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Subject: Re: [office-formula] Portable "documents"

Hi Patrick,

On Tuesday, 2009-12-15 08:59:27 -0500, Patrick Durusau wrote:

> My major concern at present is what to do with the notion of "portable  
> documents."
> [...]
> Second, in order to fix the current difficulty, I really need to have  
> the formula SC and ultimately the ODF TC agree on what is meant by  
> "portable document."
> To illustrate, I think Rob's initial suggestion of thinking of  
> conformance as being divided between expressions and evaluators provides  
> part of the superstructure I need to parse out the various threads of  
> shall, may, required (sic), etc. in the current draft.
> However, I understand "portable document" to cut across whatever  
> conformance classes (I assume for example, large group conformance for  
> expressions includes supporting the syntax of all fo the large group  
> plus the lesser groups, but that medium group conformance for  
> expressions is something less than that), but is not itself a  
> conformance class. Yes?

Correct. A portable document and the portable constraints mentioned for
functions are document author guidelines, not implementor conformance
clauses. The portable term reduces a feature or function to a common
denominator implemented by existing applications. New implementations
should strive for more that usually is expressed as 'should'. If
a document is not restricted to portable constraints it does not mean
that the document is not conforming.

> One aspect of the editorial work, once the "portable document" issue  
> (and whatever it should be called) is decided, will be how to best  
> present that information for a standard. I certainly think it should be  
> captured but if it isn't normative behavior, that pushes in the  
> direction of a non-normative annex.

No, I don't think so. The portable constraints belong to the functions.

> Which would have the additional  
> advantage of centralizing all the information that developers or even  
> users would need when striving for or evaluating what is possible with a  
> "portable document." As it stands now, they would have to search the  
> entire document to piece together a (hopefully) coherent and consistent  
> picture of what constitutes a "portable document."

Currently they have the information present at the functions they use
and don't have to jump back and forth or read material for features they
do not use. We may consolidate general information about portable
documents, not related to specific functions or features, in a section
of its own, but not rip the function specific portable bits out.


Automatic string conversions considered dangerous. They are the GOTO statements
of spreadsheets.  --Robert Weir on the OpenDocument formula subcommittee's list.

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