typodupeerror

• #### You've got to think... like a machine... (Score:5, Informative)

<wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:47AM (#15252396) Homepage

My small crystallization of the whole word processing: You write text. Computer formats it.

If you want the computer to not mess up your formatting, you've got to think like a machine and understand the structure of the formatting. Humans, by default, only care about superficial formatting: "this is in wrong place, let's move it a bit." Computer sees a bunch of formatting instructions.

The biggest problem with WYSIWYG word processing is... well, basically the exact same problem with WYSIWYG HTML editors: You think you have the utter and ultimate control over the presentation, while you actually don't have that luxury. You merely have real-time response to the formatting decisions. Some other day (and in some other version of the program), the formatting decisions the program makes will be different. When using word processor, you have to stop thinking about the formatting and just let it do the thing for you.

Word processing and typesetting are separate tasks. If you don't understand that, and do typesetting decisions while you're doing word processing, you end up in a completely wrong place.

You have to assume your tab key doesn't know damn where to align the text - if you're submitting text for publication somewhere, it's likely to go completely wrong anyway. You have to not rely on spaces being always "space" width at all. (I export my OO.o docs to HTML which gets converted to LaTeX for PDF generation. HTML doesn't care damn about extraneous whitespace. Neither really does LaTeX.)

If you want to preserve formatting instructions at all, OpenOffice.org's style system is your bestest friend ever. You can't produce robust formatting without that thing, so learn it and learn it well.

In closing, two words: Reveal Codes.

• #### Re:You've got to think... like a machine... (Score:2)

"Word processing and typesetting are separate tasks. If you don't understand that, and do typesetting decisions while you're doing word processing, you end up in a completely wrong place."

Jeez, dude. You sound just like the LaTeX manual.
• #### Open Docuemtn Format Plugin for Microsoft Office (Score:2, Interesting)

Does anybody talk here about OpenOpenOffice ? http://o3.phase-n.com/ [phase-n.com] They are still promising a release without giving us anything to eat but anyway, be aware that one day, it will be really easy for everybody to switch between all office suite. Manu
• #### Re:Open Docuemtn Format Plugin for Microsoft Offic (Score:2)

Does anybody talk here about OpenOpenOffice ?

One thing that worries me about that is that it sends your file off on the internet (or to your server, if you have one you bothered to set up like that). Can't it just convert it right there on your machine?
• #### Word processors are overthought (Score:2)

It seems to me that word processors are over-thought if you have to worry about doing things the "right" way (as defined by the programmers). If I want to treat a WP like a TV typewriter and manually format everything just like we did in Bank Street Writer on my Apple //c, it should be perfectly OK with that. If I then want to intersperse some fancy formatting like bulleted lists, handle it without me having to think hard about it. I don't want to care about these things, I just want to write the stupid

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