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

Rob, I do not question what an OASIS TC is permitted to do, although it is
strange to do it with regard to a .-release.

I am thinking of this as a moral obligation, not a technical one.  While we
may make substantive (breaking) changes, that does not mean we should in a
particular case, and that we should be serious about avoiding them unless
there is some serious technical problem to be dealt with.  I will continue
to regard it the defined conformance level as part of a social contract with
the ODF community (users and implementers) and all of the promotion that has
accompanied the advent of ODF.

I said "I take this as a promise."  That's a declaration on my part.  I was
not implying anything more than that other than we have set a level of
expectation that has been reaffirmed with three full-blown standards review
and approval processes, and that I see that to be taken seriously in the
pursuit of the promise of ODF.

Also, if I thought it was something that we were technically bound to, I
would be objecting that we are violating OASIS rules or our own standing
procedures rather than continuing to participate in the discussion of
Michael's proposal as a proper proposal.

 - Dennis 

PS: I do think the ODF TC *should* declare itself with regard to how it
regards up-down-level compatibility, preservation of the usability of legacy
documents as processors move to implementation of later versions, etc.
Considering what ODF is promised for with regard to use in civic affairs,
governmental operations, and other places where long-term usability is a
great concern, I would think that is an important detail to affirm.  

-----Original Message-----
From: robert_weir@us.ibm.com [mailto:robert_weir@us.ibm.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009 11:27
To: office@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [office] ODF 1.2 Single-Level Conformance and Floor << Ceiling

I must correct this flawed analysis.

OASIS is very clear about what kind of changes can be made to revisions of 
a standard.  In particular, Approved Errata may not contain Substantive 
Changes, where "Substantive Change" is defined as "a change to a 
specification that would require a compliant application or implementation 
to be modified or rewritten in order to remain compliant".

However, there is absolutely no prohibition against making a Substantive 
Change in a new version of an OASIS standard.  This is 100% legitimate 
from OASIS, ODF TC and even ISO rules.  (Heck, ISO would even allow 
breaking changes in Corrigenda, so they are even more permissive in this 

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