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Subject: Re: [office] white-space processing proposal

On Monday 18 September 2006 16:56, Dave Pawson wrote:
> Michael called OOo an XML application.
> I hate XML editors that 'make it look pretty'.
> What is 'pretty' for person A is ugly for person B.
This is true, but that's just an implementation detail. ODF applications can
preserve whitespace if they have many users such as you (and too much RAM...),
but they don't -have- to, since the document remains the same (on screen, 
on printer, and semantically) if they don't.

From an implementor's perspective, it would be a huge waste of RAM to store 
the whitespace as it was in the original document, just to restore it when saving
back to XML, "just in case" the user actually cares, which will be... almost never.
Office suites are not XML editors (as in "they work on the XML").
They are office suites that use XML for loading/saving, that's all.
They should certainly be free to use any whitespace / indentation, when this
doesn't modify semantically the document, anything else would be a huge waste
of resources.

> White space is significant in XML
Not in ODF, except where it is specified to be, that's the point.
For instance 
or <office:body><office:text>
never made any difference. And KOffice saves ODF the first way, whereas
OOo saves ODF the second way unless you enable 'pretty-printing'. Yet
both ways are valid, and equivalent.

> I don't think the spec should support an implementation
> playing around with the base XML.
It always did, and it always will - where whitespace isn't significant,
like in the above example. The change we are discussing is only a corner
case of it all: space at the beginning and end of <text:p>.

David Faure, faure@kde.org, sponsored by Trolltech to work on KDE,
Konqueror (http://www.konqueror.org), and KOffice (http://www.koffice.org).

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