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Subject: Table support for OpenDocument Presentations


I just want to give a brief status description of the evaluation of the 
table support for OpenDocument presentations.

Currently I see three different ways of adding table support to 
OpenDocument specifications:
a) "native" table support
b) Embedded object based table support
c) tables in text boxes
d) Drawing object plus annotation based table support

ad a)
The "native" table support would have the advantage, that tables are 
"first-class citizens" of OpenDocument presentations. An example would be:
The above encoding is closest to Open XML and would ensure rountrip.
The disadvantage of the above solution is, that currently deployed 
reader would ignore the <table:table> element and thus tables where 
missing in the document. This would require all vendors of OpenDocument 
processing applications to ship product patches.

ad b)
Encoding tables in OpenDocument presentations as "embedded objects" 
would be the best solution regarding backward compatibility. Encoding as 
"embeeded object" means nothing else than "use OpenDocument spreadsheet 
tables in presentations as embedded objects". An example is:
  <draw:object xlink:href="Link to OpenDocument spreadsheet table" 
xlink:type="simple" xlink:show="embed" xlink:actuate="onLoad" />
The disadvantage of this solution is, that tables in presentations are 
no longer "first-class citizens" as they are e.g. in Open XML.

ad c)
OpenDocument allows in its current version that tables can appear within 
text boxes. However this currently not implemented in e.g. 
OpenOffice.org. For example:
Here without any schema change table in presentations could be achieved.

ad d) [suggested my Yue MA]
Currently OpenDocument processing entities store tables in presentations 
as shapes, i.e. a table is "drawn", but the structure is forgotten. By 
simply annotating this "drawn" tables with the table structure 
information both backward compatibility as well as accessibility needs 
could be satisfied.
The disadvantage of this is, that OpenDocument would get a rather 
"unconventional" second table model.

I would like to finish the investigation phase know and start dicussing 
the prefered solution.

Looking forward for your comments.

Best regards,


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