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


Bruce D'Arcus wrote:
> 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.
> Thanks!
> 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?
I didn't see any relationship between the ODF text input field and 
xForms regarding the described feature request.
Probably, a relationship can be built up, but it is not intented and not 
needed for the given feature request.

>> 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?

Yes, there is something like this in OOo Writer:
When you have opened a text document containing several OOo input 
fields, such a process can be started by Shift-Ctrl-F9. Then a dialog 
pops up, in which the user can enter the text for the first OOo input 
field. Afterwards, the user can switch to the next OOo input field, and 
so on.

Regards, Oliver.

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