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Subject: Re: [office-comment] Need more detailed definitions for formulas


David A. Wheeler wrote:
>>>Michael Brauer - Sun Germany - ham02 - Hamburg wrote:
>>What I said is not that it wouldn't be useful or even required to get a 
>>common standard for formulas within office application, but that this is 
>>outside the scope of this TC, at least for the moment. From the office 
>>file format view, formulas are some kind of programming model that is 
>>very similar to scripts, and even may make use of scripts. For these 
>>programming models, the Open Office TC can only establish methods to 
>>uniquely identify programmimng models (that's what the namespaces do), 
>>but cannot standardize the programming models themselves.
> I think you're unnecessarily conflating "programming models" with "formulas".
> To be useful, the specification needs to specify a minimum
> interoperable format for exchanging formulas that may use a
> set of standard functions.  This specification does NOT need to
> define ANY way to define new functions; you can leave that out
> for a useful spec.

I'm not sure about this. A formula can only be interpreted by an 
application if it is fully understood. If there is only a set of 
standard functions then this is not sufficient.to interpret a formula, 
because the non-standard function are still not known. Specifying a 
useful set of standard functions itself already seems to be a challange. 
 From its complexity, I would consider the definition of an office 
application formula language as complex as specifying a programming 
language together with a base framework.

For this reason, it seems to be a better choice, at least for me, to 
keep the full specification of formulas separate but uniquely identify 
what "function language" is used than specifying a function language 
that does not meet the requirements of office applications.

However, the TC will take your concern serious and may come back to this 
topic in a later stage.

Best regards


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