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Subject: Re: [office] One strictly conforming document?

Patrick Durusau <patrick@durusau.net> wrote on 02/03/2009 08:42:50 AM:

> > What do you think?
> >
> Well, but the difficulty may be in your statement: "I think it is 
> important that users know whether an application that claims to be ODF 
> 1.2 compliant is able to store documents without extensions, or only 
> documents that contain such extensions." That really isn't the purpose 
> of a conformance clause. A conformance clause is supposed to define what 

> a conforming application must or must not do. It is not a guide to or 
> restriction on what a conforming application must inform a potential 
> user about its conformance.
> In other words I would like to distinguish between our 1) defining of 
> conformance for ODF documents and the applications that process them 
> from 2) defining what any conforming application (that is one that meets 

> our conformance requirements) says about its conformance.
> The former is a proper concern of this TC, the latter (at least in my 
> opinion) is not. The latter strays into marketing strategies and other 
> concerns.

I think you two are confusing each other with words.  I think that when 
Michael says "important that users know..." he refers to the knowledge one 
receives by knowing that a product claims conformance, and that 
conformance is defined by the absence of extensions.  He is not 
necessarily stating that the user knows because the implementation of the 
standard "informs" the user of any extensions.

However, I think that you understate what a standard may do, even an ISO 
standard.  For example, ISO C++ explicitly requires that conforming 
implementations inform the user of the details of that implementation's 
implementation-defined features.  Requiring an implementation to inform 
the user of details of conforming extensions would be in principle no 

I'd agree that if we required that an implementation report pricing 
models, sales targets, market share analysis, etc., then that would be 
disallowed.  But it is quite the norm these days for an application of the 
type we are defining conformance for to give the user a choice of format 
targets and to report warnings or errors when a document is loaded that 
does not conform to that format.  So it is entirely reasonable and proper 
for a standard that defines some behaviors of such an application with 
respect to file formats to also specify how and when it informs the user 
with regards to extensions.


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