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


first of all, thank you very much for sharing your position with the TC.

If I look at the discussions we had over the last months, and those we
have since yesterday on the mailing list, then it seems to me that we
have TC members that are in favor of a single conformance level that
does allow foreign elements, and we have TC members that are in favor of
having a single conformance level that does not allow them.

So, if I look at this situation from the position of a chair who wants
to find a solution for the issue that is okay for everyone, if that's
possible, then I still think that the current proposal (that allows two
conformance clauses) is a good compromise between the different 
positions. It does not reflect your position by 100%, nor does it
let's say Rob's or mine or that of any other TC member. But that is the
nature of a compromise. I would be glad if you could support this
compromise anyway.

A few more remarks on the topic, including some perspective for the future:

1. The distinction between different levels of conformance is not really
new in ODF 1.2. Even the ODF 1.0 specification contains a so called
strict schema, which is normative, and which does not allow any foreign
elements and attributes. This schema was not connected to a particular
conformance level or class, but the purpose of this schema is to
provide a tool or measure that allows to ensure that a ODF document does
not contain any foreign elements. I'm sure this schema is used in 
practice, not only be the validation tools that I have developed myself, 
but also by others.

2. We see a demand from adopters for having an "extension-free"
conformance definition, and I am sure that regardless what this TC
decides on the matter, we will see one. If it is not us that creates
this definition, then it may be the OIC TC. Or it may be just tools that
check the absence of foreign elements. However, since we had this
discussion already in this TC and since we are working on the
conformance clauses, and because the result of the discussions won't be
different if we start them again somewhere else, I think we should also
complete the discussion in this TC.

3. I agree that it currently takes some time from a proposal until we
see it an an approved specification. For this reason, I have already
proposed that we introduce some kind of train model were we deliver
specification every 6 month or so, and where we take what is ready by
that dates. We are currently concentrating on completing ODF 1.2, but as
soon as it is ready, I'm happy to discuss not only what should go onto
the next version (this has already been started actually with the work
the ODF Requirements SC is doing), but also what a schedule for future
ODF versions could be.

4. ODF 1.2 has two mechanisms that allow the inclusion of semantic
information into ODF documents. That's on the one hand the XForms 
support, and on the other hand the RDF/XML and RDFa support we have 
added for ODF 1.2. The later is the result of a careful analysis and 
specification work by the ODF Metadata SC. An analysis whether the 
existing features cover all use cases you have in mind, and if not, 
whether the existing features can be enhanced or whether we need 
additional mechanisms, appears to be a reasonable action. But that is 
also something that needs some time and some use cases. It seems to be a 
little bit too late to me to start that now where we have completed ODF 
1.2 and in particular also the meta data work for ODF 1.2. But if we 
follow the "train model" approach for future specification that I have 
suggested above, it anyway may be something where we could see results 
very soon.

Best regards


Michael Brauer, Technical Architect Software Engineering
Sun Microsystems GmbH             Nagelsweg 55
D-20097 Hamburg, Germany          michael.brauer@sun.com
http://sun.com/staroffice         +49 40 23646 500

Sitz der Gesellschaft: Sun Microsystems GmbH, Sonnenallee 1,
	   D-85551 Kirchheim-Heimstetten
Amtsgericht Muenchen: HRB 161028
Geschaeftsfuehrer: Thomas Schroeder, Wolfgang Engels, Dr. Roland Boemer
Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrates: Martin Haering

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