Re: thoughts on Abisuite and XML

Emile Snyder (
Tue, 14 Sep 1999 18:23:16 -0700 (PDT)

I don't really understand this thread. If you want to write in monospaced
text only format, and then have it 'pretty-print' it later, why not just
use one of the plethora of good editors out there (emacs, vi, jed, xemacs,
etc) and LaTeX? If you don't want to use LaTeX (or your markup language
of choice) just set the font to something plain and boring, single space
the doc, and type away in AbiWord until you're done, then format it.

The Unix/Free Software world is already *increadibly* strong in the
non-WYSIWYG mode. Markup languages designed to be used that way have very
different design criteria than those intended to be used as the internal
file format of a WYSIWYG editor. It might be a nice "Bells and whistles"
feature to add to AbiWord, but if I want to edit the XML, I'm most likely
just gonna use emacs (or equivalent). If I want a fast preview, all I
have to do is have emacs and AbiWord open at the same time, and do
"File:Open" after every save in emacs.

What I want from a word processor (as opposed to a text editor) is a
rational internal file format (for the sake of code cleanliness and reuse,
import/export libraries, etc), good layout, so I don't have to tweak the
source by hand, and *really* good import export abilities so I can deal
with word processed docs from all the weird stuff out there (ie. MSWord).
If I want an increadably good typesetting system I'll use LaTeX.

interested in all thoughts,

On Tue, 14 Sep 1999, Tom Ryan wrote:

> Alex,
> > On a more mundane level, I think that the option to 'view source' is
> > very helpful is cleaning up bits where WYSIWYG can go wrong.
> I agree with you 100% on this one. Along the same lines, I would
> really like the option to edit my document in the mono-spaced text
> format/background of my choice, and then drop into WYSIWYG
> mode when I am ready to format it. I really miss my old
> WordPerfect for DOS since it had reveal codes/source, text
> content entry and graphics preview (although it would be nice to be
> able to edit in that mode too).
> I remember hearing about a study a long time ago during the
> PC/Mac wars, where they analysed the content of term papers
> from students using WYSIWYG word processors on the Mac vs.
> text mode on the PC. The papers that were written using text mode
> on the PC were better written and were at a higher grade level than
> those written on a WYSIWYG word processor. The report
> concluded that word processing in text mode during the primary
> content creation phase enables the writer to focus more on the
> quality of the writing instead of what it will look like on the page.
> All this is from recollections from probably 10 years ago, so some
> of my facts may be inaccurate. I still agree with the conclusion
> though.
> Any chance for a text only "content creation" mode and view
> source/reveal codes in AbiWord? I'd buy a whole bunch of copies if
> it had that feature. :)
> Regards,
> Tom Ryan
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