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Subject: Re: [office] Formula subcommittee status

On Jul 21, 2006, at 3:02 PM, David A. Wheeler wrote:

>> For example, how does a processor know whether "re:something" 
>> indicates
>> namespaced content, or whether it's simply content than happens to 
>> have
>> a ":" character?
> I propose that they do this trivially - if it has a potential
> namespace name followed by ":", it's the namespace.

And that presumes going through every attribute in the spec and saying 
it might or might not contain QNames? They do need special processing 
after all.

> You could even say "... and there is such a namespace" if that worries 
> you.

It worries me big time, and it should worry you too.

>> We'll be faced with this choice (whether to use GNames or full uris)
>> probably in the metadata work, and my understanding has always been
>> that it's bad practice to use QNames in this context.
>> So we may end up with a situation where they're allowed in some places
>> (say formulas) and not elsewhere. Is that fine?
> Fine by me.  Though I expect we'll see this kind of issue again.
> This is a well-known solution to a particular problem, and
> (1) nobody seems to have a better solution and (2) it's widespread 
> practice.
> I see this as an example of standards evolving to solve real-world 
> problems,
> rather than being a problem in itself.

I'm sorry, but it looks to me like a hack; I really wouldn't want to 
see it repeated throughout ODF.

FWIW, I prefer Chris' suggestion, which essentially achieves the same 
effect (typing content without using namespace hacks) as doing:

	<text:formula type="openformula">...</text:formula>

But I don't do formulas, so I don't think my opinion is that important.

But just to repeat, I do think we need a general position on this 
question -- is it OK to use QNames in attribute content, and if so 
where? -- rather than sweep it under the rug of short-term expediency. 
That was my point in raising the question.


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