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RTF output [was Re: status report]

From: John Darrington
Subject: RTF output [was Re: status report]
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2009 07:27:17 +0900
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

On Fri, Mar 06, 2009 at 02:32:37PM -0300, Michel Boaventura wrote:
     It will be great if PSPP could do something like that, because a lot
     of SPSS users just copy the output table, and paste it
     on word without any changes. I've found and description of rtf file on
     ""; and
     it seems not to hard do implement.

Believe me, it's hard. Some years ago I played with RTF myself. (The
results of my efforts are at --- please don't ask me for
support on that software; I haven't looked at it for years.)  The RTF
spec is poorly written, ambiguous in many places.  Furthermore, the
RTF files produced by Microsoft applications use features which are
not documented in any published spec, and in some instances contradict
the specs which are published.
     I would like to try to implement it, but I need some tips of how to do
     that. But first of all, do you think it will be useful on PSPP?

I think that having a RTF output driver would be a useful addition,
but I wouldn't like any major part of PSPP to depend upon the
existence of RTF.

In any case, if we're talking about generating ODF/RTF/LaTeX or
whatever format, it doesn't make any sense to start from plain text.
Either we have to add drivers to our existing output subsystem, or we
need some kind of intermediate format.  At one time Ben mentioned an
HDLF5 based representation, but I don't know if that's still on the

PGP Public key ID: 1024D/2DE827B3 
fingerprint = 8797 A26D 0854 2EAB 0285  A290 8A67 719C 2DE8 27B3
See or any PGP keyserver for public key.

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