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Subject: Re: [office] Re: [office-metadata] Suggested Changes on the Metadata proposal

On Friday 29 June 2007 17:30:38 Bruce D'Arcus wrote:
> > Therefore it seems best to keep these rules optional unless the
> > application plan to implement the metadata feature.
> > And when I mentioned ODF applications, I do not meant OpenOffice.org,
> > for which it won't be a problem as we desire the feature.
> I strongly disagree. Preserving files and attributes is a trivial
> requirement. Not doing so will introduce large compatibility problems.

This, naturally, is not an isolated case. There currently are no 
applications that support all the ODF features but they still can be ODF 
compliant.  Even should one loose 90% of the features between loading and 

So the question becomes, is metadata any different. I'm inclined to say 
no.  Its not different, its just a feature that the application should 
support. If it doesn't then a better application comes along and replaces 
Looking at the ODF landscape I consider this;
* OOo and KOffice both think its a good feature to support, and are both 
moving to do so.  I'm sure other big office suites agree and do so as 
well.  Meaning that ODF doesn't have to force their hands.
* Almost all professional users of office suites benefit from metadata in 
one way or another. So an application that follows user requests will 
quickly see metadata on their TODO list.
* There are not that many application-types that both load and save ODF 
files. Viewers and writers are the bigger segment. We are only concerned 
with the load+save type.

Bottom line is that while I fully agree its very important to retain this 
information that does not automatically imply that ODF has to make it 
mandatory. Market forces can do that too.
Furthermore I would find it hypocritical to make it mandatory while almost 
all features in ODF are not mandatory to be retained between load and 

> Really, just to be clear: if applications do not preserve xml:id
> attributes, fields will break, and any metadata about document
> fragments will be made invalid. Is that really in anyone's interest?
> They need not support metadata in any explicit way to do this.

I think this said is best; things will break in a very visible way if apps 
don't support it.  So users will quickly realize a problem and apps will 
be requested to support the feature of metadata.

The only reason I see to make it mandatory is for fear of people not 
supporting it, and I can easy your mind there, you guys have been doing 
an awesome job. Applications will line up to support this stuff. Don't 
worry so much! :)

ps. not sure if I have write access to the metadata ML, if this doesn't 
appear there, please consider forwarding. Thanks.
Thomas Zander

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