Archive for the ‘Word Processing’ Category

The Case for HTML Word Processors

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

The Case for HTML Word Processors by Adam Hyde.

From the post:

Making a case for HTML editors as stealth Desktop Word Processors…the strategy has been so stealthy that not even the developers realised what they were building.

We use all these over-complicated softwares to create Desktop documents. Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, whatever you like – we know them. They are one of the core apps in any users operating system. We also know that they are slow, unwieldy and have lots of quirky ways of doing things. However most of us just accept that this is the way it is and we try not to bother ourselves by noticing just how awful these softwares actually are.

So, I think it might be interesting to ask just this simple question – what if we used Desktop HTML Editors instead of Word Processors to do Word Processing? It might sound like an irrational proposition…Word Processors are, after all, for Word Processing. HTML editors are for creating…well, …HTML. But lets just forget that. What if we could allow ourselves to imagine we used an HTML editor for all our word processing needs and HTML replaces .docx and .odt and all those other over-burdened word processing formats. What do we win and what do we lose?

I’m not convinced about HTML word processors but Adam certainly starts with the right question:

What do we win and what do we lose? (emphasis added)

Line your favorite word processing format up along side HTML + CSS and calculate the wins and loses.

Not that HTML word processors can, should or will replace complex typography when appropriate, but how many documents need the full firepower of a modern word processor?

I would ask a similar question about authoring interfaces for topic maps. What is the least interface that can usefully produce a topic map?

The full bells and whistle versions are common now (I omit naming names) but should those be the only choices?

PS: As far as MS Word, I use “open,” “close,” “save,” “copy,” “paste,” “delete,” “hyperlink,” “bold,” and “italic.” What’s that? Nine operations? You experience may vary. ­čśë

I use LaTeX and another word processing application for most of my writing off the Web.

I first saw this in a tweet by Ivan Herman

Calligra 2.6 Alpha Released [Entity/Association Recognition Writ Small?]

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Calligra 2.6 Alpha Released

The final version of Calligra 2.6 is due out in December of 2012. Too late to think about topic map features for that release.

But what about the release after that?

In 2.6 we will see:

Calligra Author is a new member of the growing Calligra application family. The application was announced just after the release of Calligra 2.5 with the following description:

The application will support a writer in the process of creating an eBook from concept to publication. We have two user categories in particular in mind:

  • Novelists who produce long texts with complicated plots involving many characters and scenes but with limited formatting.
  • Textbook authors who want to take advantage of the added possibilities in eBooks compared to paper-based textbooks.

Novelists and text book authors are prime candidates for topic maps, especially if integrated into a word processor.

Novelists track many relationships between people, places, things. What if entities were recognized and associations suggested, much like spell checking?

Not solving entity/association recognition writ large, but entity/association recognition writ small. Entity/association recognition for a single author.

Text book authors as well because they creating instructional maps of a field of study. Instructional maps that have to be updated with new information and references.

Separate indexes could be merged, to create meaningful indexes to entire series of works.

PS: In the interest of full disclosure, I am the editor of ODF, the default format for Calligra.