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I tend to agree with Wolfgang on this one.

I think the difference for Felmon is that you are the "master of documents." Sounds like its your job to clean up everyone's mess and you seem to get the final say on how the document will be structured. In the legal arena, it's rare that one person will be the "master." Rather, you have a bunch of individuals, plus their administrative assistants all adding to the confusion. The "master" is the person who performs the final edit.

The obvious "problem" is that there are simply too many different ways of accomplishing a task with our "one size fits all" office suites. Want it to work like a typewriter? You can do that. Want it to work like a typesetting printing press? You can do that, too.

In the world of DOS, we all had to learn how our programs worked. Then as GUIs became popular, programs expanded to allow many different ways of working. In 2007, MS added yet another method with the Ribbon.

It would be great to use a more structured environment like LyX/LaTeX. But, the learning curve there is so steep that I can't imagine any business professional having the patience to learn it.


-----Original Message----- From: Felmon Davis
Sent: Friday, May 03, 2013 12:41 PM
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Re: Paragraph styles

On Fri, 3 May 2013, Wolfgang Keller wrote:

I never even try to share documents between different programs, such
as Word and LO or OO.

I never even try to share documents between two users using both the
same program *and* the same document template, if the program is Word
(or LO /OO). With these applications, the re-use of content is
exclusively limited to raw, unformatted text. Trying anything else will
drive you up the walls.

your walls must be very adhesive. I share documents with people all
the time because a couple of committees I've been on had me as the
'master of documents', that is, I would take other people's work and
bundle it together, edit and produce drafts for them to work on, then
I would do up the final report. they almost always are using some
version of Word.

sure, there are problems but my walls are pretty footprint-free. but I
think this goes to show not only are there different standards of
tolerance for problems, there different magnitudes of problems, thus,
if I were dealing with 100 people instead of six or seven, it might be
a different issue.

of course I'm not denying there are other solutions which are
technically superior in some way. but for many of us the situation is
not as dire as you paint it, walls and all.


> If you need collaborative authoring, you need something that
*imposes* a pre-defined document structure (such as e.g. an XML
schema, LaTeX document classes unfortunately are not as restrictive) and
thus absolutely locks out *any* possiblity of "finger-painting", and
preferrably something that also provides seamless integration for
revision control systems such as e.g. Subversion.

With LyX/LaTeX, structured XML authoring applications (or some document
processing applications like Worperfect or Framemaker, provided the
authors are perfectly disciplined), collaborative authoring is
possible to a certain degree.

With Word (or LO/OO) it is strictly impossible at any reasonable
degree of efficiency.

If there was a way in LO/OO to imperatively re-strict the user interface
for a certain document to the application of styles defined within the
document, this might improve things, but given how styles are
implemented in LO/OO, I doubt that it would really work. Besides that
styles don't hold structure information anyway, since templates aren't
schemas in LO/OO.



Felmon Davis

You'd like to do it instantaneously, but that's too slow.

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