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Comment: WebODF handles ODF natively (Score 2) 70

by oever (#48837805) Attached to: Andy Wolber Explores Online Word Processors' ODF Support

Why load a document only to have it mangled by converting it to the internal format of some online text editor?

When loading a document, any document, that you want to edit and then save back, there should be no conversion whatsoever. The question of how good support for ODF is, should not be 'how badly does it mangle my documents?'. It should be a given that the document is *not* mangled. The question on how good the support for ODF, or any file format, is, should be: 'what types of edits can this program make on this file format.'

For decades, we're accepting that documents editors save back a file that, on the binary level, is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the original file. How weird this leniency towards document editors is, becomes apparent when looking at at how computer programmers work with documents. Computer programmers always use plain text files for everything. When the text editors they use saves their documents with tabs instead of spaces, or utf16 instead of utf8, they get quite irate and will abandon that text editor forever. Why do normal users not get angry at document editors that mangle their documents?

So instead of choosing these horrible black box online text editors, I advise you to use something like WebODF. This ODF editor, which is purely client-side javascript, can run on your private site and saves your ODF back as it found it with changes only in the places where you edited the document.

Comment: Where's the schema (DTD/XML Schema/Relax NG)? (Score 3, Insightful) 125

by oever (#48251303) Attached to: It's Official: HTML5 Is a W3C Standard

Where's the schema (DTD/XML Schema/Relax NG)?

Answer: there is no schema. Validating documents seems to have gone out of fashion. Writing a parser for HTML5 is extremely difficult. Basically the broken parsing behavior of old browsers is now standardized in a crazy arcane description of how to parse HTML5 documents.

Who benefits from such crazy parsing rules? The current browsers. This raises the bar for entry.

Comment: Separate hardware from software (Score 4, Interesting) 421

by oever (#47889767) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

A law that forbids selling hardware and software together would increase innovation. Consumers would only be able to buy hardware and software separately. That way, hardware vendors are encouraged to document the hardware and software vendors will compete on quality. Installation procedures would become very easy very quickly due to market pressure.

Comment: Re:Can you say, HUGE SECURITY HOLE (Score 1) 91

by oever (#47373927) Attached to: WebODF: JavaScript Open Document Format Editor Deemed Stable

The WebODF developers take security very seriously. WebODF runs in a browser and web browsers are the most battle hardened sandboxes available.

WebODF has no more access to your hard drive than any unprivileged website. If you press the icon to open a file, WebODF asks the browser to let the user pick one file. That file, and only that file that the user chose, is then passed to WebODF so it can open it. This is no different from an HTML form for uploading files. The difference is that WebODF does not need to even pass the file to a server. It is a client-side library that can parse a file purely in the browser without any network access.

If you use WebODF with a CMS, you can let the CMS decide which files WebODF has access to. When WebODF loads a document, it checks for any JavaScript present and prevents it from being executed.

WebODF is set up such that you only need a few files to run it and all those files can be hosted on your own server or placed in your own application. There is no need for any reliance on any 3rd party.

+ - WebODF: An ODF text editor in pure client-side JavaScript->

Submitted by oever
oever (233119) writes "TheMukt chides Google for not supporting OpenDocument Format well and claims that the newly released WebODF 0.5.0 in combination with ownCloud is the answer to this deficiency.

A WebODF developer blog highlights all the goodies in the first WebODF release where the text editor is considered stable and made available as an easy to use component. These include extensive benchmarking, unit testing, and advanced HTML5 techniques to give the editor a native feel."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Killer feature would be zotero integration (Score 1) 73

by oever (#45711855) Attached to: Owncloud 6 Brings Collaborative Open Document Format Editing to the Web
When importing an ODT into Google Docs, it is converted to a format internal to Google Docs. The blog post explains that in WebODF / ownCloud Documents, conversely, no conversion occurs.

For example, WebODF does not support displaying columns yet, but if you have loaded a document with columns, after saving, the columns will still be there.

Since the document is part of the DOM, you can edit it programmatically with JavaScript. So adding functionality for scientific citations is as easy as any website programming. You can do it the clean way and use operations, or you can change the DOM directly. (The latter is not advised in collaborative mode.) So yes, integrating with Zotero, should not be hard.

Adding WebODF into a workflow for collaboratively writing research proposals could be useful. One author adds 'fancy' stuff in e.g. LibreOffice and the other contributors make corrections and additions in a web version of the document.

Comment: Re:Good idea. What's the server side like? (Score 2) 73

by oever (#45711821) Attached to: Owncloud 6 Brings Collaborative Open Document Format Editing to the Web

The server side can be really simple. In a real-time collaboration scenario, there needs to be conflict resolution. The code for that is implemented in JavaScript as well and, in the case of ownCloud Documents, runs in the clients.

Each change to the document is sent as a numbered operation to the server. If a change with the same number has already arrived, the latest changes are sent back to the client. The client then modifies/rebases the original change on top of the new changes and send the change again.

The server stores each individual numbered change for the document as well as snapshots of the document for certain revisions. With some work, one could even store the change (audit trail) inside the document.

Comment: Re:Not the first:AbiCollab has been running for ye (Score 3, Informative) 73

by oever (#45711795) Attached to: Owncloud 6 Brings Collaborative Open Document Format Editing to the Web

AbiCollab certainly precedes by many years. WebODF is newer and has two advantages of

First, WebODF runs just in a browser with no need to install it locally. It runs completely on a webpage. That's why it can by integrated into any web-based workflow. E.g. a user could generate a document by filling in a questionnaire and edit a document afterwards with WebODF.

Second, there is no document conversion. A document that is loaded into LibreOffice, AbiWord, OpenOffice, or Microsoft Office, edited and saved again, will be significantly different from the original document. Features may be lost or saved differently. Since WebODF just loads the ODF XML into the DOM and saves back the DOM, the document is unchanged, except for the places that have been edited. This is even true when the documents contains features, e.g. xforms, that are not supported yet.

+ - WebODF: New open-source Google Docs killer with real-time collaboration and ODF->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "WebODF developer Aditya Bhatt has written a blog post introducing a self-hostable replacement for Google Docs that works with ODT files.

Made by the same developers that maintain KDE's Calligra Office Suite, the web app features real-time collaborative editing that works in the browser without any plugins.

Incidentally, this is also used in the new OwnCloud Documents..."

Link to Original Source

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"