Advocating FDL University-courses

Tomasz Wegrzanowski taw at
Tue Jul 16 09:14:41 UTC 2002

On Tue, Jul 16, 2002 at 10:44:22AM +0200, Guillaume Ponce wrote:
> > Microsoft Word format is completely ok as transparent copy.
> > You can use it with many Open Source word processors and other
> > utilities.
> No, no ,NO!
> The definition of a transparent copy as in the FDL (not "Yet Another Definition
> of Transparent Copy"):
> A "Transparent" copy of the Document means a machine-readable copy, represented
> in a format whose specification is available to the general public, whose
> contents can be viewed and edited directly and straightforwardly with generic
> text editors or (for images composed of pixels) generic paint programs or (for
> drawings) some widely available drawing editor, and that is suitable for input
> to text formatters or for automatic translation to a variety of formats suitable
> for input to text formatters. A copy made in an otherwise Transparent file
> format whose markup has been designed to thwart or discourage subsequent
> modification by readers is not Transparent. A copy that is not "Transparent" is
> called "Opaque".
> I do not now if ".doc" specification is available, I doubt it is fully.

IIRC .doc specification is available somewhere. There are obviously
some minor incompatibilities between standard and Microsoft implementation,
but that's true for every other format.

> But I am sure it connot be edited directly and straightforwardly with generic
> text editors (as GNU Emacs, Vi or... say Notepad).

Generic text editors doesn't mean *plain text* editors.
That would be silly - 99% of population uses WYSYWIG for such things.

You can edit it in OpenOffice, AbiWord, KWord and ton of other
*formatted text* editors.

> Word format is THE archetype of what is an opaque one, specificly designed to
> trap users' data.

It's not. It was designed with single program in mind but there's
nothing in it that prevents other people from implementing the standard.

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