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

Doug Mahugh <Doug.Mahugh@microsoft.com> wrote on 02/03/2009 11:15:37 AM:

> I think ODF would benefit from being as supportive of such scenarios
> as HTML, IS29500 and other formats already are.  No committee can 
> anticipate every possible class of extension that users might find 
> useful, so I think the format itself should allow for clean, simple 
> tagging of content according to schemas that may never be 
> standardized, and may never be widely known or used.  Done 
> correctly, such tagging puts no burden on simple interoperability 
> between word processors (which typically ignore it), but can enable 
> other types of interoperability that many people find valuable.

I agree with much of what you say here.  But I think we need to be crisp 
about distinguishing the technical ability to be extensible versus whether 
conformance permits that ability to be used in an unrestricted fashion. 

The former is simply a good engineering principle.  We should design a 
markup language like ODF to be easily extensible, modular, etc.  At the 
very least we ourselves, the members of the ODF TC, will be beneficiaries 
of such an extensible design as we revise ODF and add additional features 
to it in subsequent versions.  Vendors also benefit from that technical 
ability as they prototype new features which may make their way back into 
the standard some day.  I'd like to see ODF improve in this area and have 
more of a formal extensibility framework.  I'd welcome any ideas you might 
have in that area.

However, this technical ability of extensibility is entirely a different 
question from whether or not conformant ODF documents may contain private, 
undocumented, unstandardized extensions. These are two entirely different 


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