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Subject: Another scoping issue - <>


Continuing my slog through operators. ;-)

Under <> we note that:

"Note that in some user interfaces, this is displayed (or accepted) as 
“!=” or “≠”."

OK, sure, that is a non-normative note.

However, are we defining operators/functions and a standard syntax for 
the same or are we defining operators/functions in the abstract that may 
have a variety of representations?

If the task is to create an interchange syntax for formulas used in 
OpenDocument spreadsheets, then the latter may be interesting but not 
terribly useful.

For interchange purposes we should define one and only one acceptable 
syntax. (full stop) That others exist isn't something we can deny but we 
certainly aren't obligated to account for them.

Maybe we don't share a common understanding of the purpose of standards. 
Standards, at least in my view, have as part of their reason for 
existence the elimination of other, possibly equally likely choices. 
That is how standards in information technology, for example, facilitate 
blind interchange of documents. Yes, a document may use any number of 
encodings but once it has said, UTF-8, all other possibilities fall to 
the wayside and both sender and receiver have a shared set of 
expectations. To the extent possible, I would like to see the same thing 
with OpenFormula.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!


Patrick Durusau 
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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