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Subject: Re: [office] Proposed TC Meeting Agenda Items

On Jan 16, 2006, at 11:22 AM, robert_weir@us.ibm.com wrote:
>> 1) Proposal to create additional Subcommittees
>> c) Subcommittee formed to develop and propose further support for 
>> Metadata and Spreadsheet Formulas.
>> d) ODF 1.1 draft released with enhanced metadata, spreadsheet 
>> formulas, and whatever other new features the TC may propose
>> e) Compliance Subcommittee formed to propose ways to define compliance 
>> and recommend and perhaps develop a means to verify compliance of 
>> ODF-supporting applications

If you don't mind, I'd like to wait to discuss formulas and how
to handle them (including subcommittees, etc.) until AFTER the
upcoming Monday meeting.  Technically, I'm only an "observer"
until after next meeting, yet I'm ESPECIALLY interested in
ensuring that spreadsheet formulas are well-defined. I'd prefer
to legitimately be part of that discussion :-).

If it's any consolation, formulas aren't standing still anyway.
As you know, I'm leading a group ("OpenFormula") that is
creating an early draft spec for spreadsheet formulas for
OpenDocument. We plan to submit it to a standards body, and
I've been having several emails with OASIS management
about that very subject.  We've made a lot of progress, I think.

Speaking of compliance tests, in the OpenFormula work,
we've combined two problems into a solution. Our problems were:
(1) How can you define functions well enough to really
know what they mean, and (2) how do you get a compliance test?
The answer, for us, has been to embed compliance tests into
the specification itself.  I don't think this would work in
the general case, but for spreadsheet formulas, giving specific
required answers as part of each definition is
turning out to be VERY useful.  Instead of dancing over
the head of the pin of some terms, the
test cases eliminate a VAST number of misunderstandings.
They also let us examine what current applications do, quickly.

--- David A. Wheeler

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