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Subject: Some remarks on the "Fieldmarks" proposal from Florian Reuter

Dear TC members,

I did not see any further progress on the "Fieldmarks" proposal from
Florian Reuter.
Thus, I would like to give my remarks on this proposal with the hope
that the work on the proposal will continue.

In general I support the idea behind this proposal.
It would provide a possible solution for the feature request given in
http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office/200710/msg00120.html and
discussed on the mailing list in the following thread. Based on this
feature request possible solutions had been discussed on the mailing
list - see
http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office/200711/msg00018.html and the
following thread. At the end a certain proposal for this feature request
has been withdrawn - see
http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office/200801/msg00041.html - in
order to provide something more general. According to this Florian
Reuter created the first version of his "Fieldmarks" proposal on
2008-02-14 and had put it into our TC's wiki. He announces this wiki
entry in our TC call on 2008-03-03 - see

I have to admit that due to lack of time I could not continue my work on
this in the last months. But Florian did not lose the focus and brought
it back to attention through his "Fieldmarks" proposal.

Following are some remarks of mine, which I like to see solved:
(1) Question to the proposer (already asked on 2008-07-14 in the TC call
discussion of this proposal):
What is the reason for the introduction of a new namespace "field" for
the "Fieldmarks"?
I currently see no reason for a new namespace.
A definition for the new namespace is also not given in the proposal.
I have no problem with the introduction of a new namespace, if there is
a good reason for it.
Please provide a reason and the definition for the new namespace "field".
If there is no particular reason for this new namespace, I suggest to
put the new elements and properties of this proposal into the namespace
"text" - probably this would cause an adjustment of its names (e.g. 
field:type --> text:field-type).

(2) It is stated in the proposal text that the "Fieldmarks" need to be
properly nested.
This is not assured by the current proposal. The reason for this is that
the content of the proposed element <field:fieldmark> is
paragraph-content and that the proposed elements <field:fieldmark-start>
and <field:fieldmark-end> belong to paragraph-content. Thus, a certain
<field:fieldmark> element could contain a <field:fieldmark-start> or
<field:fieldmark-end> element, but no <field:fieldmark-end> respectively
<field:fieldmark-start> element. Thus, overlapping of "Fieldmarks" is
In my honest opinion this needs to be fixed in the proposal.

(3) On the one hand I like the generic approach which has been proposed,
but on the other hand I am missing the sematic of certain "Fieldmark"
types and its possible additional parameters. I think it is no good idea
to leave everything completely open to the application's implementation
regarding these "Fieldmarks". E.g., a certain "Fieldmark" type
implemented by ODF supporting application A can not be supported by any
other ODF supporting application.
What I would like to see is that the ODF specification should provide
the known use cases of "Fieldmarks" - e.g. the text input field and the
checkbox which Florian Reuter already had implemented in a patch
submitted to OpenOffice.org. Additionally the ODF specification should 
allow further unknown "Fieldmark" types in ODF documents, but it should 
be specified, how these unknown "Fieldmark" type are treated on import,
editing, export, etc. We should also encourage the ODF implementors to
submit their "Fieldmark" types to the ODF specification.

Best regards, Oliver.

Sun Microsystems GmbH    Oliver-Rainer Wittmann
Nagelsweg 55             Software Engineer - OpenOffice.org/StarOffice
20097 Hamburg
Germany                  Fax:   (+49 40) 23 646 550
http://www.sun.de        mailto:oliver-rainer.wittmann@sun.com
Sitz der Gesellschaft:
Sun Microsystems GmbH, Sonnenallee 1, D-85551 Kirchheim-Heimstetten
Amtsgericht Muenchen: HRB 161028
Geschaeftsfuehrer: Thomas Schroeder, Wolfgang Engels, Dr. Roland Boemer
Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrates: Martin Haering

Oliver-Rainer Wittmann (od) - OpenOffice.org Writer
OpenOffice.org Engineering at Sun: http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS

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