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Subject: Re: [office] ODF 1.2 Single-Level Conformance and Law of UnintendedConsequences

Patrick Durusau <patrick@durusau.net> wrote on 01/19/2009 01:06:11 PM:

> robert_weir@us.ibm.com wrote:
> <snip>
> >> My conservatism around preference for the dual levels has to do with
> >> not wanting to eliminate something valuable by mistake. 
> >>
> >> 
> >
> > If it was valuable, then I'd expect to see some implementation, any 
> > implementation, use the feature in the 4 years since ODF 1.0 was 
> >  But it hasn't happened.  Of course, is someone finds it to be 
> > they can still extend their documents.  It simply won't be conformant. 
> > standard can't tell anyone what they can and cannot do.  That's not 
> > role.  What we do is define conformance as a basis for 
> > Arbitrary extensions are outside of any basis for interoperability, so 
> > argue they should be outside of conformance.
> >
> > 
> Let me say back what I am hearing to see if it matches what you and 
> other single level conformance folks are saying:
> Conformance of ODF documents:
> That an ODF document is "conforming" if and only if it meets the 
> requirements and definitions more fully set forth in ODF 1.2.
> Conformance of ODF applications:
> That an ODF application is "conforming" if and only if it honors the 
> requirements and definitions more fully set forth in ODF 1.2. That is to 

> say an application can choose to do more than ODF 1.2, it could have 
> photo processing capabilities for example, but it could not then claim 
> to be ODF 1.2 conformant. Yes?
> I agree with the first one. That is in part driven by my own view of the 

> importance of file formats as part of the interoperability equation (a 
> necessary but not sufficient part).
> I do puzzle and hesitate over the second one. If I create an application 

> that does everything required of it by ODF 1.2 and at the same time 
> allows a user photo editing capabilities for images that are then stored 

> in a conforming ODF 1.2 document. That is the resulting file is fully 
> ODF 1.2 conformant. So, in what way is my application not conforming to 
> ODF 1.2?
> Or to put it another way, doesn't the greater include the lesser?
> Or is there some other issue that I am overlooking?

With the proposed conformance clause, the application would be conformant, 
or at least that is my reading.  A consumer or producer is conformant 
based on its _ability_ to consume or produce conformant ODF.  But it is 
not required to be exclusively capable of only that task.  All we can 
speak to is the ODF Producer -> ODF Document -> ODF Consumer relationship, 
without denying that there may be other concurrent relationships.  And 
within that relationship, the medium of exchange (the ODF Document) is 
distinguished from the endpoints of the exchange.  If we were exchanging 
ODF Producers among different parties and expected ODF Producers to be 
substitutable and interoperable, then we might limit their extensions as 
well.  But going in that direction is beyond what this TC has previously 
discussed and I am not pushing for it.  But constraining the properties of 
the exchanged document itself, where users do expect interoperability, 
that is something a bit more achievable. 


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