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Subject: Re: [office-accessibility] Q: ODF 1.1, Soft Page Breaks

Hi Malte.

On 11/08/06, Malte Timmermann <Malte.Timmermann@sun.com> wrote:
> I have some question and annotations to Soft Page Breaks.

> Section "Use Soft Page Breaks":
> An application that computes a paginated layout of a document should
> provide a facility to turn on soft page breaks for the purposes of
> consistent page breaks and for proper conversion to digital talking book
> formats (such as [DAISY]).
> What do we want to say here:
> - turn on *export of* soft page breaks
>       or
> - turn on *using exported soft page breaks for pagination*
> It can't be both. ODF Apps can much easier export them than using them
> for layout.
> I assume we talk about export here...

For Daisy, I am only interested in the XML I get from an ODF file,
so the 'export soft page breaks' interpretation is good for me.

> --------------------------------------------
> Processing of <text:soft-page-break>
> The name is *soft*-page-break, so it means it will only be used for soft
> page breaks, not for hard page breaks.
> So there is no page break indicator for hard breaks in the content
> directly, that information comes from a style sheet or from an automatic
> style.
> So the DAISY converter must look into style information to check for
> hard page breaks.
> But that should be OK, because styles must be processed anyway.
> Just wanted to point out this.
(from memory) I think I do process some style information.

soft-page-breaks are document content related though?
Perhaps it is right to  call it metadata or style information,
but surely there must be *something* in the XML document content?
The semantic is 'there is a soft page break here'.

> An other thing: You should be aware that very likely this feature will
> only ease the export to DAISY for the reason that the converter doesn't
> have to do some pagination.
Daisy itself does not have a page based model. (It is generally either the
same as HTML on screen, i.e. scrollable, or audio, again a stream.
The page breaks are taken as being a reference to the original source
document, informing the reader where the breaks were in that document.

> But it's IMHO unlikely the ODF applications will use the exported soft
> page breaks for pagination in the near future, because that is a very
> complicated feature.
> So when people want to talk about "Page XY", the author of the document
> should provide PDF and ODF with exported soft page breaks for DAISY
> conversion, but for reading people will have to use DAISY and PDF,
> because ODF will still not be the same on different platforms.

Does it make sense that daisy is not a paginated media?
Think of an audio book. The audio doesn't have pages, but the print
book on which the audio is based is paginated. Different things?

> Which Layout to use?
> An application might create different views with different layouts for
> displaying one ODF.
> This is (currently) not the case with OOo, but might lead to problems in
> the future: Which pagination will be used when storing the document?

A bit of a guess on my part, but when I set up OOo, I say I'm using A4 paper,
possibly set margins and headers, footers for a document.
That effectively defines how I want the pagination?
Or am I misunderstanding something?

> Performance
> As you can imagine, storing the document content is completely
> independent from the layout.
> That means OOo currently doesn't have the layout information when
> storing the different content elements.
> Of course that can be changed, but that will have some influence on
> performance, which is already bad enough.
> So storing pagination information in OOo will become an option, the
> default will be not to store that information.
> Authors should be aware of this.

Yes, I am OK with that. Conversion to daisy format will be
a one off occurrence for a document.

> Layout/View
> Just for completeness: The really correct solution would be to have a
> layout.xml instead of having soft pages breaks, which means layout
> information,  in content.xml.
> Content and Layout should be strictly separated.
Surely they will need to be linked?
E.g. to identify the point in the document at which the layout specification
has resulted in a new page?

> Layout.xml would contain all page breaks and might contain more fine
> granular information like line breaks, portions, char positions and more.
> But that's only the theory, for practical reasons we have soft pages
> breaks in content.xml now....

I can see layout.xml being a specification of how a document should
be laid out, but not the *only* place to go looking for page breaks?
Again, I may be misunderstanding something.


Dave Pawson

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