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


An excellent description of current capabilities of ODF and what is 



Oliver-Rainer Wittmann - Software Engineer - Sun Microsystems wrote:
> 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:
> <document>
>   <heading>Description of a person</heading>
>   <paragraph>First name:
>     <OOo input field description="firstname">
>       Oliver-Rainer
>     </OOo input field>
>   </paragraph>
>   <paragraph>Last name:
>     <OOo input field description="lastname">
>       Wittmann
>     </OOo input field>
>   </paragraph>
>   <paragraph>Address:
>     <OOo input field description="address">
>       a same town near Hamburg, Germany
>     </OOo input field>
>   </paragraph>
>   <paragraph>Special interests:
>     <OOo input field description="interests">
>       german soccer league, OpenOffice.org, OpenDocument,
>       JAVA, C++, ...
>     </OOo input field>
>   </paragraph>
> </document>
> 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">
>       <paragraph><bold>hobbies:</bold></paragraph>
>       <list>
>         <list item>
>           german soccer league
>         </list item>
>         <list item>
>           painting
>         </list item>
>         <list item>
>           playing cards
>         </list item>
>       </list>
>       <paragraph><bold>programming languages:</bold></paragraph>
>       <table>
>         <row>
>           <cell>language</cell>
>           <cell>skill</cell>
>         </row>
>         <row>
>           <cell>C++</cell>
>           <cell>expert</cell>
>         </row>
>         <row>
>           <cell>JAVA</cell>
>           <cell>beginner</cell>
>         </row>
>       </table>
>       <paragraph><bold>others:</bold></paragraph>
>       <list>
>         <list item>
>           OpenOffice.org
>         </list item>
>         <list item>
>           OpenDocument
>         </list item>
>       </list>
>     </OOo input field>
>   </paragraph>
> 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.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
Acting Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)
Co-Editor, OpenDocument Format (OASIS, ISO/IEC 26300)

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