Wednesday, November 15, 2006

All the small things…

…are really important in document conversion. The table below shows three different ODF features (numbered lists, nested styles as well as nested tables) and the way OpenOffice.org Writer resp. the CleverAge ODF Converter exports these.




Original ODF in OO.oOO.o export to .DOCCleverAge ODF Converter



















The above examples look rather artificial. However these kinds of small problems can tell much about the conversion quality of a filter.
For example handling nested styles correctly is a huge effort for a rather small output. Thus everybody ignores them in the first shot and aims for the more visible features. You simply file a bug and set it to “later”.
The problem is when “later” comes you realize that handling nested styles requires major changes in your existing code. You then realize that the risk of loosing all your existing features by implementing nested styles is high. So “later” becomes a synonym for “never”.

In my opinion a good test for the underlying code quality of a conversion filter is to test the nasty stuff. I believe it can tell you a lot about whether “later” means “never” or simply “not yet”.

Btw. all the above features can be mapped correctly.

1 comment:

Max said...

Hi,

thanks a lot for showing the nested style example on your webblog. It showed that our viewer for smartphone s[1] also has this problem.

I did not find an example for this in the Intel Testsuite[2], would you like to add one/contact them?

Otherwise I would do it, as it is a very good one!

Best regards
Max

PS: Nice blog, hope to read more in the future

[1]http://www.sept-solutions.de/English/office.php
[2]http://testsuite.opendocumentfellowship.org/