GuideDog: Requirements Phase

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This is the requirements specification for GuideDog. At the moment, I'm just collecting together some detail.


Please start a new conversation thread below for each functional area of GuideDog, e.g. File Handling, Editing, Search and Replace, Formatting etc.

Requirements By Function

    Basic Functionality

  1. GuideDog will produce GuideML documents intended for the Edited guide only. Only features which are supported in the Edited Guide will be made available. GuideML 1.0 only will be supported.

  2. GuideDog will allow you to change the appearance of any text without any knowledge of the underlying GuideML tags required. It will support realistic formatting of titles, headers, subheaders, emphasised and strong text, block quoted text, footnotes and footnote markers, superscript, subscript, code style text, ordered lists, unordered lists, and hyperlinks to h2g2 and external Web pages.

  3. GuideDog will run on Windows platforms as a stand-alone application. It will not require an internet connection to function.
  4. Text Display

  5. GuideDog will render documents in a close an approximation to their final appearance as possible. All editing will take place within editable 'regions' within the document. The user will be able to select either Classic Goo, Alabaster or Brunel skins to view the document without having to save or reload. The indicated preference will be stored with the document. Where certain visual structures are overlaid with images (or instance, headers in Goo) GuideDog will attempt to render these structures as faithfully as possible.

  6. GuideDog will use predefined 'inline styles' for discrete text regions within the document (such as header, subheader etc.). The user will be able to inspect and change the style of any text.

  7. Any link which resembles a URL will be converted, as will http://www.yyy.zzz references or email addresses. Article Links of the form A1234567 will be converted directly to hyperlinks.

  8. The editor will render predefined special character codes (see special characters) defined using XML syntax and render them properly in the browser. It will be possible to maintain a list of such character codes within GuideDog.

  9. Skins will be stored on the user's PC. As new skins become available, the user will be able to download them and install them on the PC.
  10. Editing Functionality

  11. GuideDog will allow cut-and-paste editing between multiple document windows. When copied/cut text is
    stored on the clipboard, it will be in a special clipboard format visible to GuideDog only. It will also support cutting/pasting of ASCII plain text. Where possible, formatting will be preserved when cutting/pasting text between windows.

  12. All documents will be edited in separate document windows, each window corresponding to an open file. It will not be possible to open a file more than once.

  13. GuideDog will provide the ability to undo changes, either singly or cumulatively. This ability may be limited depending upon what operations have been performed recently.

  14. GuideDog will render and allow direct editing of tables. It will support insertion of table text, rows and columns. It will allow formatting of table headers. It will allow deletion of table columns and rows

  15. GuideDog will store REFERENCES separately from the main document text. It will allow the user to edit the referenced articles and links. If the user is connected to the Internet, it will provide 'picker' functions to allow users to select articles by title rather than URL.

  16. GuideDog will allow the user to import a document directly from a simple text file. Blank lines in the source file will be converted to paragraph breaks. Certain patterns in text will be converted automatically into links.

  17. GuideDog will allow the document author to insert hyperlinks. It will provide picker functionality to allow users to select articles by title.

  18. Authors will be able follow hyperlinks by a combination of keys and mouse clicks. The target link will be opened in a new browser window.

  19. GuideDog will also maintain a list of most recently visited hyperlinks. It will also allow browsing of visited sites and extraction of links.

  20. The author will be able to verify the currency of hyperlinks at any time. GuideDog will indicate which links are broken and prompt the user to fix them.
  21. Proofing Tools

  22. The author will be able to find and replace text within the main document body, either on a selected range of text or the whole document. The author will have the option to match an entire word and/or the case of the text.

  23. The editor will provide printing features which allow the user to print the article in a format resembling its final appearance.

  24. If Microsoft Office is installed on the user's machines, GuideDog will recognise this fact and allow the user to make use of the spelling engine to proof the document.
  25. File Handling and Communication

  26. GuideDog will open, save, edit, upload and download a document. It will use the file system of your PC as its primary document store. All document text will be stored as GuideML. It will not support versioning of documents.
  27. If there are errors in a loaded document, GuideDog will present the entire document's GuideML to the end user in a special preview window, which will highlight the position and nature of the error.

  28. On downloading a document, the system will store the article number within the document for future reference. On upload, the system will upload to the correct article number and redisplay the article in a browser. If uploading a new article, then the system will extract the number assigned to it by DNA and store it in the document for future reference.

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