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Subject: Re: [office] ODF Next proposal "Floating Table Positioning"

On 2009-10-28, Peter Junge wrote:

> [...]
> 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.
> [...]

But Peter wrote, too:

> [...] export to other formats seems to be an implementation issue.

Whatever the extra functionality this proposal could provide, the UOF/OOXML 
interoperability is an implementation issue. Interoperability is done at the 
application level.

Expanding the standard by adding redundant positioning attributes to content 
objects (such as tables) would add another batch of data denormalization, and 
another breach of the content-layout separation principle. As content 
objects, tables (just like paragraphs, sections, item lists and so on) should 
not be encumbered with layout-related properties.

A table (like many other content objects) may be attached to a draw:frame 
container (which is, by design, a sized and positioned object). If additional 
position/size properties are needed, they should be added to frames. The same 
apply to the proposed "allow overlap" feature, that could be a frame 

Whatever the interest of the proposed feature, its application to table 
objects, instead of frames, should be more deeply discussed.

Jean-Marie Gouarné
Ars Aperta Partner

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