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Re: Affecting Institutional Change (Yeah Right)



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Amy Templeton wrote:
[large snip]

> Also, OpenOffice, nice as it might be for people who are into
> pointing and clicking at things, is not a long-term solution. What
> if MS changes their format yet again? Another possibility is that
> they might change their licensing, forcing anyone who
> reverse-engineers their code to pay them for the "privilege" of
> decoding/encoding it or, worse, to abide my Microsoft's proprietary
> licensing restrictions. There is also the possibility of adding
> code that would test to see whether the program opening the file is
> a certified Microsoft program.

So the reverse engineering of that code legally would have to be done
in, say Germany. Any reverse engineering and decompiling required to
allow interoperability with other computer programs is perfectly legal
and any licence forbidding such reverse engineering or decompiling is void.

> So even if I were willing to go through the rigamarole of layer
> after layer of menus and mouse clicks to get to what I want to
> read, it's only a band-aid, and one that could fall off any day.
> And (since band-aids are TOTALLY addictive; okay, maybe the
> band-aid was a bad metaphor. Pain killers, perhaps?) I don't want
> to get hooked and used to depending on such a system when that day
> comes.

You could install Openoffice.org and run it from the CLI.
- From man oowriter:

/---------------
       -pt printername filename...
              Prints the given files to the printer printername and
ends. The splash screen does not appear.

              If the file name contains spaces, then it must be enclosed
in quotation marks.
\---------------

Just configure your printer to output a pdf and/or parse that pdf to
pdftotext to extract the text.

Have a look at [1] and [2] (I haven't tested that myself).

Not as good as getting a text as a text in the first place, but doable
from the command line.

HTH,

Johannes

[1] http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2006/01/11/from-microsoft-to-openoffice.html


[2]
http://www.togaware.com/linux/survivor/Convert_MS_Word.html
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