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Subject: RE: [office] Our Position on the Conformance Proposal

> Having two conformance classes increases choice.  It doesn't reduce it.

How does it increase choice?  People already have the ability to choose between extensions or not.  This change simply adds labels to those choices, and those labels imply that there is a qualitative distinction.

I think these labels will be confusing to many people, and will lead to a general sense that the "one true ODF conformance" is the one that doesn't allow for extensions.  And I suspect there will be people actively promoting such an interpretation.  If that's what you're  referring to when you imply there  is "value" in this distinction, then we'll have to agree to disagree on whether that's valuable.  As Stephen said, this distinction does nothing to address most of the actual interoperability challenges that users face today.

By the way, we're not "denying others" anything at all.  We were asked for our position, and we've expressed it.  That's all that's going on here.


-----Original Message-----
From: robert_weir@us.ibm.com [mailto:robert_weir@us.ibm.com] 
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2009 9:58 AM
To: office@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [office] Our Position on the Conformance Proposal

Doug Mahugh <Doug.Mahugh@microsoft.com> wrote on 02/26/2009 12:34:40 PM:
> Rob, your core point seems to be that allowing two conformance 
> classes is a gracious accommodation of documents that use the 
> extension points already defined in ODF.  And our position is that 
> putting such documents in a separate category is not in the best 
> interest of implementers or document users.  You are trying to make 
> the conformance clause distinguish between two concepts that we see 
> as one and the same: standards-conformant documents that include 
> custom semantics from non-standardized namespaces.  I have many such
> DOCX documents on my laptop computer right now, and they are not 
> divided into "truly conformant" and "extended."  I think it would be
> great for ODF to be equally accommodating of this sort of 
> combination of standardization and innovation.

So the question is:  Is your inability to see value in the distinction 
between the two conformance classes sufficient reason to deny others the 
benefit of having and making use of those distinctions that they have 
expressed a need for?

I don't question the fact that you, evidently, don't think that this 
distinction is valuable.  Fine.  No one is forcing you to implement that 
conformance class.  But is that a good reason to deny others the ability 
to express conformance distinctions that they value? 

It is really a coexistence question.  What is the fundamental problem with 
having two conformance classes?  How does the existence of extended and 
non-extended conformance classes prevent you or anyone else from 
implementing or using either conformance class?  Having two conformance 
classes increases choice.  It doesn't reduce it.  Why are you recommending 
that we reduce choice?


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