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Subject: Re: [office-formula] Grouping functions and capabilities

"David A. Wheeler" <dwheeler@dwheeler.com> wrote on 07/12/2006 11:39:32 AM:

> Probably the biggest risk is spending too much time on "what level
> is this in",
> as opposed to defining it.  But we're all grown-ups here, and I think a
> rough consensus on grouping/leveling will be sufficient for the purpose.
> I have used a very simple metric - "how many different
> implementations support it",
> with each implementation having a "vote" on importance.   I think this
> metric is justifiable - if more apps implement a given function, then clearly
> it's more important.

We're making the spec to benefit users, not implementations.  So one vote/one implementation might not be the optimal way to look at this.  I don't mind the grouping.  But leveling, based on "importance" -- that scares me, especially when I consider how unrepresentative this subcommittee is, both in terms of global representation, but also in terms of problem domains.  I'm sure we would agree among ourselves on a consensus grouping/leveling of functions.  I don't dispute that.  I'm just suggesting that this consensus is going to be biased to the usage patterns of technical, American/Western European implementors of spreadsheets, a rather small community in the larger picture.  I'd rather the specification take a neutral stance on the importance of any specific spreadsheet function beyond a core set of mandatory intrinsic functions.   If we wish to prioritize in terms of our work and the order we approach the definition of functions, that's fine.  But I'm not in favor of the specification suggesting a relative importance of the ARABIC() function.


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