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James,

On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 10:13 AM, James Cummings
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I'd be suggesting that they spend their time putting as much of these
> semantics into the word document using word styles and then trapping those
> in the conversion....

I'd like to say I like the way you put this as a
present-contrary-to-fact conditional, rather than simply making the
suggestion, which is a good one. Unless I just did.

> While (as you suggest) that will always have some
> inconsistency, it is the type of inconsistency that can most likely be
> solved in a dozen iterations of tidying up the word document or the XML.
> (Remember that this doesn't need to be a smooth, repeatable, painless
> transformation... I believe doing it a few times, sorting out the major
> problems and then correcting the XML is probably the best course of action
> for this kind of conversion.) I'm sure you'll agree that sometimes the
> desire for a perfect transformation is the enemy of the 'good enough to
> start with'.

Indeed, and this comes back to the disjoint questions of (a) how
strong are the latent semantics of the Word source, and (b) how strong
are the semantics that are "good enough" in the target?

Where you, Sebastian and I agree (I think) is that we are all
recommending that the problem be approached, to the extent possible,
as the specification of a systematic mapping rather than as an ad-hoc
conversion by hand.

The disadvantage of the approach you suggest is that it keeps you in
Word much longer.

But certainly, Örn should consider it -- especially if he is among the
tribe of people who'd rather work in Word than in XML. (I hear it is a
large tribe.)

Cheers,
Wendell

--
Wendell Piez | http://www.wendellpiez.com
XML | XSLT | electronic publishing
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