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Subject: Re: [office] ODF Next proposal "Floating Table Positioning" - Was:[office] Feature under evaluation at Redflag 2000

Peter, Shuran,

Just scanned through this proposal.  Assuming that the floating table behaves the same as "normal" tables, my biggest concerns from an accessibility perspective are:
  • How does a tool that exports ODF to some other format (e.g. DAISY) know where to place the table within the overall flow of the document?
  • How does someone navigate to within the table for editing it without using the mouse?
You note below: "Accessibility should be handled in the same way as with other shapes."  I suggest that with respect to keyboard operability, that is not a good plan.  Editing shapes that are floating within a page requires a different keyboard navigation scheme, which then brings up an editor, etc. etc. (kinda like tables within a presentation file). I suggest that we could address both of the two bullet points above in the same way - that "placement within the document flow" is the same as "keyboard navigation flow", such that arrowing downward through a document text would at some point reach into the floating table, and then eventually come out of the floating table and into the document - in the same "place" for document flow purposes when exported to DAISY (or HTML for that matter, which doesn't have a "floating table" concept unless implemented with something like iframes).


Peter Korn
Accessibility Architect & Principal Engineer,
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

4AE55DE9.8050802@RedOffice.com" type="cite">Dear TC members,

please find the "Floating Table Positioning" proposal for ODF Next attached as ODF document and below in plain text, mainly drafted by my colleague Hua Shuran.

We will also add the document to the wiki soon.

Best regards,


Proposal by:
Shuran Hua, huashuran@redoffice.com

Proposal short name:
Floating Table Positioning

This proposal introduces absolute positioning properties for tables, strongly similar to those of <draw:frame>, please refer ODF 1.2, CD02, section 9.4.2.


Use cases:
Floating tables are tables in a document which are not part of the main text flow, rather they are absolutely positioned on a specific page allowin users increased flexibility for the layout of their documents.
Adding the feature will also increase interoperability with both UOF and OOXML, as they already know similar features.

Alternatives considered:

Requested changes to the ODF Standard

Text changes/additions:
1) Add certain new properties to 16.7 <style:table-properties> as following (with text added in orange):

16.7 <style:table-properties>
The <style:table-properties> element has the following attributes:
… table:display 18.404, draw:z-index 17.235, style:horizontal-pos 18.288, style:horizontal-rel 18.289, style:vertical-pos 18.385, style:vertical-rel 18.386, svg:x 18.399, svg:y 18.400 and style:allowoverlap 18.424.

2) Update the references in sections 17.235 draw:z-index, 18.288 style:horizontal-pos, 18.289 style:horizontal-rel, 18.385 style:vertical-pos, 18.386 style:vertical-rel, 18.399 svg:x and 18.400 svg:y.
Exemplary the changes for 17.235 draw:z-index (with text added in orange):

17.235 draw:z-index
The draw:z-index attribute defines a rendering order for shapes and tables in a document instance. Shapes are rendered in the order in which they appear in the document in the absence of this attribute. As the attribute of  the <style:table-properties>, draw:z-index is used to mark the layers of each table when the value of style:allowoverlap attribute is set to true
The draw:z-index attribute is usable with the following elements: <dr3d:cube>, [...], <draw:regular-polygon>, <office:annotation> and <style:table-properties>.
The draw:z-index attribute has the data type nonNegativeInteger.

3) Add section 18.424  style:allowoverlap:

18.424  style:allowoverlap
The style:allowoverlap attribute specifies whether the current object shall allow other objects to overlap its extents when the objects are displayed in a document. This attribute can have a value of true or false.
If true, then no adjustment shall be made to prevent objects whose properties would normally cause them to overlap from overlapping when displayed.
If false, then the objects shall be adjusted as needed to prevent them from overlapping when displayed by adjusting the floating objects properties as needed.
The default value for this attribute is false.
The style:allowoverlap attribute is usable with the following element: <style:table-properties> 16.7.
The style:allowoverlap attribute has the data type boolean.

Note: The above given section numbers are regarding “OpenDocument-v1.2-cd02.odt”

Schema changes/additions:
Add the following definitions (text added in orange) in “OpenDocument-schema-v1.2-cd02.rng”:
17640<define name="style-table-properties-attlist" combine="interleave">
17641<ref name="common-background-color-attlist"/>
17643<define name="style-table-properties-attlist" combine="interleave">
17644    <optional>
17645        <attribute name="style:horizontal-pos">
17646            <choice>
17647                <value>left</value>
17648                <value>center</value>
17649                <value>right</value>
17650                <value>from-left</value>
17651                <value>inside</value>
17652                <value>outside</value>
17653                <value>from-inside</value>
17654            </choice>
17655        </attribute>
17656    </optional>
17657    <optional>
17658        <attribute name="svg:x">
17659            <ref name="coordinate"/>
17660        </attribute>
17661    </optional>
17663<define name="style-table-properties-attlist" combine="interleave">
17664    <optional>
17665        <attribute name="style:horizontal-rel">
17666            <choice>
17667                <value>page</value>
17668                <value>page-content</value>
17669                <value>page-start-margin</value>
17670                <value>page-end-margin</value>
17671                <value>frame</value>
17672                <value>frame-content</value>
17673                <value>frame-start-margin</value>
17674                <value>frame-end-margin</value>
17675                <value>paragraph</value>
17676                <value>paragraph-content</value>
17677                <value>paragraph-start-margin</value>
17678                <value>paragraph-end-margin</value>
17679                <value>char</value>
17680            </choice>
17681        </attribute>
17682    </optional>
17684<define name="style-table-properties-attlist" combine="interleave">
17685    <ref name="common-vertical-pos-attlist"/>
17687<define name="style-table-properties-attlist" combine="interleave">
17688    <ref name="common-vertical-rel-attlist"/>
17690<define name="style-table-properties-attlist" combine="interleave">
17691    <ref name="common-allowoverlap-attlist"/>
17693<define name="common-allowoverlap-attlist" combine="interleave">
17694    <optional>
17695        <attribute name="style:allowoverlap">
17696            <ref name="boolean"/>
17697        </attribute>
17698    </optional>
17700<define name="style-table-properties-attlist" combine="interleave">
17701    <ref name="common-draw-z-index-attlist"/>


Does this proposal add any mandatory features or behaviors to ODF documents or applications?
This feature should be mandatory for all products implementing 'ODF Next'.

Backwards compatibility:
If we make this change, what will be the impact on existing ODF processors?
Existing ODF processors are expected to ignore the floating table positioning feature.

Accessibility impact:
Will this feature require review by the Accessibility Subcommittee? For example, does it add structure to the document that can be navigated, store a user-viewable string or associate a label with content?
Accessibility should be handled in the same way as with other shapes.

Workflow (to be filled in by TC Chairs)

Category: CategoryNewProposal
Date Proposal initially made:
Dates Proposal discussed on TC calls:
Date vote is requested:
Date vote is held:
Results of vote:

Peter Junge wrote:
Dear TC members,

our team at Redflag 2000 is currently evaluating a feature related to tables in word processors, we call 'Floating Table Positioning'. So far, tables cannot be absolutely positioned in ODF text documents, except they are embedded in a "draw:frame" element, please refer section 9.4.2 in ODF 1.2, Part 1, CD03[1]. Other document standards, namely OOXML (section 17.4.60 tblPr, Part 1, ISO 29500, Page 484) and UOF support absolute positioning of tables in text documents, quite similar to "draw:frame" in ODF, so we would like to submit a proposal that adds this feature in order to increase interoperability.

Consequently, I would like to raise two questions:

1) Is any TC member already working on a similar feature?

2) Considering such feature seems to be quite obvious, as well it is quite easy to add, hence I would like to know if there is a telling argument, why it hasn't made it into ODF yet?

Best regards,

[1] http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/download.php/33633/OpenDocument-v1.2-part1-cd03.odt

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