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Subject: Re: [office] ODF 1.2 draft 7 - table chapter


Michael Brauer - Sun Germany - ham02 - Hamburg wrote:
> On 10/31/08 03:22, robert_weir@us.ibm.com wrote:
>> I could see burning a lot of digital ink on trying to solve this 
>> problem. But we might consider when this is something akin to trying 
>> to define "bold" in text, or defining what the "red" value in an RGB 
>> triplet means, or defining a language code.  We're allowed to specify 
>> a language code of "de_ch", but we are not obliged to define and 
>> explain what exactly comprises the Swiss Germany dialect.
> That's a very interesting observation. On the hand I understand that 
> is is useful to have normative references for the calendars used. But 
> on the other hand, we use language codes (which are defined by an ISO 
> standard), but they don't tell us anything how to implement them, nor 
> what is correct. So, if we have for instance "de-DE", then this does 
> not tell us what words a spell checker has to be consider to be 
> correct, or what a grammar checkers needs to check. Well, both does 
> not have an influence of the formatting of a document, but hyphenation 
> is also controlled by language tags, and this has an influence on the 
> formatting.
> In addition, we had a so called "Rechtschreibreform" in Germany two or 
> three years ago, where the spelling of many words has been changed. 
> The language code does not tell you whether the old or the new 
> spelling of a word is correct. This is also not considered to be an 
> issue.
> So, given that, I start to believe that some information what the 
> calendar values are may be useful, but that normative references are 
> not required.
Well, but doesn't that raise two separate issues:

1) How much definition should we provide for any given calendar?


2) Do we self-generate that information or do we refer to some normative 

So, are you saying that for purposes of calendars that we name in ODF 
that we should provide sufficient information that implementations will 
have the same results from the use of those dates? Without citing 
normative references?

I realize there is some happy spot between simply naming a calendar and 
either fully specifying it (or providing a normative reference). And I 
am not contending for any particular location of that happy spot. But it 
seems to me that leaving it to implementers, who did, after all, give us 
the year 1900 bug and others, is inappropriate.

There are things, like natural languages, that cannot be fully defined. 
The question is when have we pushed the definition as far as can 
usefully be used in some uniform way across applications.

Hope you are looking forward to a great weekend!


Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)

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