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Last post here was another complaint about Google Docs and its terrible OpenDocument Format support. I’ve been very sick for the last little while and it turns out purely by coincidence that the next post I feel strong enough to write is another complaint about Google Docs. I promise I’ll complain about something else next, and then maybe say something nice when I’m feeling particularly strong.

Via OUseful Info I found out about how Google Docs can be used as a blog editor, where the author says:

I wanted to test it out, so this morning I tried pulling in the outline of a presentation I will be doing with Jerry and Andy at ACCS this Friday in order to see how clean it is let me tell you something, it is very clean!

http://bavatuesdays.com/publishing-google-docs-to-your-blog/

It did indeed seem like Google Docs was producing clean code in the examples cited so I went to check it out. Here’s what I found:

  1. There’s no ATOM Publishing Protocol (APP) support. This is a big disappointment. To publish to WordPress you have to use the antiquated Movable Type API.

  2. Google Docs was still not producing good clean HTML for me, either in the editing interface or when the document was pushed to my blog. When I use it I get br tags in between my paragraphs rather than proper p elements. How did those other people get it to output proper paragraphs? I finally figured out that you need to select your paragraphs and apply the Style Normal paragraph. That’s a small amount of progress.

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  3. List nesting is still not correct even when you manage to get nesting to happen (and it’s easy to end up with non-nested lists without meaning to). What I think is happening here is that the examples cited above are on WordPress and it has an HTML cleaner-upper that is fixing Google’s broken HTML.

    So, I’m still disappointed, but I am wondering if we can work out some way to support Google Docs as an editor for ICEby inserting a cleaner-upper somewhere in the toolchain. Google docs has spectacularly good collaboration support. But I think we’d be wanting APP support before we tried that. Maybe it’s time to look in to the Google Docs APIs…


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