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Subject: Re: [office] white-space processing proposal

Dave Pawson wrote:
> On 22/09/06, Lars Oppermann <Lars.Oppermann@sun.com> wrote:
>> There was discussion as to what this means for white-space at the
>> paragraph beginning but that has been resolved by the TC.
> I didn't keep the email, but IIRC that was the phrase referring out
> the html?
> Do you believe that to be specific?

It was specific enough for me. If you have a proposal on how to further 
clarify it, I'd be happy to see that.

> The
>> specification furthermore defines the test:s element to represent
>> sequences of white-space.
> OK. If it is retained.

Yes, it is. Otherwise the content of the document would be altered.

>> White-space in ODF context has no semantic meaning beyond that of a word
>> delimiter.
> Is that a personal view or a quote from the spec?

It is my interpretation of the fact that the spec calls for collapsing 
sequences of literal white-space in the physical XML representation. If 
sequences of white-spaces are to be represented, <text:s> is to be used.

Maybe that is part of the confusion here. We need to differentiate 
between white-space in the document and white-space in the XML 
representation of the document. They are not the same. Because the spec 
allows for collapsing of literal white-spaces in the XML, we can use 
<text:s> to represent actual whitespace in the document. Literal 
white-space in the XML is either a word delimiter, syntactic sugar or 
both. There is no other semantic information that can be conveyed by 
literal white-space beyond that of word delimiter. Sequences of white 
space must be encoded as <text:s>.

>> Hence, I am opposed to requiring ODF implementations to honor
>> it in any way beyond that.
> OK, we disagree.

I have described above how I arrived at that view. The additional 
benefit of this view is, that you can reformat the physical XML to your 
liking without changing the meaning of the document. Please provide some 
explanation as to what the benefit of making the literal white space in 
the XML representation is.

Furthermore, there is nothing that prevents you from doing an 
implementation that retains literal white-space. It would be in full 
accordance with the specification.

 > [...]
> My view. A high value aspect of ODF is that I can process the XML
> for other purposes. I may generate it using an implementation,
> I may edit it in an implementation, but the high value to an organisation
> is the XML on disk.
>  Clearly you see no value in that.

You are extending my statement of literal white-space being not 
significant beyond word separation in the XML representation to an 
assertion about the general value of the XML representation. This is not 


Lars Oppermann <lars.oppermann@sun.com>               Sun Microsystems
Software Engineer                                         Nagelsweg 55
Phone: +49 40 23646 959                         20097 Hamburg, Germany
Fax:   +49 40 23646 550                  http://www.sun.com/staroffice

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