Subject: Advanced feature: piping selected text
From: Sean Crist (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Dec 19 2001 - 10:41:00 CST
Just an idea for the long-term dream list here. For more advanced users,
it would be nice to be able to create your own menu commands in AbiWord.
The general idea is that you can select a range of text, and choose your
user-defined menu command to pipe the text to some shell command (e.g. a
user-written Perl or Python script), with the text being returned by the
external program replacing the original text.
If this were added, AbiWord would have to be coded defensively so that
invalid XML returned by the outside program is detected and not accepted.
Perhaps AbiWord would invoke the shell command with arguments passing the
current selection range or insertion point, and would simply pipe the
whole document, leaving it up to the external program what use to make of
the selection range information. Or perhaps you specify in the command
building dialog whether to pipe just the selection or the whole document.
This is, of course, a very Unix-centric way of doing things; it could
probably be done also e.g. in Windows, but not as gracefully. One of the
real strengths to this idea is that the whole community of users can
contribute features to AbiWord without having to learn all the internals
of the source code.
\/ __ __ _\_ --Sean Crist (email@example.com)
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