Re: RTF specs

Subject: Re: RTF specs
From: jeremy@xxxxxxxxx (Jeremy H. Griffith)
Date: Tue, 02 Feb 1999 21:23:23 GMT
On Mon, 01 Feb 1999 21:39:23 +0100, Chris Lilley <chris@xxxxxx> wrote:

>Thanks. So, all RTF readers will be able to import documents conforming
>to this spec.

Sorry, no.  While RTF's design seems intended to permit this, most
reader implementations (such as the MS WinHelp compiler) do not
operate in a compliant manner.  WordPerfect is especially nasty.
Even MS Word, the "reference implementation", is inconsistent.

>My initial objection - which was just a passing comment
>anyway - was based on the impression that the RTF emitted by current
>applications changed with new software releases - a moving target. 

This is true.  It's also a very poorly documented moving target.
The docs *look* comprehensive at first glance, but when you actually
proceed to implementation of anything non-trivial, you quickly find
that the "language" is badly underspecified.  You need to do a lot
of testing, with MS Word, to find just the right constructions.
But then, it is a "standard" with no real standards group behind
it, only MS...

-- Jeremy H. Griffith, at Omni Systems Inc.

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