IFX Mail Archive: Document formats and conversion requirements

IFX Mail Archive: Document formats and conversion requirements

Document formats and conversion requirements

Graham Klyne (GK@Dial.pipex.com)
Thu, 25 Mar 1999 08:46:25 +0000

At 09:29 24/03/99 -0800, Michael Crawford wrote:
>So where is a Word Doc going to get converted to something a fax can print?

A possible answer:

If the recipient indicates a capability to deal with it, then the recipient
handles it. Otherwise the sender must handle the issue (i.e. present the
document as something the receipient can handle). Ability to deal with a
baseline case is presumed.

>The reason TIFF is used on T.37 is that it puts a wrapper around the native
>formats...G3, G4,
>or one of the color types supported on color fax. No conversion takes

If a sender with a colour document is to communicate with a receiver who
cannot handle colour, a conversion is still required.

>But by adding requirements to allow word documents, you force the fax
>machine or some
>hereto unknown mechanism in the IPP2IFAX (sorry for using the old name, but
>perhaps we are
>forgetting the original purpose?) code to do conversion somewhere before the
>document gets
>to the output device.

I don't think anyone is advocating *requiring* a recipient to handle any
particular document form, other than some baseline. But to allow that if
one has a recipient that *can* handle a richer document format, then
mechanisms exist to allow that to be transferred.

(I think Word is not such a good example; but I can imagine PDF being a
better choice than raster images for many high fidelity documents. Not as
mandatory-to-support, but nice-to-use if available.)

I am not oblivious to requirements of low-end systems, and in this respect
I think that authentication may be a bigger challenge.


Graham Klyne