RE: dia file exchange

Lennon Day-Reynolds [mailto:lennon kestrel edu] wrote:
You could also just write a standalone (or Visio-hosted) 
Perl/Python/VB/JScript tool that used the Visio OLE controls and the 
MSXML parser to do the transformation in either direction. 
I'm not a big 
Windows Scripting guy, but I've done enough basic stuff in this style 
(app-to-app conversion hacks) to know it's entirely possible.

I've been watching this thread for a while and thought I would interject an
opinion.  I think most of us here agree (if not all of us) that an open file
format is more desirable than a closed format.  However, I think a good deal
of us can also see the possible benifits in having Visio file format support
for imports and exports.  This said, a decision needs to be made regarding
which side the conversion resides on.  Naturally, there are pros and cons
for having it on either side.  Lets examine a few of those.  

It's been proposed in a few postings that it would be easier to use OLE or
some other means to get Visio to perform the import/export as the Visio file
format would become irrelavent this way.  We would be working to read from
or write to a known file format (Dia's).  The inverse is true of having Dia
do the conversion.  We would be trying to read from or write to an unknown
file format.  Admittedly, this would be much harder to do, but by no means
impossible (various other MS formats have been reverse engineered already).

As I see it, these have been the big decision factors so far.

Placing the import/export on the Visio side would mean one of two things.  
1) In order for we Dia user's to import/export to Visio format, we would
need to have it and use it to perform the import/export.
2) Another end user would need to install the import/export utility to
import/export the Dia files we give them.

Now, I can see a few arguments coming back to this already.  One of which is
that the other end user could simply use the Windows Dia version and there
would be no need for Visio.  This is not always an option.  Many companies
exchange and co-revise diagram documents.  Sadly, many companies use Visio
for this.  While one (or a few) companies may wish to use Dia (and some even
may do so internally).  It is not feasible to have the other end users
install a new piece of software (or import utility) to allow the exchange of
these documents.  This is a simple fact of life.

Placing the import/export function on the Dia side would eliminate these
hurdles and open another door for the use of Dia.  It won't be easy to
reverse engineer the format, but once again it's not impossible.

Jamin W. Collins  

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]