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

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.


Comments/questions below.

> 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. 

OK, first, this limitation definitely seems unnecessary.

> 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.

In this case, the "field" is being used to enter form data.

First question: what is/should be the relationship between an 
ODF-specific "input field" and xforms?

> 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.

So to get more specific on the use case, you mean something like ...

The user starts a new document based on a template, and Writer prompts 
them for, say, the date and description of some fire or theft, and that 
text then gets inserted in the appropriate place in the document?


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