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Subject: Re: [office-comment] Foreign elements and attributes

Hi Rob,

2009/2/8  <robert_weir@us.ibm.com>:

> That's why I favor removing it from the ODF core.  Having it there just
> makes work for implementations to write code to handle it "just in case",
> even though no one currently uses the feature.

The more I think of the idea of multiple conformance clauses the more
I actually like it. However, a few details are not clear to me yet, so
please endulge me to broaden my view:

What would be the purpose of having multiple conformance clauses -
apart from complying with OASIS rules? Is it for procurement concerns?
Is it to enable organisations to aquire either "ODF Core compliant
applications" or "ODF Extended compliant applications"?

Also, will an application be able to recognize a core document vs an
extended document (apart from detecting foreign content)? Will there
be a flag to indicate compliance level?

As a principle, I like the idea of stripping out what is not needed or
"pure" (after all, that was kind of the idea of making
strict/transitional editions of OOXML during processing in ISO). But I
think it is important to think about what vendors will do if the two
clauses are kept. Chances are that they will flash "ODF Core
compliant" even though they are only this in theory since their
default behaviour is the extended edition. This is actually much the
same way OOo claims "Compatible with Microsoft Office" when in theory
it is compatible, but it is not when using the default file format.
This is about the same mess we have with OOXML and strict/transitional
and Microsoft Office. Office 14 will likely support both strict and
transitional OOXML, but since backwards compliance is important to
Microsoft, default behaviour will propably be "transitional".

And finally: a lot of the discussions on the web about this has
circled about documents not being conformant when being extended (and
I realize that I might have contributed to this). As far as I
understand it this is not true. Documents with extensions will indeed
be conformant - but to the "OpenDocument extended document" and not to
the core "OpenDocument conformance".

And a personal fear: Focusing on shrinking ODF to "ODF Core" risks
making it increasingly difficult to claim that ODF is a "full fledged
alternative to .DOC and OOXML". I think that would be a wrong path the
go. ODF /must/ remain a viable alternative to .DOC and OOXML.

Jesper Lund Stocholm
SC34/WG4 http://www.itscj.ipsj.or.jp/sc34/wg4/

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