Re: hyperRTF?

Michael A. Dolan (miked@CERF.NET)
Sat, 18 Jun 1994 09:37:40 -0700

At 05:33 AM 6/18/94 +0200, Nathan Torkington wrote:
>I see (comp.archives) that a cross-platform RTF viewer is now
>available. Is it time we thought of turning those people who want
>control of presentation over to using RTF, and incorporate RTF support
>(with minimal extensions, possibly as invisible text or similar) to
>include hypertextual linking.
>The styles in RTF could give semantics, and the presentation is all
>that publishers want.

Before inventing your own hyperlink syntax, you may wish to review the
MS help compiler syntax. RTF is the basis for their hyperlinked online
help system. Using a form of RTF footers, links can be easily made.

I built a very crude HTML->RTF converter running within libwww on Windows
as a proof of concept for a poor-man's W3 browser. It output the special
RTF footers and a few other RTF tags corresponding to HTML headers etc.
When the document was finished arriving, then it exec'd the help compiler,
then the help viewer. Worked nicely except for the "long" compile time
before viewing. Also, MS considers the .HLP file format proprietary, so
at this time, this approach to browsing is only a technical curiosity.

Then of course there is the MS stigma associated with RTF.....I was almost
thrown out of the HTML workshop in Geneva for suggesting its use. Email is
a much safer form of proposing such controversial things :-)

Michael A. Dolan -
TerraByte Technology (619) 445-9070