Ben Langhinrichs

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E-mail address - Ben Langhinrichs

September, 2005
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.

Wed 28 Sep 2005, 05:47 PM
A potential customer read my post earlier today How "lossy" is your data conversion?, and asked, "Can you really paste from Word into your browser?"  While I thought I was pretty clear, here goes for the record:
1) Using FCKEditor (free, open-source) or EditLive for Java (costs something, but very robust), and probably from Xinha and TinyMCE although I don't know as much about the fidelity, you can absolutely paste Word content into the browser and it will work quite well.
2) If you are using CoexEdit on your Domino server, that pasted content will look pretty close to exactly the same in your Notes client after saving it from the web, sometimes even better than a straight paste into your Notes client from Word.
3) Request an evaluation license for CoexEdit and give it a try (using our free integration libraries).  What do you have to lose?

Copyright 2005 Genii Software Ltd.

Wed 28 Sep 2005, 02:49 PM
The term lossy is often used in image compression to describe a format that retains most of the original, but will lose something over the original.  For example, JPEG is a lossy image compression format, which saves space but risks some dimunition of fidelity.  The term lossy is also used for various other data compression format, including ZIP and RAR.

But what about lossy data conversion?  In particular, "rich text" formats such as MS RTF, HTML, XHTML, MIME, Word and Notes rich text all may represent formatted data in ways that look alike but are different under the covers.  What is worse is that these formats almost all have capabilities, both visual and action oriented, that do not match up.  Specifically, I spend a lot of time on Notes rich text to HTML/XHTML and HTML/XHTML to Notes rich text, especially with CoexEdit.The obvious goal is to minimize the loss in any conversion, how can you measure the loss?

The following three graphics might help explain what I mean.  The first is a Word document, which I then copied and pasted into the browser window for FCKEditor using CoexEdit.  I used a Firefox browser, but the result is similar with Internet Explorer.  After pasting into FCKEditor, I saved, which let CoexEdit do its bit of magic, then switched to my Notes client, where the final graphic is shown.

So, is this "good enough"?  I'm not sure.  There are a few slight differences, such as round bullets in MS Word becoming triangular bullets in FCKEditor and then back to round bullets in Notes, but that is probably just the presentation of the default bullet type.  There also seems to be a spacing issue after the Version 2.0, where an extra space has been added.  Are those good enough?  Only time (and our customers, who are always right) will tell.

MS Word (This is the original Word document, which I then copied)

Inline JPEG image

FCKEditor using CoexEdit called from Firefox (I pasted the Word content in here)

Inline JPEG image

Notes view of same document (CoexEdit handled auto-conversion from FCKEditor)

Inline JPEG image

Copyright 2005 Genii Software Ltd.