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Subject: [OASIS Issue Tracker] Updated: (OFFICE-3674) Public Comment: PRD03use of the word "will"

     [ http://tools.oasis-open.org/issues/browse/OFFICE-3674?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:all-tabpanel ]

Robert Weir  updated OFFICE-3674:

    Fix Version/s: ODF 1.1 Errata 01

ISO drafting guidelines say nothing about the use of "will".  They only talk about the use of shall/should/may.  They do not prohibit the use of "will" but only say that shall/should/may are required for stating "provisions" of the standard.

Of course, it is entirely possible to state constraints in ISO standards using other words or notations.  We do it all the time in ODF. So does the author of this public comment.  Whenever we express a constraint using EBNF or by giving a schema definition, we are defining constraints without saying "shall".  However, we connect these constraints to our conformance definitions by saying that, for conforming ODF Documents, the  "XML file shall be valid with respect to the schema defined in appendix A."    Are we supposed to go back and rewrite the entire schema in long form English, not using schema notation and instead using "shall" and "may"?  Of course not.

Similarly, we have many, many other constraints related to the semantics of elements as processed by applications.  These are not all expressed by saying "shall".  But they are invoked by our conformance clauses when we say that an ODF Consumer, "shall interpret those elements and attributes it does interpret consistent with the semantics defined for the element or attribute by this specification".

This is very similar to how OOXML handles this.  ISO/IEC 29500 Part 1 uses the verb "will" 156 times, often in analogous ways, e.g.,:

" box (Box Object)

If boxPr is omitted, all properties will be "false" by default."

But similar to what we're doing in ODF 1.2, this is covered by their conformance clause:

"A conforming application shall treat the information in Office Open XML documents in a manner consistent with the semantic definitions given in ISO/IEC 29500. An application's intended behavior need not require that application to process all of the information in an Office Open XML document. However, the information that it does process shall be processed in a manner that is consistent with the
semantic definitions given in ISO/IEC 29500."

The above language from OOXML was approved by ISO, and there are no outstanding defect reports in ISO related to that approach, so I suspect that it is acceptable to most ISO National Bodies.  That is one reason we adopted similar language for ODF 1.2.

> Public Comment: PRD03 use of the word "will"
> --------------------------------------------
>                 Key: OFFICE-3674
>                 URL: http://tools.oasis-open.org/issues/browse/OFFICE-3674
>             Project: OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) TC
>          Issue Type: Bug
>          Components: General, Public Review
>    Affects Versions: ODF 1.2 CD 07
>            Reporter: Robert Weir 
>            Priority: Blocker
>             Fix For: ODF 1.1 Errata 01
> Copied from office-comment list
> Original author: Alex Brown <alexb@griffinbrown.co.uk> 
> Original date: 27 Feb 2011 12:06:26 -0000
> Original URL: http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office-comment/201102/msg00006.html

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