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Subject: Re: [office] Proposal for lists/numbered paragraphs

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On Tuesday 18 March 2003 21:34, Philip Boutros wrote:
> Hi David
> When we "add" structure we are also removing the connection between the paragraph style and the list style/counter.
> Let say in Word I have a style called "phil" to which I have associated a 
> list style that makes the each paragraph that has the  "phil" style display 
> with a letter in front of it (A, B, C, etc.) When going to openoffice the list 
> style is preserved but would have to be decoupled from the paragraph style. 

Are you sure this is what happens? If your style called "phil"
has all the information necessary for those paragraphs, then the paragraphs
will have the "phil" style, there will be no additional "list style" created.
So there would be a single style, no "connection lost".

The OO file format calls "style" any collection of settings, with a distinction
between automated-styles and user-created-styles. Your "phil" style would
be one of the latter group, but that's all. I don't see why a separate "list style"
would be created, if the "phil" style already says "number those paragraphs
with A, B, C in front".

> Plus each paragraph of the "phil" style would have to be wrapped in <list> elements.

Well, each set of consecutive paragraphs of that style, more precisely. The
point the OO people make is that most of the time they will be consecutive
Except when people use numbered paragraphs in a case where they should 
use headings, of course.... I found that OO makes that difficult, probably
on purpose, but other word processors don't.

> This is a loss of information because what I want as a user is that anything I style 
> with "phil" has A, B, C, etc. in front of it. 

Sure. But since the "phil" style says so, it would work.

> Bigger Picture
> --------------
> What openoffice has done with the <list> element is attempt to take the very 
> simplest case of "numbered paragraphs" in word processors and turn them 
> into structure so they can be easily processed. 

> In doing so they have complicated all the other cases of "numbered paragraphs"
> and were forced to add a whole new mechanism to deal with "numbered headings". 

Yes, I totally agree here. This surprised me much too.

However the elements for specifying the kind of numbering etc. are shared,
so it's not really a "whole new mechanism".... Only a different top-level tag.

> I again recommend we abandon this well intentioned but problematic scheme and 
> model "lists" as the major word processors do. This not only unifies all 
> "numbered paragraph" in the schema but also allow better transfer of the user's intention 
> from the major word processing formats.

This was also my initial opinion....
But if we can express everything with both mechanisms, i.e. if they are totally
equivalent on a semantic level, then it doesn't really matter which way we 
choose, it's only a matter of "whatever makes the implementation easier"
(of the word processors, and of the filters - with a conflicting goal there ;).

Since I'm not convinced by your example of a semantic difference (loss
of information), I'm still with the position that both representations are
equivalent, for now...

- -- 
David FAURE, faure@kde.org, sponsored by TrollTech to work on KDE,
Konqueror (http://www.konqueror.org), and KOffice (http://www.koffice.org).
How to write a Makefile.am for KDE/Qt code:
Version: GnuPG v1.0.7 (GNU/Linux)


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