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Subject: Re: [office-formula] Whitespace fixups

Hi David,

On Monday, 2008-06-16 23:12:35 -0400, David A. Wheeler wrote:

> > Should we add U+00A0 NO-BREAK SPACE to this list? I don't think we'd
> > need the other no-break space characters though.
> That sounds like a good idea, though we'll need to be clear that it's
> the no-break-space character that is whitespace.
> (OpenFormula can be embedded in documents that use
> other encodings, like Windows-1252).

I think the notation "U+00A0 NO-BREAK SPACE" is highly descriptive and
distinctive enough. U+#### always represents a Unicode code point,
whatever that character's value may be in other encodings.

> > Note: Applications not capable of preserving all whitespace characters
> > should be allowed to omit them when writing a document.
> I omitted the text afterwards, but what it said was that applications
> SHOULD retain the whitespace characters.  My thought is that
> if an application intends to write a line break, then it should write \n.
> But once it writes whatever whitespace it writes, other apps should
> retain it.

Which isn't always possible due to implementation details. For example,
Calc normally preserves spaces (no other whitespace characters yet) in
formulas, but for array constants they are only parsed away, internally
the array is stored as one matrix token and information about
interspersed whitespace characters is discarded. Due to internal
structures and memory considerations it is not intended to change that.

Implementations on hand-held devices may also prefer to not preserve
whitespace at all for similar reasons.


Automatic string conversions considered dangerous. They are the GOTO statements
of spreadsheets.  --Robert Weir on the OpenDocument formula subcommittee's list.

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