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Subject: Re: [office] Table support for OpenDocument Presentations

Hi Florian,

Thank you for putting this out!

 From an accessibility  point of view, there are two main use cases that 
we need to support:

 1. User with a disability interacting with a table in a presentation - 
especially through an assistive technology like a screen reader.
 2. Automated conversion of ODF to another format (e.g. DAISY digital 
talking book).

In the first case, what is most important is that we have all of the 
table structure information available, and a good user interface to the 
table & table structure (so good keyboard navigation into and through 
the table, and good implementation of ATK_Table for UNIX assistive 
technologies).  In the second case, we shouldn't make it too onerous for 
something like a DAISY converter to get all of the table structure 

Applying these measures to your four suggestions (below), I believe (a), 
(b), and (d) would be viable solutions.  I don't see enough in the XML 
example for (b) to understand how I would parse the ODF file to locate 
and then parse the embedded spreadsheet.  Florian - perhaps you could 
explain that better.

Otherwise it all comes down to user interface implementation.  I've been 
convinced that (b) could be just as easily keyboard navigated and 
exposed via ATK or some other accessibility API as (a), and so for me 
the arguments about backward compatibility suggest that (b) is the best 
approach for us.


Peter Korn
Accessibility Architect,
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
> 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:
> <draw:frame>
> <table:table>
> ....
> </table:table>
> </draw:frame>
> 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:frame>
>  <draw:object xlink:href="Link to OpenDocument spreadsheet table" 
> xlink:type="simple" xlink:show="embed" xlink:actuate="onLoad" />
> </draw:frame>
> 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:
> <draw:frame>
> <draw:text-box>
> <table:table>
> ..
> </table:table>
> </draw:frame>
> 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,
> Florian
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