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Subject: Re: [office-formula] Goals/levels/packaging/complex numbers

----- Start Original Message -----
From: robert_weir@us.ibm.com

Rob Weir said:
> I think we need to take the broad view of this.  The formula language is 
> not going to exist in a vacuum.  It will be part of the ODF specification. 
>  We do not have levels in ODF today, _anywhere_.  We do not define subsets 
> of conformance, _anywhere_.  I'm not saying this is set in stone or 
> anything like that.  But it will not be so useful to have 4 levels of 
> formula conformance but still require that all conformant spreadsheets 
> implement the full range of chart types, database support, multiple sheet 
> support and all defined attributes.  The issue of conformance really needs 
> to be solved as a whole for it to be useful.

I don't agree; solving this in PART of the spec means that THAT PART is solved.
Besides, in practice, the solution will need to be developed incrementally,
so we may as well start solving it now.
Sometimes you really need to "solve it all at once" because of
deep interactions between the components.  But I don't see that
in this case.  The ability to support exotic functions isn't at all
correlated to support for chart types, etc., etc.

More importantly, there seems to be general agreement that the
resulting formula spec MUST support BOTH constrained environments
(like PDAs).  I think Dan Bricklin wants an even SMALLER base set.
Yet if the "base" is tiny, or there's NO defined grouping, then
either everyone has to implement EVERYTHING (no PDAs for you!)
or the base is tiny (no interoperability for you!).

We can support both constrained environments, AND the needs
of interoperability, so I think we should try to do so.

--- David A. Wheeler

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