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Subject: ODF 1.1: 3.3

Propose changing the second sentence of ODF 1.1 section 3.3

"As there is no semantics specified for such foreign content, applications need not process this information other than to preserve it when editing the document."

"As there is no semantics specified for such foreign content, applications thefreedictionary.com/need

need  (nd)
1. A condition or situation in which something is required or wanted


aux.v. Past tense of shall
1.  Used to express obligation or duty: You should send her a note.
2.  Used to express probability or expectation: They should arrive at noon.

ODF 1.1 section 1.2 in conjunction with the "Alternate keywords" section of http://docs.oasis-open.org/templates/TCHandbook/ConformanceGuidelines.html  (in lieu of the ISO/IEC directive I was not able to find) specify the meaning of a *bold faced* "should" to mean "to indicate that among several possibilities one is recommended as particularly suitable, without mentioning or excluding others."

But note that "should" is not bold faced in section 3.3 sentence 1, so we are left with a definition that itself either means something like "obligation" (def 1 above) or something like "expectation" (def 2 above). Leading one to wonder, if we are expected to do this, does this mean we are obligated as well?

HOWEVER, section 1.5 separately states:
"conforming applications should preserve meta information" ("should" is not bold faced),

"elements contained within the <office:meta> element may have arbitrary element content and should be preserved (see section 2.2.1)" (should IS bold faced, meaning recommendation or expectation BUT NOT requirement or obligation).

Section 2.2.1 says:
"Custom metadata are arbitrary elements inside <office:meta>. Since their semantics is not defined in this specification, conforming applications in general cannot process or display this data. Applications should preserve this data when editing the document." Here "should" IS bold faced.

Based on 1.2, 1.5, and 2.2.1, my best guess is that the first sentence of 3.3 specifies recommendation not requirement (via dictionary definition 2), and so perhaps a recommendation would be to make the change proposed at the top of this email (to either of the two alternatives given or to something similar).

Sorry, for the long discussion over a minor issue, but I wanted to pre-empt a back and forth email interchange and possibly even save the readers a bit of time hunting down some of the applicable passages. The issue is actually not that minor for implementers that would prefer to have both a conforming application and as reduced a feature set as possible, and the proposed fix is very small, almost at the level of a typo.

Also, I have not read the whole spec to know what other changes might need to be made.

[Aside: At this point, I have only done a very small amount of light reading, but from what I have seen so far, I can't be certain that the references above to "application" imply "conforming applications".]


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