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From Michael Stahl <>
Subject Re: Source format for user guides
Date Mon, 27 Jun 2011 19:29:20 GMT
On 27.06.2011 20:20, Frank Peters wrote:
> That does not mean, however, that we cannot use OOo as an authoring
> tool, provided we use a file format that can be read and written
> by OOo and is compatible with SVN storage. The OOo help, for example,
> uses a simple XML format, yet there is an authoring extension that
> allows you to edit those files directly from within OOo.
> We could go for Docbook (or a simplified Doc book), for example,
> or XHTML. Or even flat-ODF (uncompressed XML stream), although this
> stream is fairly "polluted" with insignificant meta information
> and would therefore be harder to "normalize" for SVN storage.

it is very easy to install a XSLT filter for flat ODF in OOo (in fact i 
believe LibreOffice ships with such a filter out of the box).

OOo can also (almost) store an ODF package as a directory, i.e. instead 
of a zip file you get a directory containing content.xml, styles.xml 
etc. files.
(but there used to be something in the export process that didn't work 
with packages as directories, don't remember what it was and whether it 
is fixed now.)

but one problem with using OOo's ODF support in this way is that on 
every export (at least from the Writer, which is relevant here) all 
automatic styles are auto-generated in some non-deterministic order.
so for every automatic style you would get a spurious line of diff in 
the SCM tool in every version, and all places in the document that 
reference the automatic style would have a changed style-name attribute 
as well.

also the IDs of index marks get re-generated on every export (which i 
would actually say is a bug).

i have no experience with the XHTML/Docbook filters.

> An advantage of this approach would be that we can showcase
> OOo's excellent potential as "generic" authoring tool through
> filters to almost any XML-based format.
> Frank

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