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Subject: Re: [office] The desirability of xml:id stability

On Mon, 2013-02-04 at 15:34 -0700, Patrick Durusau wrote:
> Andreas,
> On 02/04/2013 04:36 PM, Andreas J Guelzow wrote:
> > On Mon, 2013-02-04 at 14:30 -0700, Patrick Durusau wrote:
> >
> >> 3) What I am missing is some evidence, other than your saying it, that
> >> preservation of xml:ids is any harder than preserving any other
> >> attribute value.
> >>
> >> I understand implementations don't do the preservation now, but at one
> >> time implementations didn't use XML either. Non-use doesn't mean that a
> >> proposal is too difficult or unworkable.
> >>
> >> Being able to reliably point into documents would be the next step
> >> towards not simply getting document level pointers from a search engine.
> >>
> > Patrick, what would be an example of an arbitrary string attribute value
> > that is currently being preserved by at least some ODF
> > consumer/producers?
> Is the "arbitrary" part a requirement?
> That is there are plenty of specified attribute values that are 
> persisted. See any stylesheet attribute whose value is chosen by a user.
> I don't know how that preservation is different from preserving an 
> "arbitrary" string?
> But to amuse you, consider the <text:user-index-mark> which has the 
> attribute: text:string-value. 8.17 and 19.871.6, respectively.
> 19.871.6 reads: "The text:string-value attribute specifies text to be 
> displayed in an index."
> So, I created a file, inserted a user defined string in the index, 
> created an index that shows the user-defined value.
> Please open, edit (somewhere other than my index entry), save and re-open.
> Does my arbitrary text still appear?
> I would say it was preserved by the application. Yes?
> Try it with OpenOffice first, but I suspect the same will be true for 
> some other implementations.

I wasn't thinking of a user visible attribute value. Obviously a
consumer/producer that supports this element will need to preserve the

But, the current conformance language for consumers is:
"It shall be able to parse and interpret OpenDocument documents of one
or more of the document types defined by this specification (see 3.3)
any of which are represented in packages, but it need not interpret the
semantics of all elements, attributes and attribute values."

So with respect to the text:string-value attribute it seems to me that a
conforming consumer need _not_ preserve that element, it can choose not
to interpret the semantics of that attribute.

My understanding of the xml:id proposal is that it goes well beyond that
by _requiring_ a conforming consumer/producer to preserve the attribute
value. Are we requiring this for any other attribute value?


Andreas J. Guelzow, PhD, FTICA
Concordia University College of Alberta

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