The major task of course it editing text. In the IDS scenario this means to export the content of a textframe (or better Story) in some way, transport it to a web based editor and then send it back and import it, once it has been modified by a user.
So far we have identified the following scenarios:
a) Use the JS API and explore the content including all formatting, tables, etc. and write them to a proprietary XML stream. Then send this stream via SOAP response back to the web server. Transform the XML with an XSL Sheet to HTML and insert that in a web based HTML Editor. The same way back.
Advantage: Completely control able
Disadvantage: Export from IDS is proprietary and self made => high effort and always missing formatting information
b) Export the Story to the InCopy format, send this to the web server, transform it to HTML, let the user edit it, transform it back to InCopy format, send it to the IDS and let it import it.
Advantage: The InCopy export contains all information we need.
Disadvantage: The InCopy Schema is very ugly, as it holds imperative information but does not encapsulate information in XML elements like in HTML. The transformation from InCopy XML to HTML is very complicated. The way back as well.
c) Export the Story to RTF, send this to the web server, transform it to HTML, let the user edit it, transform it back to RTF, send it back and import it as RTF.
Advantage: RTF to HTML transformation is more common and easy.
Disadvantage: Media break and probably lost style information.
d) Export the Story to RTF, send this to the web server, let the user edit it in a Word ActiveX PLugin in the MSIE Web browser, and then import the result as Word File to the Story in IDS.
Advantage: No media break.
Disadvantage: The ActiveX Plugin delivers WordML, which can not be placed in InDesign again. Also this solution would only work on Win32 Systems.
Problem that we have with all these scenarios (beside d): The HTML Editor means a media break, it's for example not possible to check the Hyphenation or multi column behaviour. The fonts are missing, etc.
a) Is there any recommended way to edit InDesign Stories remotely in web based environments? Is there for example a Flash Editor that integrates natively with InDesign Incopy, as it comes from the same Adobe Company?
b) Is there any documentation about the InCopy format?
c) Is there any existing StyleSheet or software component that translates the imperative Incopy format to encapsulating HTML-like structures and back?
d) Why is it not possible to import WordML to IDS?
e) Does it make sense to analyse other export formats, like Snippet format, InDesign Xchange Format, etc?