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Subject: CD01 -- 8.2.1 Referencing Table Cells

This section appears to be directly clipped from ODF 1.1 section 8.3.1
without change other than removing the examples.  The section is
purely informative except for the last paragraph, which deals with
punctuation. The text preceding the last paragraph is worded as three
compound passive voice sentences with subclauses, none of which
establish any normative requirements whatsoever.

However, it appears that a TC co-chair views the matter appearing
before the last paragraph as establishing conformity requirements.
("SP2's implementation of ODF spreadsheets does not, in fact, conform
to the requirements of the ODF standard ...");
("First up is the question of whether the ODF documents written by
Excel 2007 SP2 indeed conform to the ODF 1.1 standard.") (The latter
article quotes the portion of ODF 1.1 that mirrors section 8.2.1 in
Committee Draft 1.)

As a matter of international law, a technical regulation must specify
[i] "any objectively definable 'features', 'qualities', 'attributes;,
or other 'distinguishing mark'  [ii] of an identifiable product or
group of products [iii] only in mandatory 'must' or 'must not' terms.
WTDS 135 EC - Asbestos, (World Trade Organization Appellate Body; 12
March 2001; HTML version), ΒΆΒΆ 66-70,
reaffirmed and further explained, WTDS 231 EC - Sardines, pp. 41-51
(World Trade Organization Appellate Body; 26 September 2002), pp.
41-51, <http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds231_e.htm>.

(Under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade the same document
must simultaneously be capable of serving as both an international
standard and a technical regulation (and as a procurement technical
specification under the Agreement on Government Procurement);
therefore, those case precedents govern.)

JTC 1 Directives is in harmony, requiring that international standards
"specify clearly and unambiguously the conformity requirements that
are essential to achieve the interoperability." ISO/IEC JTC 1
Directives, (5th Ed., v. 3.0, 5 April 2007) pg. 145,

It follows necessarily that for product characteristics to be
conformity requirements, they must be drafted using mandatory terms.
If the TC desires that the sentences under discussion establish
conformity requirements, then they must be rewritten as conformity
requirements rather than as informative advice; i.e., in active voice
using the "shall" and/or "shall not" requirement keywords definitions
established by Annex H of ISO/IEC, ISO/IEC Directives Part 2: Rules
for the Structure and Drafting of International Standards (5th
Edition, 21 December 2004),
<http://www.iec.ch/tiss/iec/Directives-Part2-Ed5.pdf>. See also ibid.,
pg. 11:

"The same term shall be used throughout each document or series of
associated documents to designate a given concept. The use of an
alternative term (synonym) for a concept already defined shall be
avoided. As far as possible, only one meaning shall be attributed to
each term chosen."

One does not specify conformity requirements in passive voice
sentences that merely inform; they must be stated imperatively.

As to the last paragraph, it attempts unsuccessfully to express
normative requirements using the term "must" which is not defined by
the specification as establishing an imperative. Annex H, supra, is
crystal clear that "must" is improper in context: "Do not use 'must'
as an alternative for 'shall'. (This will avoid any confusion between
the requirements of a document and external statutory obligations.)"

I am aware of no external statutory obligation bearing directly on the
form of punctuation used in cell addresses beyond a more than somewhat
ridiculous reading of the EC Asbestos Panel's ruling that would forbid
"shall" from being used to express an imperative instruction. In
distinguishing between legal and standard conformity requirements, JTC
1 has established a useful semantic distinction that in no way
undermines the intent of the EC Asbestos Panel's ruling. It therefore
appears that using "must" in context is forbidden by JTC 1 Directives.

Best regards,

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. ("Marbux")

Universal Interoperability Council

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