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Subject: Re: [office-formula] Implementation-defined, Unspecified, and Undefinedbehaviors in OpenFormula

robert_weir@us.ibm.com wrote:
> Maybe I wasn't clear enough....
> A declarative approach means that implementation behavior can still vary, 
> but instead of documenting this behavior only in written documentation, 
> the behavior is documented in the XML itself.

Ah!  You may have been clear, but I certainly didn't appreciate what you 
had in mind.  I was concerned that you expected readers to be required 
to adjust their OWN behavior, based on this information.  Which is not 
what you were saying.

As long as a specific behavior to respond to this isn't mandated by the 
spec, but it's basically a comment in the XML file, I don't have an 
objection in principle.  Clearly, implementations would have to modify 
their implementations to add that information, but that sounds like 
something they can just insert into their static headers anyway, so it'd 
be relatively trivial to do.  We could even phase it in.

> This would apply in 
> specific cases where there are only a small choice of allowed behaviors, 
> such as 0^0, whether boolean and number are distinct, SUM(), etc.  We're 
> not mandating specification evaluation behavior, but mandating that the 
> behavior used by the application that writes the document be declared in 
> the document's XML.

I think the main issue is really, "how important is this?".  If it's 
really important, then maybe we should mandate a specific answer.  If 
it's not important, then how far should we go?!?  Documenting the 
assumptions of a particular writer inside the XML file is an interesting 

Anyone else: Pro? Con?  Another alternative?

--- David A. Wheeler

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