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Subject: Re: [office] The Rule of Least Power

On Thursday 12. February 2009 13:53:02 ext robert_weir@us.ibm.com wrote:
> > That mail just posts some anonymous element; thats not a usecase.
> > I can't even argue that the "foo:bar" is or is not a loss if an
> > implementation
> > ignores it since you don't give a realistic usecase to argue from.
> But that's the important point.  From the perspective of an general ODF
> consumer, say a word processor, these private extensions are opaque,
> without any discernible semantics, just like foo:bar.

yes, thats the point of adding data that is not in the ODF spec. Its private 
data required by the implementation to not loose information.

Can you give me any usecase where any type of extention would be useful to any 
implementation that is not the one that wrote it?
Or, in other words; what advantage does it give us to move this private data 
to pre-defined extention positions?

Do note that we already *have* pre-defined extension positions, specifically 
metadata. So this is not about adding some metadata that I'd like to survive 
a simple load/save by a random ODF implementation. Thats a solved problem.

> > I'd rather call a real usecase where things go really wrong 'proof' ;)
> The entire point of my criticism is that the consumer of an extended
> document just sees arbitrary XML.  It has no knowledge of use cases, of
> what that extension is for.  It just sees foo:bar.  It is a black box.

Yes, and there is nothing you can do to open that black box. If KOffice or Qts 
ODFWriter decides it needs to store some data to make saving loading to its 
native format not loose info, and that information doesn't fit in any ODF 
tag, then you get a black box.
Thats a fact of life. Arguing thats a bad idea is equivalent to saying we need 
to document each and every possible piece of data in the ODF specification. 
And I think we don't want that. Do we?

Thomas Zander

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