Ben Langhinrichs

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July, 2006
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.

Mon 10 Jul 2006, 10:19 AM
As I investigate Open Document Format (ODF) internals, and as we move closer to Hannover and the include ODF-compliant applets (for want of a better word), I am starting to compile a list of differences in inherent functionality between what you can and can't do with ODF and Notes rich text (and perhaps HTML/XHTML).  I was wondering if my readers were interested in this sort of thing.  I'll give an example:

Differences in Nested Lists
A nested ordered list in Notes rich text is based on the left margin, so in the following list (shown with images because of the translation to HTML necessary fo a blog)

Nested ordered list in Notes
Figure 1: Nested ordered list in either Notes rich text or ODF

the numbering starts over again when the list is nested, which happens whenever the indentation changes.  That same list becomes a single numbered list if the indentation of all items is made the same:

Nested ordered list in Notes after flattening margins
Figure 2: Nested ordered list in Notes rich text after flattening left margins

In Open Document Format, nesting is deterimined by one list being contained by another, so the first list above would look the same, but be represented internally in XML as:

nested ordered listin XML for ODF
Figure 3: Nested ordered list in ODF in XML

If you look above, there is an outer <text:list> item with a style name for the main list, then a nested <text:list> item for the nested list.  So, in ODF, if we were to flatten the margins, we would not get Figure 2, but instead we would get Figure 4, below:

Nested ordered list in ODF after flattening margins
Figure 4: Nested ordered list in ODFafter flattening left margins

You could not get an ordered list in Notes to look like this, although you could get close by making the margin only a tiny, tiny bit different and hoping people didn't notice.  Similarly, in Notes, you could not get Figure 5, below, although it is less clear why you would want to:

Non-nested ordered list with different margins
Figure 5: Non-nested ordered list with different margins

Similarly, there some nested lists you could not easily get in ODF, but I will cover those in another post if people are interested.

Copyright 2006 Genii Software Ltd.