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office-formula message

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Subject: Re: [office-formula] Grammar (Rationales, etc.)

I postulated:
> > I think the final FORMAL standard should NOT contain much (if any) 
> > comments on
> > specific implementations. A small non-normative section about them 
> > would, I think, be fine,
> > but not a lot, and certainly not a lot interspersed throughout the document.
> > 
> > Yet if we want to finish this year, I think we NEED to include a lot of 
> > information about
> > real implementations throughout the document. Otherwise, we'll spend all
> > our time repeating to each other why things were done in a certain way, 
> > instead of getting things actually done.

Rob Weir exclaimed:
> That's fine.  I agree it is good to have this in the draft to remind us 
> why we made the choices we did.  I just wanted some assurance that the 
> final version, which is supposed to be application neutral, would not have 
> a large number of references (even non-normative ones) to specific 
> applications.

I think we should plan on delivering to the TC both the "real" spec and the
"annotated with rationale" spec, making CLEAR that ONLY the real spec is,
well, real.  However, there are lots of good reasons to make the
annotated version available elsewhere:
* The TC will need to vote on whether or not they want to accept our
   proposed spec, and some TC members are likely to want to
  see the annotated spec to see WHY certain decisions were made and what
  their implications are.
* When there's a wider circulation of the specification for approval, again,
   they'll want to see that.
* When implementors are trying to actually implement the spec, it'd be
   VERY useful to have all that rationale as well.

As long as there's no attempt to gain
"formal approval" of the annotated version, as far as I can tell the
TC can hold onto the annotated version in their document archive,
as a simple contribution from the SC.  Since it wouldn't be formally
approved, it wouldn't be binding on anyone. But since it's available,
it'd be a useful source for explanatory material, in a far more useful
organization than "go read every post on the mailing list".

>  If only we had full meta data support today!  That would 
> solve this wonderfully.

True enough. This an example of data about PARTS of THIS document,
if you accept my classification system I posted earlier.

Can you post that proposal to the metadata SC, once it's started?

> Using style templates as you mention would work as well.

Thanks.  Since styles are available today, I think that's how we'll need to do things (for now).

--- David A. Wheeler

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