RichStyle: The Angel is in The Detail.

About RichStyle

RichStyle is a multilingual, minimalism, object-oriented, and model-driven HTML/CSS framework published as a Debian package.

It’s featured with three main advantages:

Mission

Since I attended my first IT-related course; an MS Windows and Office course, more than ten years ago, I’ve been asking my self:

Could HTML be an alternative to common document formats, like DOC, DOCX, and ODT?

HTML format actually overcomes office-applications’s formats in the following aspects:

So; could HTML/CSS standards offer an alternative to office-applications’ capabilities?

No doubt that HTML standards and tools at that time weren’t mature enough, they were poor comparing to the exist office tools and applications that were, in turn, growing without disciplines or clear standards.

However, although HTML5 and CSS3 nowadays offer powerful standards implemented by powerful user agents; there are three main limits for HTML files comparing to DOC/ODT files:

Comparison between office-applications’ file formats (DOC, DOCX, ODT… etc) and HTML format
Desktop Format HTML Format
Flexibility: Separating format from content
Compatibility: with the world wide publishing environment (Web)
No needs for special application to read/view it ✕ (Needs…) ✓ (Only a browser)
Custom format for each media (screen, paper, TV… Etc)
Developed/Supervised by ✕ Limited ✓ Wide spectrum of companies and organizations.
Portability
Password Protection
Printing settings

Vision

RichStyle library offers a standard document format called «.web», which is simply a clean HTML5 file assigned with preformatted CSS files installed by the library too.

It could also serves as a typical solution for:

It adds a template file called «Web-Document.web» to Nautilus file manager, associated with central CSS files installed by the library.

RichStyle - Web template
RichStyle - Web template

This template file aims to achieve three main objects:

  1. Browsers Support:
    The output file format could be read using any web browser without the producing application itself, since the output file format is actually just an HTML file.
  2. System consistency:
    Fonts and colors are meant to be complied with the host-system’s theme.
    User may outsource the document’s format-instructions to the entire-system’s theme, so that all documents around can comply the system’s theme, and have the same spirit of the whole system. This maintains the quite balance between Richness and Consistency.
  3. All-in-one file format:
    Using CSS3, you are supposed to be able to display the same document in different “views” for different media, with no need to reproduce it for each media; a view for web pages, another for printing media (papers), a third one for projector, and so on.

GWrite represents —theoretically— the closest implementation to my vision for the perfect word processor; an HTML/CSS-powered word processor, as a front-end for RichStyle library.

I’ve developed a custom version of TinyMCE, called rsTinyMCE, as a prototype to illustrate this vision as much as possible.

The aspects that I couldn’t represent in this prototype, had drawn in the following fake screenshot.

rsTinyMCE: A prototype for a typical WYSIWYG word processor
rsTinyMCE: A prototype for a typical WYSIWYG word processor

The differences, as you see, are:

Values

Compatibility

RichStyle is compatible with the following browsers:

It’s also compatible with PrinceXML 11.