Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Metadata . . . Metadata . . . Morne Plaine.

I’m sick of the metadata, or XML data, or whatever the hell it is, showing up when I do a copy/paste from a Word document to a web WYSWYG editor. Because it’s really turned that into a What You Don’t Want Is What You Get, Bub, editor, and that’s not nearly as helpful.

I despair having to spend minutes cleaning the metadata out of the way, only to have it screw up the presentation on the screen because I left something in or took too much out.
Yes, there is a way around it in Word 2010, as explained here.
But why does Word need to pick up the metadata when a copy command is executed? Can anyone explain that to me? All I want is the words. The words, that’s important. I can fuss with the presentation, or whatever it is that data is meant to provide.
I have tried this with this document (typed first in Word, then copied over) to see if it works. Will let y’all know so you can ease off on the tenterhooks. (One thing I’m discovering right now: Editing the document adds more XML data, as does the act of SAVING THE FREAKING DOCUMENT. So we’ll see if I can make all that go away.

Well, it's not all gone, but it's a heck of a lot better.
Wikipedia laughably tells me XML is meant to emphasize “simplicity, generality, and usability over the internet” as it helps to make documents human-readable and machine-readable.
I call that hogwash. Because when the XML data shows up in my HTML view, or suddenly inserts extra spaces between my paragraphs (some of which I can remove, others which I can’t) when I paste my words into my Blogger WYSWYG, it’s not making it simple or usable, and it sure as hell isn’t making it human-readable.

So I like that Word offers an option to strip the data from my document. But shouldn’t that be a default when a copy/paste is requested? I can do so in Word 2010 if I copy/paste in Word 2010; I get the option to keep the source formatting, merge formatting, or just take the text over. Not so in any other Word to web application I’ve ever tried. The XML data is there in all its ugly glory.

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