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WordPerfect Support?


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#1 TPG

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 09:03 AM

I note the following sentence in the "Known Issues" section of the description of Version 8:
"Report Definition Screen - WordPerfect report output is still in development and has been hidden until completed."

This is unfortunate for me, since I have developed a series of WordPerfect macros for formatting TMG reports and have been (long) awaiting the arrival of version 8 to prepare a new edition of one of my family genealogy books.

Is there any hope of estimating when this capability will arrive in TMG? Is it any sort of priority? I don't see any reason to upgrade to version 8 at this time, since I would be actually going backward by losing this WordPerfect report feature. Should I just give up and rely on the older version 7?

Edited by TPG, 01 January 2012 - 09:04 AM.


#2 Lee Irons

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 01:34 PM

You might want to send this question to the support email.

Interesting. The latest version of Corel Word Perfect is now more expensive than the latest version of Micorsoft Word. What version of Word Perfect are you using?

Edited by Lee Irons, 01 January 2012 - 01:35 PM.


#3 Leslie1899

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 04:26 PM

Nothing would induce me to switch to Word from WordPerfect, despite any expense. I, too, am waiting on WP 8 report writer as I had all sorts of problems with TMG v7 and WordPerfect. I was able to get someone to write me one macro which limits me pretty much to one or so reports. I am impressed beyond words that anyone could actually write a series of macros.

Incidentally, I use Paradox to track all the books/film/etc. I use, outputting from the database into a tabular word processing file. I also have all sort of databases I use alongside WordPerfect. I hated Word from the minute I was forced to use it years ago.
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#4 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 06:08 PM

Leslie -

Do you subscribe to the TMG-L Rootsweb mailing list? There were dozens of messages there last month on continuing WordPerfect output in v8 - including a positive comment from Bob Velke. The December archives are here. Page down - about 4 pages - through the list for the WordPerfect threads.

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#5 TPG

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:26 AM

In answer to the questions -

No, I don't subscribe to the TMG-L mailing list. I appreciate the reference to this list. By the way, it is a sign of the coordination among the TMG staff to note the difference between the support group's whether and Velke's answer. But, the question of when is still left open as is the question of whether it is a priority.

The situation at present is that TMG 8 only supports Microsoft's Word among the major word processing packages. I'm not sure of the situation with TMG 8 (since the Beta did not have any report facilities), but they don't even support any of the more modern packages (e.g. Open Office).

I'm using WordPerfect 5 and am generating my reports from a copy of TMG 7 running on an older 32bit Windows XP machine. I have already defered moving my copy of TMG 7 to my newer 64bit Windows 7 machine and was dismayed when I found that WordPerfect was not being supported on the initial release of TMG 8. I still us Paradox - bur only for minor applications. I've already switched to the use of the DBISAM database package to build into my more major Delphi database applications.

Let me add a comment on TMG 8's added capabilities. While I appreciate them, they are not as major as might have been expected. The most significant of these internally was the conversion to 64bit support for the report writer. Yet, even this probably is exaggerated. The strategy of working through intermediate report formats should have significantly reduced the effort required. Once the translations needed to support the output of an intermediate format to a 64bit environment were accomplished, the support of WordPerfect should at most have required a few addition tweeks - beyond what was already needed for the 32bit version. More disturbing is the retention of the file formats used in TMG 7. These formats (in the TMG Beta, at least) are identical to that of TMG 7. Note that I do not object to the use of FoxPro as the underlying TMG database program. But the file formats in TMG 8 retain all of the unnecessary duplication of data elements and and bizarre optimization of fields (e.g dates etc.) once in the long past deemed as desirable.

TPG

#6 Leslie1899

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:10 AM

Thanks, Virginia. I just subscribed to the mailing list. I'd sent a private, polite message to Bob Velke about my decision to postpone purchasing v8 until the WordPerfect report writer was done. I run WP X3 whose report writer never worked properly for me with TMG v7. I had to output in WP v5.1 to get a readable report and that only with the help of a macro to format my gazillion footnotes. Frankly, I'd pay extra for a really top-notch report writer in WordPerfect. I'll probably upgrade WP Office this year so one can see that I am sticking with a product that beats its competition.
Leslie

#7 John K

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 07:44 AM

Having eagerly awaited TMG8, I purchased an upgrade based on only a quick scan of the list of new features. My review did not make it down to the penultimate line saying that WordPerfect report output was "hidden," and as a result I was shocked and very disappointed when I learned that the new and improved version is dramatically less useful for me than what I was upgrading from.

While I fear that my voice will not carry the same weight as those who say they will not purchase an upgrade until the problem is fixed, I nevertheless wanted (somewhat belatedly) to indicate there are others out here who will not use version 8 until this significant shortcoming is resolved, and to urge that the matter be treated with more urgency than one might suspect is the case based on (i) the sales brochure of New Features (where the problem is listed at the very end, rather than at the beginning) and (ii) what I thought was a somewhat cavalier posting by Bob Velke to the TMG-L mailing list saying that he is “committed” to completing WordPerfect output, but with no prediction of timing or indication as to whether this is a top priority or simply one of hundreds of items to be addressed before version 9 is released.

#8 JohnR

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:08 AM

I too wish to confess that I am a closet WordPerfect user. Though most of my output is to SecondSight my only word processing software is WordPerfect and I am damned if I am going to change. I take it that this is yet another example of no warning to up-graders, once is accidental but more than that amounts to mis-selling.

#9 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 02:20 PM

Do WordPerfect users want the ability to send all their reports to WP or primarily those which they would be more likely to edit - like the Journal report? I think the tabular reports like FGS and Individual Detail look great printed from Screen Preview (see examples here) and v8 list reports sent to Excel open just fine in my WPX5 QuattroPro. Ahnentafel and Pedigree charts also look good to me in Screen Preview.

Right now a basic v8 Journal report (ancestor or descendant, endnotes unique) saved to PDF and opened in WP from File/Open PDF - using the defaults on the next screen - looks quite good. Spacing seems to be a bit of a problem (and just say no to graphics lines top and bottom in v8). Would it make sense then for WG to focus its efforts on the Journal report for output to WP?

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#10 JohnR

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 03:04 PM

I tend to use just the descendant indented narrative or the journal in WordPerfect, as you say most of the rest is fine "as is". Usually all I need to do is to sort out the position of the exhibits and play with the widows and orphans especially when the same document has to be sent to different countries using different paper sizes.

#11 John K

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 06:49 PM

I, also, use WordPerfect almost exclusively for Journal (or similar) reports, and if there is some complication in trying to translate tabular reports into WordPerfect, I would hope that this would not delay making WordPerfect output available areas where it is really needed.

I do realize that one can work around the unavailability of WordPerfect output by creating a pdf or Word document and then converting it to WordPerfect. However, the results of such conversions are never perfect, which means that considerable time must be spent dealing with margins, spacing and similar issues. To be quite frank, the advantages to me of the relatively minor improvements I have seen in version 8 do not come close to outweighing the disadvantage of having to spend time performing such clean-up work.

#12 TPG

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:07 AM

Virginia:

As usual, my remarks are relative to TMG 7 reports, since I have refused to purchase version 8 and version 8 beta had no report capability.

The biggest problem with generating Journal Reports in pdf is the lack of an indexing capability. Since the WordPerfect indexing capability is indigenous to the WordPerfect format itself, this defect cannot be overcome by your technique. In addition, I have generated pdf documents under TMG 7 and have encountered disabling errors (i.e. crashes) when I have attempted to import them into WordPerfect. I'm not sure whether this is due to some characteristic in my TMG report specifications, but I don't really care since the same reports when generated to WordPerfect work perfectly.

Let me explain my frustration with TMG's attitude toward WordPerfect in more detail. It is not as though TMG was faced with the decision to implement a WordPerfect reporting capability from scratch. TMG 7 could produce a valid WordPerfect formatted document that could be read by any version of WordPerfect - including both 32bit and 64bit versions of WordPerfect. It is the WordPerfect program itself that takes care of importing the TMG 7 formatted document, manipulating it, printing it, etc. All that TMG has to do is prepare valid WordPerfect input. TMG has been able to do this through version 7. Now, the file format accepted by WordPerfect has not changed. I can open into Wordperfect documents prepared under versions of WordPerfect that were available well before 64bit operating systems. So, all that TMG 8 has to do to support WordPerfect is produce the same identical output file format that TMG 7 has been producing. There is absolutely no requirement to get into the mechanics of printing under a 64bit operating system. How hard can that be?

#13 John Cardinal

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:40 AM

TPG,

Your comments about what it would take for WG to support WordPerfect output in TMG v8 are uninformed. The main component of the report writer for TMG v8 is completely new, and so almost everything in TMG that interacts with the report writer is new. While I would not state that WG had to re-implement WordPerfect support "from scratch", there is certainly a lot of work involved. I agree that WG does not have to worry about the mechanics of printing, but that's not the issue. The issue is that WG has to customize the input to the report writer component to produce the desired results in WordPerfect. I do not know any of the details, but I have worked on many similar projects, and they were time-consuming and frustrating projects.

To summarize, you asked, "How hard can that be?" While you appear to misunderstand what "that" is, I will answer anyway: very hard.

#14 Jim Byram

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:07 AM

It is not as though TMG was faced with the decision to implement a WordPerfect reporting capability from scratch.


Actually, that is exactly what had to be done.

The WordPerfect output for the report manager had to be written from scratch since the report manager is a new product.

Then the TMG code to interact with the report manager WordPerfect output had to be written from scratch.

As John says, this is a non-trivial undertaking.

The WordPerfect parts already have been done to a point but were not ready for release and, for the moment, this had to be put aside so that the development could concentrate on getting TMG v8.00 to a stage where it could be released.

#15 TPG

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:49 AM

I hesitate to dispute those with inside information on the magnitude and difficulty of the job of providing WordPerfect reporting capability in TMG 8. But my doubts remain.

My reasoning is straight-foward - if perhaps faulty. For this discussion, I will limit my attention to the Journal Report. In order to accomodate multiple output word-processors, I would think that the design of the report writer would be to first produce an intermediate form of the report. This intermediate format should have all the information required for generic word processor in an immediately accessible form. This intermediate "report" would include specific data on the individuals, the parsing and completion of the sentences, index pointers, tab settings, etc. This, in fact, might be difficult - or, in John Cardinal's words, "time-consuming and frustrating". And it should be the major part of the work in rewriting the report generator.

But, this intermediate stage has to have already been completed - for, among others, Microsoft Word or other word processor support. All that remains in the case of WordPefect is the mapping from the intermediate format to the specifics of the WordPerfect file format. Given that the WordPerfect file format has not changed for ages and that Wholey Genes already knows how to format a WordPerfect file from their work in the earlier versions of TMG, no research would seem to be needed. Neither would there be any ambiguities to be resolved or other hidden obstacles overcome. Again, I don't see any imposing difficulties.

But, I admit that there might be something other things that I don't fully understand. For example, since the underlying internal TMG file formats have remained substantially unchanged - as have the file formats of the major wordprocessors - why the need to completely rewrite the the TMG report generator? Perhaps, it had become a tangle of undocumented code and so could benefit from a rewrite. Then there was the problem of printing a WordPerfect file under a 64bit OS present in TMG 7. If a valid WordPerfect file could be produced to print under the 32bit OS, what more would be needed to print it under a 64bit OS? WordPerfect had already handled the need to supply the new drivers to seamlessly print what I assume to be the same output file format under either 32bit or 64bit Windows, but I might be wrong.

So, I admit that I don't understand everything. I would appreciate being informed what the errors are in my reasoning. But merely restating the the report generator had to be rewritten does not explain the difficulty in producing a WordPerfect reporting capability.

By the way, I have 53 years of programming experience and have written both wordprocessors and many other report generators.

#16 Michael Hannah

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:08 AM

why the need to completely rewrite the the TMG report generator... I admit that I don't understand everything. I would appreciate being informed what the errors are in my reasoning...

As has been reported by WG several times over the past several years, the Version 7 report generator was an old third-party commercial product which was written in 16-bit code. Microsoft's new 64-bit operating systems will not run 16-bit code, and this product was not being upgraded. Thus the report generator had to be completely replaced. Further, I suspect that the new code produces completely new intermediate format. I don't know, but the intermediate format may have been proprietary to that older product. The fact that the report writer can now handle many new features, such as color, suggests that it at least has some new intermediate formatting code, but probably all new.

By the way, I have 53 years of programming experience...

And I also have been doing system programming for over 50 years. I am actually amazed that there are as few issues with this new system as are being reported considering the scope of the rewrite.

Michael


#17 John Cardinal

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 12:07 PM

TPG,

If you believe that time and/or difficulty was not the reason for the delay in supporting Word Perfect, what do you think it was?

#18 TPG

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 08:16 AM

John Cardinal:

You raise an interesting question. The very short answer is a mismatch between programming resources and procedures
and the task of putting out TMG 8.

I am taken by the utter ignorance of the true state of affairs at WG among all of us debating this issue (including myself)
regarding WG's programming capabilities. Thus, we are all reduced to speculation as to the reason for various delays,
decisions among alternatives, etc. My personal vision of the programming staff at WG varies betwen dozens of
programmers with state-of-the-art tools and Bob Velke laboring at writing the code all by himself. I am sure that the real
situation is somewhere between the two extremes, but I fear that it is closer to the second.

Michael Hannah offers a reason that "the Version 7 report generator was an old third-party commercial product which was
written in 16-bit code" - although I must have missed the fact that it had "been reported by WG several times over the past
several years". Given Mr. Velke's pride in having written the earlier versions of TMG primarily by himself, I would tend to
doubt that the 16-bit code of the report generator was in fact a third-party commericial product - but I am willing to accept
that the report generator code through TMG 7 was old and 16-bit.

But, given this, I still do not believe that the addition of a WordPerfect reporting capability to the initial release of TMG 8
is a significant programming task. My reasoning, which was based on my reasonable speculation that an intermediate
report format template was used, was given earlier (before Michael Hannah's speculation):

In order to accomodate multiple output word-processors, I would think that the design of the report writer would be to first
produce an intermediate form of the report. This intermediate format should have all the information required for generic
word processor in an immediately accessible form. This intermediate "report" would include specific data on the
individuals, the parsing and completion of the sentences, index pointers, tab settings, etc. This, in fact, might be difficult -
or, in John Cardinal's words, "time-consuming and frustrating". And it should be the major part of the work in rewriting the
report generator.

But, this intermediate stage has to have already been completed - for, among others, Microsoft Word or other word
processor support. All that remains in the case of WordPefect is the mapping from the intermediate format to the specifics of
the WordPerfect file format. Given that the WordPerfect file format has not changed for ages and that Wholey Genes already
knows how to format a WordPerfect file from their work in the earlier versions of TMG, no research would seem to be
needed. Neither would there be any ambiguities to be resolved or other hidden obstacles overcome. Again, I don't see any
imposing difficulties.



In case the point of the quote was missed, I said that rewriting the report generator was perhaps difficult, but once
accomplished (as was the case in the initial release of TMG 8), the addition of a WordPerfect capability was not at all
difficult.

The history of TMG 8 points to a serious understaffing of the programming resources devoted to the rewrite. The several
years delay in its release was telling. The programming magnitude of the rewrite, aside from the report generator, was
modest. The labyrinth of the TMG 7 file structure with its duplications and redundacies was retained and the incremental
capabilities offered were relatively simple to implement. The fact that, after such a delay, the initial release should only
concentrate on a Microsoft Word capability speaks to the sparsity of the WG resources devoted to the task.

#19 John K

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:15 PM

Since the CD of TMG8 that I purchased last year is still sitting, unused, in its envelope, I can only assume that none of the upgrades over the last 4 months have corrected the Word Perfect problem. If, to the contrary, the problem has been solved, it would be helpful for Wholly Genes to post something to that effect on this web site.

Assuming that TMG still does not work with Word Perfect, I would like to restate how unhappy I am with Bob Velke's very cavalier attitude toward a problem that he created and profited by.

I do understand his general position that if he responded to every inquiry, and tried to predict completion dates for every issue, he would never get any real work done. However, this is a unique situation - we were sold an "upgrade," and then discovered that while the improvements are quire minor, the new version is missing a critical element that has been present in all prior versions. Given that, it does not seem too much to ask that we be told if the problem will be corrected this summer, this year or this decade.

#20 PrestonEstep

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:11 PM

While I also would like a WP5.1 capability in TMG 8, I'll not let the lack of such deter me from using the program now that I have decided it fits most of my needs.




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