
> Javascript somewhere behind), so it is much better, then what you expect
> from browser interface, but still. And yes, another nice side-effect is
> that although everybody here uses Internet Explorer, Firefox works so I
> can spend my whole day with my notebook and Linux (BTW, greasemonkey
> RULEZ!!! -- and I say it as a faithful KDE lover, who tries to use
> KDE-programs for everything if possible).
>
> Matej

I agree. But I have been involved with several medium- and large-scale DB
apps. The ones in which the programmers have pixel-level control over the
display as opposed to implementing a web browser interface easily take
5 times longer to complete. I had one client that was switching an old main
frame (console-based) application to a custom
Accounting/Inventory/Sales/CRM running on Oracle. The temporary console
interface to this absolutely huge system took a week or so to implement.  
The web browserf interface took a few weeks. They spent over a 18 months on
the Oracle light-weight [snicker] client. All displayed the same
information; except the console version couldn't show images. The browser
iterface you're using may just have been a 'least evil' solution. Properly
done though, you should be experiencing lightning performance even though
it is a browser interface.

Greesemonkey, huh? I'll have to check that out.

Noel

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