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Subject: RE: [office] ODF 1.2 Single-Level Conformance and Floor << Ceiling Already

This is irrelevant to the topic at hand, I believe.  If I'm reading you 
correctly (and maybe I'm missing something) you are arguing that we should 
not bother fixing this area of ODF because there are other parts that are 
also poorly written. But the fact that there are other areas which need 
conformance work in ODF is not incompatible with concerns about ODF's 
current open content model.  The inability to do everything is no excuse 
for doing nothing.  IMHO, we should fix this and the other things too. 
Maybe you could start a Wiki page with other such areas where you have 
conformance concerns with other areas?  Some of these other areas could 
also be addressed.  For example, Appendix D could be made normative with 
the introduction of  conformance classes for "ODF Text Consumer", "ODF 
Spreadsheet Consumer", etc., to set a floor for that functionality.

And remember, no change worth making to tighten conformance will be 
without some amount of pain.  We're not dealing with a standard that 
existing first and then a number of applications freshly written to 
implement it. We're starting with several applications all who wish to 
converge on an interoperable document format, but have started from 
slightly different starting points.  The goal is not to award the label of 
"conformant" to the maximum number of parties possible.  The goal is to 
improve interoperability.This is similar to the C++ programming language, 
where there was already a degree of divergence in functionality before 
standardization began.  But they did not solve this by having "loose C++" 
which encompassed everything and "strict C++" which had just what the 
committee really wanted.  They had C++ period, and implementations, over 
time and some much slower than others, converged on the standard. 


"Dennis E. Hamilton" <dennis.hamilton@acm.org> wrote on 01/19/2009 
06:19:13 PM:

> I recalled the floor=ceiling debate as the kind of thing that has 
> standards bodies from olden times, yet I completely misremembered the
> dimensions of the debate.  I noticed that as I was sending off the note
> about MIMETYPES and how <office:body> needs to align.
> It happens that the floor for ODF is far below what must be accepted 
from a
> (strictly-)compliant document.  That is because the requirement for
> processing does not insist on any minimum feature set whatsoever (ODF
> 1.0/1.1 non-normative Appendix D presents that as an feature from the
> perspective of the founding fathers). 
> The following example is ridiculous (and Bart Hanssens will raise his
> eyebrows), but it points out the most (or least, depending on 
> that any ODF processor has to deal with.  Acceptance of all sorts of
> additional content must be acceptable, but support for it at the 
> or semantic level is not.  This is a far bigger deal for 
> than whether or not foreign elements are allowed, with or without some
> proviso that the reduction to a conformant document be benign.  Keeping 
> mind that the world is a mostly-practical, often-realistic, place, and 
> one could get a way with this, here is all that the letter of the ODF 
> requires.
> I chose 1.0/1.1 because those specifications are already definite about 
> and I wanted to use the minimal number of required attributes.  Don't 
> or you'll miss it:
>    -   -   -   -   -   -   -
> <!-- Minimum Required ODF 1.0/1.1 Text Document
     There is one 
> for each of the main document
     types.  There is a package 
> equivalent that
     has the same office:body in an office:document-
     content element in content.xml and has the MIMETYPE 
> the special first-item of the package.
     For a text template, 
> just change the mimetype.
> <o:document 
>       xmlns:o="urn:oasis:names:tc:opendocument:xmlns:office:1.0"
>       o:mimetype="application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text"
>       >
>    <o:body>
>       <o:text />
>    </o:body>
>       <!-- Singing: I ain't got no body, no body have I ... -->
> </o:document> 
>    -   -   -   -   -   -   -
> [It is just like me to have more commentary than code, as I'm sure is no
> surprise.]
> I grant that, as far as a grammar for markup goes, allowing these cases 
> very convenient for definition.  It is also useful to do incremental,
> test-driven development of a processor from progressive test documents 
> this.  I expect to see many more of these under such conditions.
> However, there is not much help in Appendix D about what would be 
> to support.  Noticing that, maybe I should give up fretting about 
ceiling1 =
> ceiling2, although I do think that foreign elements and attributes have 
> useful place, whether there is a conformance level with regard to their
> benign use or not.
>  - Dennis 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dennis E. Hamilton [mailto:dennis.hamilton@acm.org] 
> http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office/200901/msg00142.html
> Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 13:30
> To: 'robert_weir@us.ibm.com'
> Cc: 'office@lists.oasis-open.org'
> Subject: RE: [office] ODF 1.2 Single-Level Conformance and Law of 
> Consequences
> One more thing about floor=ceiling. 
> [ ... ]
> It may be that loosely-conformant is the wrong term, but neither 
> nor loosely-conformant, at the moment, determine whether 
> will be easy or hard.  What I like about loosely-conformant is that it
> provides that there be a conformant document in there, given certain
> adjustments.  (There are also some edge cases that one might worry 
> where dropping an attribute means there is no attribute in a way that
> impairs the document, table cell formulas being an interesting case. 
> condition only works well for ODF 1.2 because of its completeness with
> OpenFormula.  This is an argument for recognizing those cases as
> loosely-conformant, but it is not my ox that gets gored if only the
> OpenFormula case qualifies in a conformant spreadsheet document.)
>  - Dennis
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dennis E. Hamilton [mailto:dennis.hamilton@acm.org] 
> http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office/200901/msg00136.html
> Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 10:45
> To: robert_weir@us.ibm.com
> Cc: office@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: RE: [office] ODF 1.2 Single-Level Conformance and Law of 
> Consequences
> This also reminds me of another debate, called floor=ceiling. 
> Floor=Ceiling was debated in the early days of initial COBOL 
> efforts and it continued for a while.  I can't recall which side of the
> debate Committee Chair Howard Bromberg held onto and if he flipped at 
> time. 
> Generally, producers of implementations did not look kindly at 
> and user communities (but not all of them) and especially standards 
> of various persuasions wanted floor=ceiling.  Of course, COBOL was
> modularized and there were definite implementation-specific provisions
> (COMPUTATIONAL-1, COMPUTATIONAL-2, ... and similar aspects coming to 
> so I am not sure how much it was felt that floor=ceiling was achieved, 
> the end. 
> [ ... ]

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