OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

office-formula message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]

Subject: On "portability"


I think we have a serious disconnection with regard to the term 
"portability." This probably won't help but I am going to post it in 
hopes that it might.

OpenFormula intends to define:

1) Expressions

2) Requirements for Evaluators of #1

We all acknowledge (maybe) that the evaluation of #1 by #2 will lead to 
different results depending upon matters beyond the scope of 
OpenFormula. We called those things the "environment" in which 
evaluators will be evaluating expressions.

So far so good?

OK, the "portable" language (I will gloss over what was said to be 
"portable") was a best guess at both limits on things that OpenFormula 
does define as well as things that it doesn't, that together would lead 
to the same results for a set of expressions.

In other words, in addition to simply doing all the things that 
OpenFormula does define, other things need to happen to have an 
expectation of getting the same results for expressions.

Here's my question: Why not simply state those parameters that will 
influence results and then say: The results defined by OpenFormula are 
based on environmental conditions 1....n. If your environment does not 
meet these conditions or you have extensions to OpenFormula, then your 
formulas may have behaviors that are not defined by OpenFormula. If that 
is an issue for you, don't do that.

I guess I am missing the need to describe all spreadsheet behavior in 
every possible case and then try to subset it to have a set of behaviors 
that may be commonly available. Standardize the common set of behaviors. 
The others are by definition outliers.

To put it another way, standards aren't about cataloging every possible 
variation. They are about survival and propagation of the fittest to 
survive. Or in this case the most useful to the largest number of users 
in some common environment.

If any of the outliers is of particular interest, we can always have a 
normative annex on "less common environments or options" that covers odd 
cases with separate conformance that is different from the main 
conformance clause.

The advantage to such an approach is that we can nail the most basic 
aspects and should we run out of time, the outliers will suffer and not 
the most common options.

Hope everyone is having a great day!


PS: I think the TC needs to pass a resolution next Monday congratulating 
David on completion of his dissertation!

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) 

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]