[lug] anyone familiar with Word file format issues?

Bear Giles bgiles at coyotesong.com
Thu Mar 14 00:54:13 MST 2002

> I'm curious, if I were to write a library that outputs some document
> style as Word, has anyone heard whether MS would try to file a lawsuit
> to stop it (think conversion utility)?

That could be an interesting court case.  How could you claim that
something infringes on your format if you have never publicly documented
that format?

It's a similiar argument to the one that you can't protest someone
breaking into your system unless you clearly identify that who owns
it - an "no unauthorized users" banner is meaningless if I reasonably
believe that I've connected to my own system.

>  Though I suspect it wouldn't be
> practical, the standards for it probably are not published, or if so,
> probably incomplete or out of date.

RTF format is documented, and there are some tools that can generate
RTF output.  I've also been playing with some ingest tools - the format
isn't complex, but it was obviously written by someone who has never
written parsers.  (Correction: never written LALR(1) parsers with 
tools like yacc/lex.)

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