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Subject: Requirements

Rick Jelliffe


+CATEGORY (select one or more from below)

+SCOPE (select one or more from below)


Requirement for Diagonal Corner Headers.

The current ODF table model is based on Western typesetting. East Asian
tables have different features which are legitimate internationalization
requirements and which are intimately related to formatting options opened
up by the small heading size of Chinese, Japanese and Korean (e.g.
typically one to four Han ideographs or kana etc. syllables.)

Typically the issue of CJK tables is dealt with under the head "Diagonal
Headers". However though there are more issues at play, this request
mainly deals with that issues, for simplicity sake.

The use case is this:

1) A CJK user should be able to enter tables in ODF documents and
applications in graphical forms that were idiomatic

 *before the 1990s when hand-layout was still used,

 * that kept idiomatic during the 1990s in native CJK word processors
developed in CJK countries,

  * and are still idiomatic in the late 2000s because of the support in

2) The user imports a UOF, OOXML or other file which uses diagonal headings.

3) A user has to computerize a government or agency form that uses
diagonal headings. (Note, the tight graphical layout of forms is very
noticable in CJK forms. Note also that in some countries, forms and their
presentation are matters of law or legislation.)

For more information and examples, see

Straddling Tables.
Diagonal Table Headers
Matthew Cruikshank

What are Chinese tables?
Rick Jelliffe, from work at Academia Sinica Computing Centre, Taiwan


There are three concrete possibilities.

1) Minimal support.

Clone the OOXML features. IS 29500 part 1 s17.4.74 tl3br

2) Medium support.

Clone the UOF features.

Implement the specification given by Shizhoubo of RedFlag ch2000.com.cn as
a request for OpenOffice in 2007. I presume this is close to what UOF

3) Semantic support

See the "community of cells" approach at

As ODF does not have good support for visualizing arbitrary structures, I
presume that option 3) will be regarded as in excess of requirements.

Diagonal headings have been part of Word since approx 2000.

Diagonal headings were addded to RedOffice, a Chinese fork of Open Office
that supports UOF

Note 1:  East Asians form about 25% of world population. There is
considerable, almost willful ignorance and dismissal of their
requirements. Typically,. this dismissal takes the form of a rejection
that the use case is "good practice", as if what is good practice arises
independently of written script and language system. ODF is currently the
odd-man-out in its poor support for CJK typesetting requirements.

Note 2: This is not a request for slanted headers, that would form a
separate request. For a description of slanted headers, together with an
unfortunately typical weak apology for why this feature is not high
priority, see the W3C CSS discussion at

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