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Subject: Proposal to improve change tracking in ODF

Proposal to improve change tracking in ODF

The existing ODF track change mechanism is limited in its scope and some
of its semantics are not well defined. Limitations (based on OOo
implementation) include:
- insert/delete/modify of format or style changes
- table cell/row/column insert/delete
- image insert/delete/modify
- add/delete frames (obect, image, text frame)

We were asked to look at these issues and the attached document lists
the requirements that were identified for an improved tracked changes
representation in ODF, and work done to propose a solution. The overall
objective was to develop a more generic approach which would widen the
selection of ODF elements and attributes where changes can be tracked.
This will provide improved support for applications needing to represent

The proposal includes a RelaxNG grammar for a track change format, which
can work either as a complementary grammar to ODF or integrated with it
(and a partial integration with CD05 is included). Also include are:
- a Schematron checker for a document with tracked changes,
- over 50 examples of how it would work for specific changes
(hand-crafted but checked against Schematron and the grammar),
- XSLT code to extract the latest version of a document from a
tracked-change document,
- XSLT code to roll-back the latest change

This is too large to attach to this email so a copy of the documentation
of the format and all the supporting code can be downloaded here:

We would like the technical committee to consider this approach and
adopting it as a complementary grammar and/or integrated with ODF
RelaxNG (where they are the experts and will do a better job than we are
able to do!).

We hope this will prove useful in the development of ODF.

Best regards,

-- -----------------------------------------------------------------
Robin La Fontaine, Director, DeltaXML Ltd  "Change control for XML"
E: robin.lafontaine@deltaxml.com
Registered in England 02528681


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