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Subject DO NOT REPLY [Bug 39582] add support for run-in headings (next paragraph starts at the same line)
Date Mon, 09 Apr 2012 19:02:17 GMT

orcmid <> changed:

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--- Comment #14 from orcmid <> 2012-04-09 19:02:17 UTC ---
Or, put another way, the paragraph begins with a heading as its initial text.

I always liked that capability.  It is particularly handy when doing numbering
of paragraphs as individual sub-sub-...-sub-sections.  It also works when the
section number is all there is to the heading.  Many technical and formal
documents benefit from that scheme.  I do it on web pages (by manual means

I think the key question, in pursuing this, is to figure out whether and how
ODF 1.2 supports such a provision or whether it requires a style extension of
some form.  Currently, headings and paragraphs are independent paragraph-level


This is an useful feature, but ODF 1.2 has no way of representing such an
arrangement at the present time.

A potentially really-bad idea is to embed a <text:h> inside of the <text:p> (or
vice versa).  This is not allowed in ODF 1.2.  There are weird ways to do this
indirectly using frames, but it is not clear how well that works and it would
be difficult to make easy for users and to recognize the hack on incoming
documents (and in interchange with other formats).  

One could introduce an OpenOffice extension to ODF 1.2 extended documents that
would degrade properly when not understood.  Something like
<ooo:run-in-heading> could be a new element allowed in paragraqph content.  It
could be done in such a way that consumers that did not recognize the extension
would simply treat the text within the element as text of the paragraph,
properly formatted but not recognized as heading.  (That is, it could be
reduced to treatment as a <text:span> and it might always have a <text:span>
within it to accomplish exactly that.  This might show the last of any
auto-numbering, but it might not update properly when the document is edited
where the run-in feature is not understood. 


Assuming that a workable method comes up, the next question is how resilient is
it when documents formed using the chosen technique are opened by other
ODF-supporting software that has never seen it before.  

This is a factor in conversion for interchange with other formats, including
PDF, Microsoft Office Word, HTML, etc.  

Also, there are many interdependencies with places where headings have an
impact, such as in cross-references, the autonumbering, the reflection of
current headings in headers and footers and tables of content, etc.


Great feature.  Obvious appeal.  Simple to ask for.  Not so simple to provide
in a robust way.  The use of a carefully-crafted extension element that fails
smoothly is the best prospect.

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