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Subject: ODF-Next -- Text Case Attributes, Please

Use Case 1

A user creates a lengthy document in outline format, marking section
headings to be included in the table of contents. The user creates a
style that marks headings with text attributes to appear in all caps
case in the body of the document. The user creates a table of contents
entry style that applies initial caps case to the same heading titles
when they are copied to the table of contents.

Use Case 2

Law office staff create a document to be filed with the court. The
document title appears in three places. The document title is embedded
in a style. In the case caption of the document, staff wrap the title
style in All Caps attributes. In the footer, staff wrap the title
style in Initial Caps and Small Caps attributes. In the Certificate of
Service, staff wraps the style in Initial Caps and Boldface

Use Case 3

Same as Use Case 1 and Use Case 2 except that the headings and
document title contain acronyms which must remain in all caps case and
proper nouns whose first characters must remain capitalized despite
case attributes otherwise applied to the entirety of the strings. The
user applies a "Keep Caps" attribute to the acronyms and proper noun
initial characters that prevent them from being rendered in other than
All Caps case.


The absence of text case attributes in word processing formats has
been a pain in users' backsides for a very long time. Major word
processors provide tools for converting case but do not provide the
means of converting case in real time through the use of case

The result is that users are routinely required: [i] to enter the same
text repeatedly using different cases rather than parking repetitive
text in styles that would reduce the potential for inconsistent
occurrences of what should be the same string; [ii] to manually review
and convert case in tables of contents with every successive draft
that must undergo review, correcting case errors created by the case
conversion routines; [iii] to forego the potential advantage of styles
that could be wrapped in case attributes; [iv] to forego using text
case sensibly, e.g., by producing tables of contents in butt-ugly All
Caps case; and most seriously  [iv] to waste valuable time with
repetitive tasks that could be eliminated through automation using
case attributes.

For example, a skilled word processor user could easily build a
vocabulary of commonly-used acronyms and proper nouns marked up with
the Keep Caps attribute and stored in the word processor's automatic
abbreviation expansion system. Likewise, proper nouns that appear in a
spellchecker's word list could have the Keep Caps attribute
automatically applied to their first character. Software routines that
automatically extract from documents copies of strings marked with
Keep Caps attributes could be developed that automatically store such
strings in the abbreviation expansion tool's data store.

As a retired member of the legal profession, I cannot tell you how
many hours of my career were spent coping with such text case issues.
But it was surely in the high hundreds if not thousands of hours. And
of course the legal profession is not the only profession that must
routinely produce documents with tables of contents. Multiply that
productivity hit times the number of users with similar experience and
it's an area where a more automated approach is long overdue.

Best regards,

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. (Marbux)

Universal Interoperability Council

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