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Subject: Re: [office-formula] Portable document?

I see 'portable document' as a conformance class, but of the document, not 
the application. 

In programming languages this is commonly called "portability" -- the 
ability for a program to execute properly on multiple machine platforms. 
There are other words that could be used.  For example, PDF/A is 
essentially a profile of PDF that is more portable than the base PDF 

We could certainly argue whether the portable conformance belongs in the 
core ODF 1.2 OpenFormula, or whether we want to defer this to a later 
"ODF/A" profile.

Another approach, perhaps complementary, would be to mandate a set of 
"capabilities" functions whereby an implementation would report its 
maximum string size, its maximum integer size, what group of functions it 
supports, etc.  C/C++ has uses a similar approach.  It is easy for a user 
to create a portable document if they have functions such as 
maxStringLength(), etc., to conditionalize their formula logic or to 
report errors.


Patrick Durusau <patrick@durusau.net> wrote on 01/05/2009 11:57:55 AM:
> Greetings!
> While Michael works on integrating the remaining proposals I have been 
> reviewing the latest formula draft.
> I find the notion of a "portable" document both interesting and 
> My first impression was that any formula that conforms to OpenFormula 
> would be "portable" but then it appeared that I could have a formula 
> that conforms to OpenFormula but that isn't "portable." Yes?
> That seems like an odd result for a standard.
> Granted, the standard can specify semantics, such as strings may be up 
> to 32,767 characters (assuming we have defined characters, perhaps by 
> reference) in length and use that value definition with one or more 
> functions. Conformance to those functions, therefore, requires at a 
> minimum support of strings up to that length.
> I then have an expectation that any application that claims to support 
> OpenFormula will accept a string of that length or shorter.
> In terms of the standard, we could say that lengths greater than some 
> length are either undefined or provide for other options.
> I suppose it is a matter of perspective. I see conformance to the 
> standard as the "test" for portability. By analogy, it would be similar 
> to having the "small group" but with value limits as part of its 
> semantics. If I conform to the "small group" with those semantics, then 
> my document will travel safely to any other application that supports 
> the "small group" set of functions. Or be, at least to my way of 
> thinking, "portable."
> Am I missing something real subtle about the "portable" document 
> provisions in the formula draft? (I have only read it once in its 
> entirety. I am starting on a second pass now.)
> Hope everyone is having a great day!
> Patrick
> PS: Before I forget, is there a reason why we don't cite the W3C 
> definitions of values types in chapter 4? Granted that some of our 
> definitions are different but not all of them. Yes?
> -- 
> Patrick Durusau
> patrick@durusau.net
> Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
> Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
> Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
> Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)
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