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Subject: On "portability"
Greetings! 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! Patrick PS: I think the TC needs to pass a resolution next Monday congratulating David on completion of his dissertation! -- Patrick Durusau email@example.com 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)