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Subject: Re: [office-formula] YEARFRAC again

On Fri, 2007-26-01 at 18:04 +0100, Eike Rathke wrote:

> > And all of that because Excel may add another basis number which may
> > conflict with the ones assigned here even though Excel does not support
> > odf?
> That's independent of Excel supporting ODF or not. The point is that
> applications want to be interoperable with Excel. So if for a given
> function that is also supported by Excel you add semantics that Excel
> doesn't know you create possible conflicts:
> 1. Documents exported to Excel using the new semantics don't work there
>    and at its best generate an error. Ok, nothing strange, maybe users
>    can live with it.
> 2. Much worse, if Excel defined the same number with a different meaning
>    ex/imported documents silently work different. Most certainly nothing
>    users would like to live with.
> We can prevent both by not defining new basis numbers.

Well, no, this does not prevent conflict. Applications will (and in
other areas already have) define behaviours and functions that go beyond
what one can do in Excel. So there is a potential for conflict. Avoiding
any specification for items not defined by Excel just means that we add
conflicts between other applications.

Since Excel does not support ODF we can in fact address the Excel
compatibility when we open Excel files so that is not a good reason to
invite compatibility issues between applications such as Gnumeric.
OpenOffice.org and KSpread!


Andreas J. Guelzow, Professor
Dept. of Mathematical & Computing Sciences
Concordia University College of Alberta

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