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Apple and RTF 
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Joined: 2006-04-02 15:48:28
Posts: 40
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
It may be of interest to know that in the new Mavericks version of the Pages app, Apple dropped its support for rtf. I occasionally used the earlier version of Pages to open .doc and .docx files that NWP had trouble with, then exported them as rtf for Nisus. No more. The new version won't open rtf files nor will it export to the rtf format. Strange, strange, strange.


2013-10-27 11:24:48
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Joined: 2002-07-11 17:14:10
Posts: 4251
Location: San Diego, CA
This is a pity, as RTF is Nisus Writer's native file format, but seems to be just one of many features lost in Pages 5. There is a lot of discussion online about this right now. Some users are just unhappy, while other articles imagine this is just a re-baseling of Pages, after which Apple will add back the features they removed.


2013-10-28 16:31:44
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Joined: 2006-06-16 16:17:50
Posts: 124
Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
I don't think this new iWork suit is cut down because of the re-baseling business. I think that Apple have analysed how much of the features people use in an office suite and that analysis has shown them that 90% of people use a tiny amount of the available features. When I've worked in offices myself they have always been equipped with Microsoft Office and I've observed that I am the only person in the office that seems to actually use the Office suite beyond about 3% of the available features.

Apple don't have a history of adding many features to their office suites after launch. The ClarisWorks/AppleWorks suites grew a bit, but nothing like Microsoft Office.

I think that the new cut down iWork suite is policy.

However this does create an opening for Nisus and other software companies making word processors and spreadsheets and suchlike. There are a lot of people now who are hugely disappointed with the new iWork suite and I think they will be looking for word processors with more to offer along with better spreadsheet programs and presentation programs.

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Patrick


2013-11-01 15:31:34
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Joined: 2007-10-21 14:59:09
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Martin, do you think Nisus can switch to Docx as its native format? All considered, it is a more modern format, and even easier to extract raw text from, in case of having to reuse older files.

Paolo


2016-05-08 16:47:59
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Joined: 2007-10-21 14:59:09
Posts: 272
While searching around for information about file formats, I found something maybe related to this discussion: the file format and compression schemes used in the three main text document formats on the Mac.

- Nisus uses the traditional RTF scheme, an interchange format derived from the old Microsoft DOC format. This one can be read by TextEdit, Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, but no longer by Apple Pages. Most elements (apart for the main body) are discarded when opening a Nisus file in TextEdit. Optionally, Nisus uses the ZIP compression scheme. Text can be easily recovered from RTF files, even if they need laborious cleaning from control characters.

Code:
\f0\fs22 \cf2 Additional Musical Resources\
\pard\pardeftab720\ri2069\sl288\slmult1\sb113\qj


- Microsoft Word uses the new DOCX format, a proprietary format based on an open standard. This one can be read by Nisus, Pages, TextEdit, LibreOffice. Most elements (apart for the main body) are discarded when opening a Word file in TextEdit. Word uses the ZIP compression scheme. Text can be easily recovered from the included XML files, even if they need very laborious cleaning from control characters.

Code:
w:hanging="0"/><w:rPr></w:rPr></w:pPr><w:r><w:rPr><w:rFonts w:ascii="Interstate-Regular" w:hAnsi="Interstate-Regular"/><w:color w:val="00BC9E"/><w:sz w:val="22"/></w:rPr><w:t>Additional Musical Resources</w:t></w:r></w:p><w:p><w:pPr><w:pStyle w:val="Normal"/><w:widowControl


- Apple Pages uses a new PAGES ('13) format, a proprietary format. This one can only be read by Pages. PAGES files are ZIP-compressed, and contain IWA files compressed using the Google Snappy compression scheme (a much faster one compared to ZIP). I have no idea how to recover text from this type of file, and I wouldn't call them exactly future-proof.

There is reasonable chance that RTF and DOCX will be readable in the medium-to-far future, in particular by opensource projects like LibreOffice. I don't see PAGES easy to read even in the near future (Apple is infamous for changing file formats and making the older ones unreadable by their own applications).

Paolo


2016-05-11 07:03:07
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Joined: 2006-12-08 00:46:44
Posts: 416
Location: London or Exeter, UK
Hi Paolo,

While I see your point in relation to Apple no longer supporting RTF in Pages, and that RTF is in essence, somewhat long in the tooth, to me there are issues about changing the native format for NWP.

Firstly, I don't think Nisus would contemplate moving to DOCX, since as you point out, that is a proprietary format, and it would presumably cost a fortune to license from Microsoft, even assuming Microsoft would be willing to licence it. A better bet would be ODT, the open source document format on which, so I believe, DOCX is based.

However, to do so would I imagine completely rewriting NWP, in other words developing a completely new application using a totally different text-engine. There are .ODT/ODF-based office suites available on the Mac, OpenOffice and LibreOffice, and for those who, like me wish for a more Mac-like interface, there is NeoOffice. OpenOffice and LibreOffice are free; NeoOffice costs around $30.

So the question is, if Nisus set about developing an ODT-based word-processor, would they be able to compete in that market? Would enough people be willing to buy their version to make it viable?

I have NeoOffice, and if NWP disappeared off the face of the earth, I'd teach myself to like it, but for the moment, its only raison d'être for me is for the rare occasions that I get a DOC/DOCX containing such a pig's dinner of a table that NWP chokes on it, and even then, I'm more likely to try opening it in Pages.

Whatever Apple may do with Pages, NWP can still read and write DOCX documents and, except on fortunately rare occasions, that's good enough for me. Also, as RTF is Scrivener's native format, that to me is a crowning virtue of NWP.

Mark


2016-05-11 08:59:06
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Joined: 2007-10-21 14:59:09
Posts: 272
Mark,

While I'm not sure replacing the file format would require rewriting NWP, I agree with you that there may be licensing issues, and that in the end RTF will be Nisus' proprietary format, as DOCX and PAGES or ODT are for others.

I'm sure RTF will be read by LibreOffice (or any variant) for a long time, since the developers have been committed to compatibility with older formats since the beginning. So, in case Nisus becomes only available via subscription, à-la-InDesign, its files will still be readable with no particular conversion issues.

Paolo


2016-05-14 07:11:22
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Joined: 2006-12-08 00:46:44
Posts: 416
Location: London or Exeter, UK
Paolo,

You might like to have a look at

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum ... =4&t=34500

Keith's reply to the OP is interesting on this same issue.

:)

Mark


2016-05-14 13:43:48
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Joined: 2007-10-21 14:59:09
Posts: 272
Thank you, Mark, I had missed that thread. It seems Keith is for RTF, and will stay with it. In the end, it is Apple that did it wrong, as many other things in the recent instances of iWork.

Paolo


2016-05-15 16:53:13
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