OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

office message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]

Subject: Re: [office] discussion about a feature request regarding user inputfields

Dear TC members,

here is the promised description about the feature request regarding
user input fields in word processing applications from the Sun
OpenOffice.org Writer team perspective.

Current status in OpenOffice.org Writer:
In OOo Writer, we have an user input field - named "OOo input field" in
the following to avoid term/name clashes. This OOo input field can be
inserted into a paragraph and can be filled with arbitrary characters as
its content. The content of the OOo input field can not be formatted
individually - it gets the format attributes of its enclosing paragraph
and/or enclosing text spans. Thus, the user has the possibility to make
the complete content of the OOo input field "Bold" by creating a
corresponding text span, which encloses the OOo input field. The OOo
input field also has a description.
Such OOo input fields can be used to create something like a formular:
   <heading>Description of a person</heading>
   <paragraph>First name:
     <OOo input field description="firstname">
     </OOo input field>
   <paragraph>Last name:
     <OOo input field description="lastname">
     </OOo input field>
     <OOo input field description="address">
       a same town near Hamburg, Germany
     </OOo input field>
   <paragraph>Special interests:
     <OOo input field description="interests">
       german soccer league, OpenOffice.org, OpenDocument,
       JAVA, C++, ...
     </OOo input field>
The OOo input fields can be used to perform some kind of processing -
e.g. jumping from OOo input field to OOo input field and ask the user to
fill it with the appropriate content.
Another use case are template documents, which contain fixed text and
OOo input fields. These OOo input fields mark the document position, at
which the user has to complete the document text. E.g., a template
letter of a insurance company used to communicate with its customers on
a certain insured event. Such a template document contains fixed text,
which shouldn't be changed, but has to be completed by the stuff about
the certain insured event.
The OOo input field is currently saved in the OpenDocument file format
as a text input field represented by element <text:text-input> - see
chapter 6.3.11 in draft 6 of our ODF 1.2 specification. This ODF
element/object is named "ODF text input field" in the following to avoid
term/name clashes. Currently, the ODF text input field fulfills the
needs of the OOo input field.

Feature request for OpenOffice.org Writer:
Several corporate customers and government customers request certain
enhancements for the OOo input field. They want to format the content of
an OOo input field - e.g., underlining certain parts of the content.
They also request to inserted not only arbitrary characters, but also
paragraphs, lists, tables, etc. For example consider the previous
mentioned sample document and its OOo input field with the description
"interests". Here, such users has the request to structure the text
content into paragraphs, list items and tables and to include formatting:
   <paragraph> Special interests:
     <OOo input field description="interests">
         <list item>
           german soccer league
         </list item>
         <list item>
         </list item>
         <list item>
           playing cards
         </list item>
       <paragraph><bold>programming languages:</bold></paragraph>
         <list item>
         </list item>
         <list item>
         </list item>
     </OOo input field>
Such an enhanced OOo input field can no longer been modeled with the 
current ODF input text field.

The question/challenge now is, how can such an enhanced OOo input field 
be modeled in ODF? Should/Can it be done by using existing features of 
ODF? Should/Can a certain ODF element be enhanced to fulfill this 
feature request? Should a new ODF element been introduced to fulfill 
this feature request?
A lot of questions with a lot of possible solutions.

As Bruce suggested, I hold back my ideas of possible solutions at the
moment. I want to mentioned that the Sun OpenOffice.org Writer team 
isn't stuck to a certain solution.
Let's first agree on the feature request, before thinking about 
solutions. Don't hestitate to ask questions for clarifications regarding 
the feature request.

Regards, Oliver.

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]