This is just thinking aloud about a discussion that came up in conversation in the office yesterday. I doubt I'll have any time to do anything about it at work so I might play with a few ideas in my spare (?) time.
We're geeks. Specifically most of us are Unix geeks (even the iGeeks are Unix geeks now). And Unix geeks like text files. We don't use a word processor unless someone is holding a gun to our head. We're far happier using our favourite text editor to create POD or DocBook or something like that. I'm sure I don't need to explain the advantages of text files over proprietary binary formats.
But we need to interact with the rest of the company. And the rest of the company like Word documents. The very idea of reading a plain text document fills them with the deepest dread.
That's not a problem. We can create a document in POD, use Pod::DocBook to convert it to DocBook and then use one of the db2foo tools to convert it into something they can read in Word (probably RTF I guess).
But it's not quite that simple. The non-techs like their Word docs to have a certain look. They create templates for different types of document that define fonts, header styles, required sections, watermarked logos and things like that. And my auto-generated RTF file won't have all of that.
Until now I've got round that by creating the RTF file, opening it in OpenOffice and applying the formatting from another document that was created using the template. But this is a soul-destroying (not to mention error-prone) activity.
So what I'm thinking that we need (well, maybe "need" is overstating the case a bit) an application that somehow parses a Word template file, extracts all of the formatting information and builds a file (it's probably DSSSL) that db2rtf can use to create an RTF file containing all the correct formats. Or maybe it just creates an XSLT file that transforms DocBook to the MS Word XML format. Or something like that.
But like I said, I'm just thinking aloud here. Does anyone know if anything like this already exists? Or have any idea on where I might start? Does MS publish the format of its
Or would I be completely wasting my time?