State retention is a big deal

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State retention is a big deal

Post by marc » 2005-10-02 01:28:10

The Nisus guys have been doing these things for a long time, so they know the many traditional WP features that NWX currently lacks, and have said they're working on them, so I'm a little more interested in the 'surprising extras' we might expect.

In terms of being able to use NWX in my work I'd need almost complete interoperability with Word, which is just too much to expect of anyone, but will the new XML-based format (DOCX) be help, or hindrance in this regard (at least with new documents)?

For instance, if a Visio diagram is embedded in a DOCX document, you've actually got a Visio file embedded in the document stream; in that case I guess you could show the file icon, and pass a double-click to any app that claims to handle the file type (in this case, only OmniGraffle that I'm aware of.)

In terms of traditional features (that I expect anyway), I'd like to see:

1. Document navigation - navigate the document via the style structure defined which could be as simple as a menu of style declarations in the Menu bar, and toolbar, to an new Drawer palette, to a new side-bar view (similar to the outline sidebars in Mellel/Keynote.)

2. n-up page view - be able to view more than a single page, such as a 2-up view (2 pages side-by-side) for larger monitors. Adding the ability to handle page thumbnails, the option would be open for a Pages-like sidebar, or an iPhoto/PowerPoint-like pages view to be added to the view tabs.

3. Improved basic Word compatibility, where feature parity or facsimile exists (is the OpenOffice compatibility available for use, to replace the AbiWord code?)

4. Better Performance - it's improved a lot, but could be better.

5. State Retention - in all aspects of the app save the current user state so that I can quit and reopen the app to the same exact state (inc. open docs, undo/redo history, search history, window/toolbar/drawer/palette states.) Better yet if these Workspaces can be saved, to allow clustering of documents, palettes etc.

6. Concise standards-compliant XHTML export - would love to see NWX styles concisely translated to CSS styles, to allow easy restyling, or publishing straight into CMS/Wikis etc., instead of the current messy HTML that requires lots of clean up, and can't easy be matched to a different stylesheet, to fit in with other uses (if I could define styles in NWX and a equivalent CSS externally, I could use NWX to post to my blog, or to share with colleagues via an intranet.)

7. Better Macro support - Would AppleScript, with recording be an option (too complex, probably, but would open the app to very interesting use in Automator workflows)?

8. Search-and-replace on styles (but we already have a basic version of this with the 'Select all with same style' feature)

Wishes (as if some of the above aren't already!):

I'd really like the app to start to support XML is a bigger way; I'm hoping that there will be compatibility with the DOCX format, and that the app will provide XSLT-based export of documents (based on styles declared in the RTF), to allow customised exporting, and allowing NWX to become a front end to other writing-realted processes that may not necessarily involve printing (or indeed do, via FO/PDF.)

Ooops, this was meant as a reply to 3.0 Feature Request List

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