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

Robert Weir wrote:
> I think the meta-requirement is that the functionality required to 
> understand a document be easily discoverable by reading the document.
> With that capability (which I believe we already have) then we support the
> reality that there are an infinite number of levels.  Everyone who
> downloads the OO source code and adds or removes a function can create
> their own "level".  The person who wants scientific computing on PDA has a
> different level than someone who wants financial functions on their cell
> phone.  Also, every implementation which allows custom, user-defined 
> functions via script or binding to external code, allows a custom level.
> So, the question is do we want to elevate some sets of functions to
> official "levels" which we specify and carve in stone for an enduring
> standard?  Or do we want to encourage a more flexible approach, and allow
> vendors and users to discover "what works"?  Is the choice we make in
> levels a good choice for today, tomorrow and the day after?  Is this
> subcommittee the best place to determine what bundles of functionality are
> best used in a PDA spreadsheet? Or a Wiki? Or for a vertical application? 

This is the approach that ODF has taken in general, where basically every feature is optional. From an interoperability point of view this infinite level approach is horrible though, because there is no guidance whatsoever on which feature set one can expect to work. Any guidance that this sub-TC can provide in that area seems like a big improvement to me. For example, I don't think every implementation should have to implement financial functions but once they did it would be very valuable if people could rely on a certain set of functions to be present. So yes, I think we should carve some levels in stone. If there is a need for additional levels tomorrow I'm sure there will be some stone left to carve some more.


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