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Subject: Re: [office] Backwards compatibility?


I think backwards compatibility is at least two-fold:

a) in the current example of style name uniqueness, the requirement to 
have document-unique style names would not prevent an old application 
from opening files created by an app that fulfills the req. However, a 
file created by an app that only produces family-unique style names 
could cause problems in an app that expects document-unique files

b) then, there might be other changes, adding optional information to 
the document. An old app, that is not creating those informations would 
still produce perfectly valid documents. It might however lose such 
information contained in a document created by a newer app.

So foor each change, we need to answer two questions. Are existing 
documents staying valid, and can old apps read new documents.

We might then decide, which kind of changes are we allowing for what 
version increments.


Patrick Durusau wrote:
> Daniel Carrera wrote:
>> The recent discussion about style name uniqueness raises a more 
>> general question: How much do we care about backwards compatibility? 
>> Are we willing to change the format in a way that makes some existing 
>> files invalid? Or do we want to guarantee that once a file is valid it 
>> will always be valid?
> ...
> I have tried several responses but keep getting stuck on what is meant 
> by "valid." If they are valid ODF 1.0 documents they will remain so. 
> And, I don't know of anything that would prohibit ODF >= 2.0 from 
> specifying how to read an earlier version, if some non-backwards 
> compatible change was made.
 > ...

Lars Oppermann <lars.oppermann@sun.com>               Sun Microsystems
Software Engineer - StarOffice                           Sachsenfeld 4
Phone: +49 40 23646 959                                D-20097 Hamburg
Fax:   +49 40 23646 550                  http://www.sun.com/staroffice

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