Best recommended content format to use?

4 posts, 1 answers
  1. Ben Hayat
    Ben Hayat avatar
    892 posts
    Member since:
    May 2008

    Posted 04 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Mike has kindly provided an early test demo to show RTE running in a RADBook. This is an excellent news and then it led me to dig deeper.

    Basically, to show an RTE content, we need the user to create the content first. Here are some ideas to create them, but we need to know which formats are supported by RTE that will display properly.

    a) HTML - A possibility that user might use Expression Web or dream weaver or other Web authoring tools to create HTML content with images and other HTML tags. Does RTE support HTML with CSS and other embedded files. Is this a preferred format? Please give a rank from 1 to 10 (1 for worst, 10 for best).

    b) DOCX - Another possibly is for the user to use MS Words 2007 to create the content. Does this support Word table, bullets and formatting? Is this a preferred format? Please give a rank from 1 to 10 (1 for worst, 10 for best).

    c) PDF - User may use a third party desktop publishing to create a document and then export the final document as PDF. Is this a format we can count on? Is this a preferred format? Please give a rank from 1 to 10 (1 for worst, 10 for best).

    d) XAML - Lastly, do we need to create an RTE editor, where user can create the content in SL app and the content be saved as a file or in database and then get loaded and displayed in RTE as read-only? If yes, what capabilities can we give to the author of document to build a complete document? Is this a preferred format? Please give a rank from 1 to 10 (1 for worst, 10 for best).

    What does team recommend as the best approach to create and show content?

    Thank you in advance!
    ..Ben
  2. Answer
    Ivailo Karamanolev
    Admin
    Ivailo Karamanolev avatar
    276 posts

    Posted 06 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Hello Ben,

    Currently, the best format to import and export is XAML, as it directly reflects our document structure. All other formats require some kind of processing, while XAML is directly imported as RadDocument. In this light, the preferred flow in your scenario would be editing with RadRichTextBox, saving as XAML and displaying that XAML in a RadBook. As for the other formats:
    a) HTML is a very complicated standard and we currently don't support some parts of it, so authoring documents in another application and importing in in RadRichTextBox is not expected to provide the best results.
    b) We support importing from DOCX, but unfortunately we still don't have an implementation for tables. Bullets and formatting are present and working. The support is limited, though, and some docx data might be lost when reading/writing documents with DocxFormatProvider.
    c) PDF is not designed as a format for documents in the classic sense, but rather for print-ready documents. Because of this, unfortunately, we have postponed import from PDF for a later stage.
    d) As I elaborated above, XAML is the preferred format for exporting and importing and should provide the best results.

    All the best,
    Ivailo
    the Telerik team
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  4. Ben Hayat
    Ben Hayat avatar
    892 posts
    Member since:
    May 2008

    Posted 06 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Thank you Ivailo;

    I think it's good that we have evaluated the pros and cons of each format and you have given clear direction as to what direction we should go. Thanks!

    Personally, I think as developers we can have a better control as what  the user will create in the content, meaning what the elements are that they're inserting. So now the question comes up, what is the road map and plan for Telerik (if any) to provide some additional features that is provided as part of the RT control, for example being able to have shapes, or create "SmartArt" or Tables and etc.? Please take a look at the Screen Shots of SS1, SS2, SS3.
    Or is this something that the team is leaving it to the developers to develop based on their needs? I ask this, so this way people are not duplicating their efforts.

    Thanks!
    ..Ben
  5. Ivailo Karamanolev
    Admin
    Ivailo Karamanolev avatar
    276 posts

    Posted 09 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Hi ..Ben,

    I'm glad I could help with the formats.
    As for tables support - they're high on our roadmap, however they are very diverse in terms of functionality and we're still evaluating what exactly are we going to support and when that's going to happen.
    As for more field-specific functionality like vector graphics and SmartArt, currently we don't have plans. For now developers should consider using InlineUIContainer and implementing their own UI for creating such functionality. However now we lack any support for proper import/export of documents containing custom InlineUIContainers. It is planned though for Q3.
    Let us know if you have any other questions.

    Kind regards,
    Ivailo
    the Telerik team
    Do you want to have your say when we set our development plans? Do you want to know when a feature you care about is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Public Issue Tracking system and vote to affect the priority of the items
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