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Subject: RE: [office-formula] "settlement The settlement date."

I think there is a continuing misunderstanding on what those "lists of
terms" are.  I would like us to clear that up before we get too deeply into
massaging things.

1. Let's be specific and look at 5.12.2 ACCRINT, the first occurrence of
"settlement" in the OpenFormula specification.

2. It appears to me that the list under Semantics is misplaced, since terms
like "settlement date" are not being defined here but presumed to be defined
elsewhere.  I suggest that the list 

issue       The security's issue or dated date.
first       The security's first interest date.
settlement  The security's settlement date.
coupon      The security's annual coupon rate.
par         The security's par value, that is, the principal to be paid at
frequency   The number of coupon payments per year. 
basis       The type of day-count basis to use; see section 3.10.6 

would best be under the heading "Parameters" and placed either directly
under the Syntax: entry or the Returns: entry, depending on which is the
most readable in general.  The Semantics heading would not be moved (and
more semantic detail is doubtless called for).

3. With this rearrangement, I trust that it is more clear that the phrases
on the right are not definitions of the term-like words on the left.  They
are phrases for the nature of the value that is to be supplied to the
function for the so-identified parameter.  (Cf. the Syntax: line.)  The use
of italic text here is also a clue that these are not ordinary uses of words
as (even-specialized) terms and nomenclature.  

4. I think it is a mistake to view the parameter names themselves as
anything but symbolic labels for the parameter value that goes in a
particular place in the syntax for use of the function in a formula.  For
example, systematically replacing occurrence of the ACCRINT parameter names
with I, F, S, C, P, F, and B, respectively, in the syntax and in the list
specifying what the parameter values represent would change nothing.  The
right-hand phrases in the list of the parameters would be unchanged however.
[The use of the simpler parameter symbols is actually more-useful for
transposition of the OpenFormula specification into another language, since
translators would know *not* to translate those symbols.]

5. Being more precise about how "settlement date" is to be understood goes
elsewhere, perhaps in the Semantics or in a preceding section of common
terms used in the description of these financial functions.  There is a lot
more that could be in the Semantics section about what these parameters
represent and how they are calculated with.

 - Dennis


6. It would probably be very helpful to specify how this layout works and
what the parts are in Chapter 1, either as a subsection of 1.2 or a section
following 1.2, although I can understand why it is thought to fit the
narrative in flow in 5.2.  The use of typographical distinctions should be
explained as well.

7. I notice that some of the parameter types are shown in italic text in the
Syntax prototype, and some are not.  It would be useful to use italic text
only for the parameters and use regular (Capitalized) text for the name of a
parameter's data type.

8. I also note that one could omit "Calculates" altogether from the Summary:

9. With regard to the Returns: entry, one could say "Currency value of the
accrued interest" (and "accrued interest" needs to be defined more precisely
as well, elsewhere, of course).  

10. There are some technical details that need to be examined as well.  For
example, if the accrued interest is returned as a value of Currency type,
then it should probably be Currency par, not Number par.  There are also
many factors revealed in the test cases that should be explicit in the
semantics.  The test cases should not be necessary for determining what the
rule of calculation is.

11. There is also a problem of taking an exemplary use of this calculation
as the definition of it.  ACCRINT works for any fixed principal amount for
which fixed-interest payments are made at periodic intervals between two
calendar dates (and particular treatment of basis and edge cases).  It is
not necessary to speak of securities, par value, and other terms specific to
particular securities-industry contexts.  One might introduce a note
concerning the exemplary use for those wondering what an application of
ACCRINT might be, but it would be great for that not being definitional.  If
we make it definitional we run into problems with the calculation being done
differently in different situations and rules of accounting and trading in
securities.  We should define what the OpenFormula ACCRINT function is so
that it can be calculated consistently across multiple implementations.  It
is the responsibility of others to know when that specific calculation is
appropriate in a given financial activity.

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Durusau [mailto:patrick@durusau.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 12:48
To: office-formula@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [office-formula] "settlement The settlement date."


Even assuming (perhaps incorrectly) a uniform semantic:

"settlement The settlement date."

is meaningless.

Standards are about *defining* semantics, for good or ill.

Perhaps, "... to boldly define where no one has dared to define 
before....." ;-)

Suggestions for a definition?

Hope everyone is having a great day!


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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